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Fitur 2013 Madrid The Premier Travel Tourism And Hospitality Show In Spain
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Fitur 2013 Madrid The Premier Travel Tourism And Hospitality Show In Spain

This is a show of many contrasts. Most of those exhibiting put on a great show. The right decision makers were in attendance. Meeting people was easily achievable and from my point of view and others I know at the show we were able to achieve all objectives from the show.

However, the organisers of this show need to get a grip and some of the exhibitors need to also. Fitur is one of the major European Tourism and Travel shows. It is Spains premier Travel, Tourism and Hospitality event and it should excel at tourism. It should make visitors feel welcome and make the journey to and from the “Feria” (exhibition halls) easy.

Fitur is in its 33rd year and its organisers so should know what to do by now. The “Feria de Madrid” where the show is held should have good facilities to support the exhibitors. There is work to do! After 2pm in the afternoon when people would like to have lunch, many of the café and eating areas turn into a “zoo”. There are queues for food and a drink which are unacceptably long. Even when you have been served it is almost impossible to find somewhere to sit. Seating can be found outside. It is late January so the weather is not to be relied upon and some of the outside seating is so dirty that sitting down would ruin the appearance of your clothing and possibly worse. Obviously not acceptable at an event where people are meeting for the first time.

Signage for “the sports bar” directs you upstairs and over a walkway only to find that this year it is closed and the premises appear to be empty. The only achievement is confusion and annoyance for all those returning to where they started – the back of an even longer queue. All we needed was a coffee and somewhere to sit to discuss increasing the business we do with a partner, instead time was wasted by everyone achieving nothing. Toilets are always difficult to keep respectable at large shows but the standard observed was not acceptable. Watching cleaners emptying bins whilst smoking cigarettes does not create a good impression.

Arriving at one of Madrid’s train stations was effortless. However, it was obvious something was missing. No signage for the show or anyone there to direct the many people arriving by rail and attending the show, to the Feria location. Asking at customer service resulted in receiving a very small piece of paper with a sentence in Spanish advising I should take another train and then the Metro to “Campo de la Naciones” the Feria station. No mention of the two line changes required. What use that would be to the many international visitors I do not know and the “first impression” it creates to any visitor is amateurish.

Spain needs more international tourists and I am sure Madrid would like more visitors too from wherever they come domestic or foreign. Those in charge must realise that first impressions count. When a representative of an international travel provider arrives it is not just “that person”. They potentially represent millions of travellers who can either be encouraged to visit or not. That single person needs to believe that any of their clients arriving in Spain will be made to feel welcome and will be well looked after. That process starts and continues at every stage of their journey to the show and not when they arrive at the show. In the future please get everyone involved. Those same organisations benefit financially from those visitors too, for example, Renfé the train company and the Madrid Metro.

Spain has many regions and groups representing them. All of the “Costa’s” have one and the regions themselves also. Some of them need to seriously reconsider what they are doing at the show. The Murcia region had little more than a large empty space with tables and chairs, a few pictures and a lady representing the region which did not even work for “Murcia Turistica” or know much about the area. The travel and tourism world moved on from someone distributing flyers a long time ago. Those responsible need to look at what others created for the show and lack of resources is not an excuse. The representatives of Melilla had used their space very creatively and without elaborate expense. They created a beach including water complete with two very attractive ladies on sunloungers with parasols. The only thing missing was a beach bar. Needless to say this created lots of interest.

The show itself was well attended, planned meetings took place and there were plenty of new discoveries with resulting meetings which will lead to business later. So, the show is well worth visiting if your interests include Spain or Latin America but in many respects the results are “in spite” of the organisation of it and not because of it.


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