The advance of the covid pandemic, still uncontrolled in many autonomous communities, has seriously threatened the celebration of the most important tourist fair in the world, Fitur, also key for the province of Alicante, due to the direct presence of the potential clients, both during the weekend, in which 300,000 Madrilenians pass through the corridors of Ifema, as well as for the acts that the Provincial Board of Trustees performs in the streets of Madrid. For now, the management of Fitur has already decided to move it from January to May, trusting in a favorable evolution of the pandemic that allows presence, but it has already advanced to the exhibitors, including the Consell, the Provincial Council and the city council of Benidorm and Alicante (own stands), that the events in which people concentrate are suppressed.
Therefore, there will be no promotional material in the usual format (brochures) and, what harms the promotion of Alicante the most, the gastronomic samples are suppressed, precisely what was most popular among visitors. In general, the Consell and the Provincial Council invest around five million euros every year in the Madrid event. José Mancebo, director of the Provincial Tourism Board maintains that “of course we must adapt and the online issue is feasible for professional meetings but the essence in promotions aimed at the local public is, precisely, to have that final public.”
Mancebo maintains that in promotions aimed at the final public, “we need the same, the public, who are not on any virtual platform, but rather want and want them to visit us, consume, be inspired and live the event we are holding , what we technically call experiential marketing. Open spaces, security measures, events by invitation … We will have to go back to these formulas little by little. Our sector and many activities related to it make a living from it ”
Turisme Comunitat Valenciana will participate in the Fitur 2021 edition, postponed from January, from May 19 to 23. The construction of the stand has already been awarded to the Escato company and, according to Tourism, all possible changes that, due to the pandemic, may affect the fair are planned. Ifema has informed the technical staff of Turisme of a series of regulations that must be complied with and that entail, for example, the almost total disappearance of physical promotional material and its replacement by material distributed through QR codes or other means that guarantee less manipulation possible; or also the suppression of gastronomic or oenological activities in the stands, such as show cooking or wine or oil tastings.
For this reason, Turisme has reoriented the 2020-2021 marketing plan to promote “souvenir marketing” and the message of confidence and security provided by the tourist areas of the three provinces. According to the regional secretary of Tourism, Francesc Colomer, “the promotion in the international markets of the Community continues, although, adapting to the difficult circumstances we live in”.
In this line, he has reported that his department is now focused on strengthening the ‘online’ strategy in social networks of international markets to publicize the tourist offer. As detailed, “we are applying what is known as ‘souvenir marketing’, for when the situation again allows a more massive dissemination and sale of trips.
In the same way, he pointed out that “the Turisme Comunitat Valenciana promotion department continues to work to promote ‘online’ actions and events that allow it to maintain contact with tourism operators and media in the main foreign markets”.
According to Colomer, “given the uncertainty about whether or not it will be possible to travel and under what conditions, the promotion in international markets now pursues two objectives, on the one hand, to maintain the emotional bond, revive sensations and experiences and generate illusion in the future to the potential travelers, and on the other hand, maintain professional contact with operators and agents to study agreements adapted to the current situation, “he pointed out.
Regarding the next edition of Fitur, the specifications of the public contract already provided for the obligation for the winning company to adapt the stand and the services it must provide in it to the health and safety regulations that the organizers of the fair and the public authorities establish.
It should be noted that the will of Ifema is to be able to carry out, if the conditions and health regulations allow it, a face-to-face edition, for the moment, they discard a virtual edition, although everything will depend on the evolution of the pandemic.
The regulations published by Ifema for Fitur 2021 oblige exhibitors, visitors and suppliers and establishes as mandatory, a series of conditions such as maintaining a maximum capacity of 75%, taking the temperature at the entrance control, the use of a mask within IFEMA and the minimum separation of 1.5 meters.
In addition, exhibitors will also be required to have protective screens in all public service positions, as well as not to distribute printed material or pre-assigned seats at leisure events.
WTM London Virtual Edition
The tourist offer of the Valencian Community is present this week in the virtual World Travel Market contest. The London fair canceled its face-to-face edition and convened a virtual one from 9 to 11 November. The Valencian Community participates in this virtual edition together with the six tourism brands and it is planned to hold 30 appointments with various tour operators.
Within the framework of this fair, a meeting of the regional secretary of Tourism with the highest representative of ABTA, the British association of travel agencies, Mark Tanzer; and with the CEO of the tour operator Ramblers, one of the most important in the hiking product.
The event will be held from 7 am to 10 pm to allow access from different areas of the world to all participants. Numerous live conference sessions and different forums will address some of the issues facing tourism. In addition, it is complemented by six quick ‘networking’ sessions and individual virtual meetings.
The fair is completed with the London Travel Week program, a series of conferences covering ‘The future of tourism marketing’, with the participation of experts in this field, and the Virtual Travel Forward, a series of conferences dedicated to new technologies applied to tourism.
Likewise, Turisme Comunitat Valenciana will participate in the IBTM World. The fair for meetings and congresses, one of the largest events in the world MICE market, will also be held virtually from 7 to 9 December. Turisme will participate together with the various Convention Bureaux of the Region.
Finally, Turisme is organizing a webinar for the British market in these months with the collaboration of Turespaña, among other actions.
Digsmak is a news publisher with over 12 years of reporting experiance; and have published in many industry leading publications and news sites.