Every January travel industry professionals gather in Madrid, Spain, to get the latest information on travel and to make deals and collaboration arrangements. It is a big trade show with eight large halls filled with sales booths of tourist destinations and travel related businesses. The fair is open for public only for two days (five days for professionals), but those two days are filled with music and dance.
Take a look at the video below:
Sure, it is possible to find valuable information and get travel tips from representatives at the booths, but as far as residents of Madrid who visit the fair are concerned, the best things are freebies and shows.
Stands that provide free food, beer, juice, and gifts are popular. As the morning turns into afternoon, queues at these booths grow longer by the minute.
The biggest shows were given by destinations, like Asturias (an autonomous region in northern Spain), Andalucia, and Costa Blanca, not by businesses. Tourism is a key industry in Spain, and every region wants its share of the revenue travel generates. Three out of eight large exhibition halls were dedicated to Spain.
Meanwhile, outside the busy fairgrounds, Madrid’s taxi drivers were on strike. The drivers had purposely chosen the first day of the strike to take place 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. People didn’t seem to be bothered with taxi drivers’ loud demonstrations that went on for 24 hours a day. Taxi drivers opposed new competition, like Uber and Cabify.
Fitur fair is primarily a meeting place for travel professionals who arrive in Madrid from every region of the world. Two days of song and dance at the fairgrounds is plenty of fun everyone who is looking for ideas where to travel next, like Valencia in Spain or Portugal’s South Coast.
The BBC Travel Show host Ade Adepitan visited Finnish Lapland in winter in order to discover how the indigenous Sami people live and how tourism actually helps them to keep their old culture alive. The host spent his time in Inari region which is the central place for Sami in Finland.
The Travel Show episode 163 (Finland Special) shows how reindeer get their food in winter, how people fish when the large Lake Inari is on ice and how it is possible to move around in wilderness even in winter.
The whole show is good fun, but especially the segment where the host Adepitan rides a snowmobile for the first time is priceless. Just look at his face and reaction when he turns the gas throttle. BBC doesn’t allow watching the Travel Show outside the UK, but here is a link for those whose computer or smart device has a British Internet address.
The Lapland episode of the BBC Travel Show only shows the Inari landscape in winter. Here are a couple of photos from my Lapland travel guidebook that show the sceneries in summer. Thousands of road travelers, fishermen, hikers, cyclists, all types of outdoor lovers like to travel around the region in summer. Skiers are the biggest group of travelers in winter.
Lake Inari, Finnish Lapland: fishing at night.
Next time when the Travel Show visits Inari, I would like to recommend them the Siida Sami Museum. It is the best place in Lapland to get comprehensive information on Sami people, their history, culture, way of life, and current means of living.
Tips for traveling in Lapland
A journey to Lapland can be an experience of a lifetime, but independent travelers should plan their trip because the distances can be long and services are only available in towns and in some villages. The guidebook (Lapland – North of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia) helps in all aspects of planning and exploring this exotic wilderness region.
Here are some bookstores where the Lapland travel guidebook is available:
Barnes & Noble Nook Books
Google Play Books