Song and dance attracts travelers at Fitur travel fair in Madrid, Spain

drum banging show at Fitur travel fair in Madrid, Europe.

Spain’s capital Madrid is the host for one of the largest travel fairs in the world every January. Although it is primarily targeted at industry professionals, the exhibition halls are open for two days to the public as well. That’s when the fun begins. Many destinations try to draw tourists’ attention with music and dance.

Take a look at the video recorded at Fitur fair in Madrid:

Information about destinations across the continents of the world is available and it is possible to get travel tips from representatives at the booths, but many visitors are there for the food, drinks and performances. Stands that provide free food, beer, juice, and gifts are popular. Queues can be quite long, especially, in the afternoon.

Fitur travel fair in Madrid, Czech beer

Tourist destinations in Spain gave the biggest shows in the exhibition halls. For instance, Asturias (an autonomous region in northern Spain), Andalusia, and Costa Blanca attracted crowds. Tourism is a key industry in Spain, and every region in the country wants a share of it. Three out of eight large exhibition halls were dedicated to Spanish regions and travel businesses.

Fitur travel exhibition in Madrid: women in traditional dresses

At the same time as the travel fair was entertaining visitors, Madrid’s taxi drivers were on strike. The drivers had purposely chosen to go on strike the day before the fair started. They blocked the traffic on a major road that led to the fairgrounds. Metro (underground) brought visitors to the travel fair instead of taxis. Taxi drivers opposed new competition, like Uber and Cabify that had started to operate in Madrid.

Paella for taxi drivers who were on strike outside exhibition halls
Paella for hungry taxi drivers who were on strike outside Madrid’s exhibition center.

If you are planning to visit Fitur travel fair, keep an open mind for new destinations and tourist activities. If you approach the exhibition halls with only a couple of destinations in your mind that you want research thoroughly, you may leave the show empty-handed. If you already know you are interested in
Valencia in Spain or Portugal’s South Coast, consider downloading a guidebook.

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