Madrid's FITUR 2020 focusing on plastic-free trips

Event aims to reduce environmental impact

23 January, 17:23

    (ANSAmed) - NAPLES, JANUARY 23 - Some 918 official exhibitors from 165 countries that will be taking part in the 40th edition of the international tourism fair that kicked off Wednesday in Madrid. They will be presenting new tourism routes, sharing data and sector trends as well as launching the challenge of sustainable, plastic-free tourism. The fair will continue until February 26.

    From January to November 2019, there were 79.5 million visitors who spent about 87 billion euros in Spain: a 3% rise on 2018.

    Spain is one of the top world destinations for tourism, alongside France and the US. Ever more South Koreans are visiting Spain - 600,000 in 2019 - and the Asian nation is this year's guest of honor. Among the issues at the center of the discussion in the official sections of FITUR 2020 is the environmental impact of plastic in the tourism cycle, seeing as most plastic products used in the sector are not recyclable and are thrown away, contributing to global pollution. Some 80% of world tourism takes place in coastal areas, leading to plastic accumulating in the oceans and seas.

    The tourist season in the Mediterranean of the spring and summer leads to 40% more marine pollution during those seasons. On the first day of the fair, the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative was illustrated, which asks firms working in the sector to bring in concrete initiatives by 2025 to eliminate unnecessary plastic packaging, shift to reuse, and use packaging that is 100% recyclable or biodegradable. The initiative also aims to convince countries and private firms to combine efforts at the international level. Discussion also included payment using new electronic means. There are many Italian tourist stands as well as the presence of the national tourism board, ENIT.

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