Last week, from the 24th to the 28th of January, IFEMA hosted Fitur 2024, in which several countries from all continents shared a piece of their culture. Fitur is the international tourism fair in Spain where different tour operators go to do networking and attract more people to their countries, but it also gathers the newest developments in the tourism industry. Here is what TourReview saw in Fitur as the latest trends in tourism fairs.
Augmented Reality as part of experience tours and selling point
As seen at the fair, the tourism industry is transitioning with the technological revolution adapting trends and practices to their own trade. One of the newest and most curious trends is Augmented Reality through the big white goggles, that allows you to experience life in a different time as well as a destination without having to jump on a plane or hop on a train.
In Fitur 2024 it was mostly seen as a tool for tour operators, government tourism departments and airlines to sell. AR was a form of transmitting information while letting the prospective clients live the destination’s lifestyle and environment without having to travel. It was a way to sample the product before buying in an interactive and interesting new way.
Sustainability is a trend in every existing industry, however, in tourism, it focuses more on the form of transport and pollution to natural habitats, as well as the social responsibility of protecting the culture and local businesses. So, in Fitur, it was seen, especially in the Africa pavilion, tour operators talking about the tours and experiences having specific rules to protect the environment and promote respect towards animals. Nevertheless, there were other new technology stands who focused on offering services that combine sustainability with AR.
As part of their selling point, tour operators and government tourism departments invested into showing and sharing parts of their traditions with the audience at Fitur. Some of the activities and customs seen were focused on the culinary side (tastings, gifting and masterclasses), nevertheless there were many traditional dances and people selling handicrafts. They also organized masterclasses and showcasings of traditional practices such as henna tattoos and yoga.
Networking through after work social gatherings
Some stands, like CitySightseeing, offered drinks and food for everyone attending the professional days in order to attract more people to their stand. Some other stands even featured a live presentation of art or clickbait to gain attention. However, it also functioned as an after work social gathering for people to enjoy and relax after a full day of intense work while still networking with other professionals of the industry.
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