Spanish Minister of Tourism: “ We are ready to welcome tourists again ”


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Spain’s tourism minister exclusively told CGTN Europe that her country is ready to welcome tourists again and host large-scale face-to-face events.

Reyes Maroto was speaking at the FITUR International Tourism Fair in Madrid, the largest trade fair of its kind in the world.

The event took place at the IFEMA conference center almost a year to the day when it closed as Spain’s largest pandemic field hospital.

A year later, he welcomed the whole world by welcoming FITUR.

More than 50,000 people were expected at the three-day fair, by far the largest public gathering to have taken place in Spain since the pandemic, and the biggest test of the country’s ability to host large face-to-face events in completely safe.

Reyes Maroto, Spanish Minister of Tourism, attended the event. Speaking to CGTN Europe, she said that a successful FITUR has proven to the world that Spain and Europe are open for business.

“The decision to organize this event is not just a question of tourism,” she said.

“It is that we can now start to be here. The idea is to show that Spain is a tourist destination with all the necessary security measures for an expo like this where there is no problem to organize a face-to-face event like this. “

Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto addresses CGTN Europe at the FITUR international tourism fair in Madrid.

Spain’s Tourism Minister Reyes Maroto addresses CGTN Europe at the FITUR international tourism fair in Madrid.

There are over 5,000 delegates at the event as well as exhibitors from over 60 countries – although this is a significant reduction from last year’s event which had 165 nations represented

In addition to the reduced capacity, all participants must also take a COVID-19 antigen test 24 hours before arrival.

Like the Minister of Tourism, organizers hope the return of FITUR will be a turning point for the travel industry after the sector has been decimated by the financial impact of the pandemic.

In the past 12 months, the Spanish tourism industry has suffered from a deficit of 70 million international tourists plus 92 million trips by Spanish nationals, with losses exceeding $ 122 million compared to 2019.

As well as showcasing Spain’s most important industry to the world, this event could also offer a plan for the rest of Europe on how to organize large public events safely.

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