Profi.Travel took part in FITUR 2022 exhibition in Madrid

From January 19 to 23 in Madrid was held an exhibition FITUR, which this year could become a key event on the tourism market after the cancellation of ITB Berlin offline, and which all professionals of the travel industry have been waiting in the first place to understand: whether we should hope to restart international tourism in 2022.
Profi.Travel did not miss the opportunity to visit the exhibition, becoming a co-exhibitor at the VisitRussia stand.
The resumption of international tourism

It should be noted that the exhibition was held at a time when the host country, Spain, was just beginning to prepare to treat COVID-19 not as an emergency situation, but as a disease that can be dealt with just like the flu or measles. Portugal, Great Britain, the Netherlands, and other countries have also announced that they are ready to give up restrictions - including on travel.

«We are confident that by the end of the year we will be able to restore 88% of tourism GDP before the pandemic, — Julia Simpson, president of the World Travel and Tourism Council WTTC, said at the show. — We believe that 2022 will be much more successful than the previous year, with a more sustainable tourism recovery. Omicron had a negative impact on travel earlier this year, but scientists testify that symptoms are less severe and that hospitalizations and deaths are decreasing. That's why governments should lift travel restrictions and allow vaccinated tourists to travel freely».
The WTTC added that tourism has been hit hardest in 2021 by a clear lack of leadership and coordination at the global level, which has led to dangerous confusion about travel rules and conditions. And it cost the industry more than the pandemic itself.

«The virus does not understand the boundaries set by humans, so we ask you not to repeat this mistake again», — summed up the World Travel and Tourism Council.
Foreign travel business at a low start

The exhibitors interviewed by Profi.Travel believe that FITUR-2022 itself was a reflection of the renewal of international travel: the number of participants and visitors is noticeably higher than in the previous year, and their mood is noticeably more optimistic. All eight pavilions of the forum were filled with stands, where business negotiations were actively going on. This time, at the united stand of the Visit Russia organized by the Russian Union of Tourism Industry for the second year in a row, recreation opportunities in Russia were promoted by the Kazan Tourism Development Committee, the Krasnaya Polyana resort, several tour operators and hotels. Moscow and St. Petersburg had separate stands.
Foreign companies are lacking information

As shown by a survey conducted by Profi.Travel among Russian participants of FITUR-2022, 80% of foreign partners were interested in whether the vaccination certificates of their countries are valid in the Russian Federation, and when will mutual recognition of vaccines take place? In addition, they complained that it was not possible to find on one portal comprehensive information on the rules for entry, check-in, visiting theaters, museums and other display facilities, as well as the procedure to follow if the PCR test turned out to be positive: how to renew a visa, in how long can you stay on the territory of the Russian Federation with the originally received entry documents, etc. There were a lot of questions about the electronic visa. The pilot project, even with limited options, allowing the tourist to fly home only from the region through which he entered, was considered very successful.

However, tour operators were also actively interested in new destinations in Russia that were not promoted on their market. They noted that they receive requests from their clients who have already been to Moscow, St. Petersburg, the Far East, traveled along the Golden Ring, — These tourists want to see something new, realizing that Russia is not limited to two or three regions, and the image they had of our country before does not correspond to reality at all.

Nevertheless, from the point of view of the foreign companies themselves, there is catastrophically little information about holiday opportunities in Russia. It is impossible to gather a complete picture from the three stands at FITUR. However, this year the Russian Union of Travel Industry will try to solve the problem through a series of events to promote the tourism opportunities of the country: the offline part, which began in Madrid, will continue online at the Russian Expo Days Spain and Latin America exhibition, which will be held from 23 to 30 May.
«So it will be possible to get away from the classic misfortune of most international exhibitions — The lack of a unified concept of promotion — and show Russia as a single tourist space, — Alexey Vengin, head of the congress and exhibition committee of the Russian Union of Travel Industry and general director of Profi.Travel belives. — Combination of two formats will make it possible to more effectively present the Russian tourism product to a wide audience of tourism professionals in Spanish-speaking countries, supplement traditional negotiations at the exhibition with online presentations, and also get an expanded contact base of potential partners».
And the Corporate Association of Specialized Travel Agencies in Spain said that they would definitely contribute to the promotion of the online part among the country's travel agencies.
«Of course, it is very important to give as much information about Russia as possible, as the tourist business has a great interest in this destination. Your country has many different opportunities for recreation, good service, interesting culture and unique gastronomy, so we wholeheartedly support the idea of a comprehensive promotion of Russia and more detailed coverage of its tourist locations» — Marty Sarrate Laplana, president of the association, concluded.
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