Israeli Tourism Minister Israel Katz, together with the country’s ambassador to Spain, on Wednesday inaugurated the Israeli pavilion at FITUR in Madrid. The event is the world’s largest tourism fair catering to the Spanish-speaking market.
The fair opened with a ceremony in the presence of the king of Spain, Felipe VI, and tourism ministers from 33 countries.
On the sidelines of the fair, Katz is slated to meet with counterparts from other countries, as well as representatives of airlines and leading tour operators from Spain and Latin America.
“Israeli resilience is the ability to look to the future with optimism. Today, we express this optimism by broadcasting to the whole world that the State of Israel, the people of Israel and the Israeli tourism industry are strong,” said Katz.
“We are looking towards and beyond the day after, when we will once again welcome record numbers of tourists who will enjoy the very best that Israel has to offer,” he added, in reference to Israel’s war against Hamas.
Nearly 8,500 exhibitors from 130 countries will participate in FITUR this year, with more than 220,000 visitors expected to arrive, including approximately 130,000 professionals from the tourism industry.
In a press release, the Israeli Tourism Ministry said that, as part of its preparations for the post-war reality, and alongside its investment in traditional markets, it is examining and reconsidering its priorities.
The ministry said it “recognizes the unrealized potential in the Latin American market, which includes tens of millions of believers with religious motivations, who will be the first to return to Israel as tourists.”
Katz traveled to Spain alongside representatives of dozens of Israeli tourism organizations, including hotel chains, tour operators, airlines and tourist sites.
According to Jerusalem’s tourism ministry, hundreds of thousands of tourists from South America and Mexico visited the Jewish state in 2023. The average expenditure per person, not including flight tickets, is $1,950 per visit, it said.