SPAIN’S big International Tourism Fair (Fitur) was officially opened on Wednesday by King Felipe and Queen Leitizia in Madrid.

The royal couple toured the different stands around the fair, which includes strong representation from Spanish tourist regions like Andalucia, the Balearic Islands, and the Valencian Community.

The 42nd staging of Fitur brings together 107 countries and 6,933 companies, as tourism both in Spain and across the globe tries to rebuild in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Exhibitors are still well below those registered in the 2020 fair, when 165 nations and 11,000 firms were involved.

The fair is being held at the Ifema exhibition centre and is set to welcome 90,000 people, 60,000 of them industry professionals, between Thursday and Sunday.

Fitur will be open to the general public over the weekend.

Spain’s tourist industry does not expect the sector to return to pre-Covid levels until next year, but nevertheless believes that 2022 figures will be close to those of 2019, especially from spring onwards.

That’s when the impact of the Omicron COVID-19 variant is expected to be mainly brought under control.

This year’s Fitur event sees the return of face-to-face participation after last year’s changes, but online participation is also being maintained.

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