Queen Letizia of Spain presided over the opening of International Tourism Fair FITUR 2016 in Madrid on 20 January. The annual fair, currently in its 36th edition, is a worldwide congregation of tourism professionals.
The travel business fair saw Queen Letizia appropriately dressed for the occasion. She wore a formal Hugo Boss navy pant suit and white blouse which she paired with her navy leather Magrit pumps. The 43-year-old Letizia completed her business getup with freshwater pearl drop earrings.
Over 9,500 companies from 165 countries and regions are taking part in the five-day event, which will run until 24 January in the Spanish capital. The fair is expected to receive more than 220,000 visitors.
The tourism event, which the organisers say is growing every year in terms of number of participants and attendees, follows a recent revelation by United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) that international tourist arrivals grew by 4.4% in 2015 reaching a total of 1.184 billion.
According to UNWTO, international arrivals have shown above-average growth of 4% every year since the post-crisis year of 2010. About 50 million more tourists travelled to international destinations around the world last year as compared to 2014, it said.
"International tourism reached new heights in 2015. The robust performance of the sector is contributing to economic growth and job creation in many parts of the world. It is thus critical for countries to promote policies that foster the continued growth of tourism, including travel facilitation, human resources development and sustainability" UNWTO secretary general Taleb Rifai said in a statement.
This has sadly not been the case in a few conflict-ridden nations like Turkey which has been affected by the nearby Syrian conflict. According to latest data provided by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of foreign tourists arriving in Turkey between January and November 2015 decreased by 1.36% compared to the same period of the previous year.
In North Africa arrivals declined by 8% and in Sub-Saharan Africa by 1%, UNWTO said, though it added that there were limited data for these regions.