20 April 2017

This year's show will include new experiential areas focusing on industrial tourism and glamping

-Travel celebrates its 25th year with 8,000 offers and prizes to boost travel sales

B-Travel, which will be held from 21 to 23 April at Fira de Barcelona's Montjuïc venue, is celebrating its 25th anniversary with more offers than ever to boost travel sales during the event. In addition to special promotions it will bring together over 200 exhibitors, with all of Spain's autonomous communities taking part along with some 40 countries and regions from all over the world, and for the first time there will also be two new spaces dedicated to industrial tourism and glamping.
With this year marking its 25th anniversary, B-Travel is strengthening its role as the main experience booking platform, with a total of 8,000 prizes and special offers such as those offered by Renfe – train journeys from Barcelona to Paris (in collaboration with SNCF) and up to 60% discount on AVE tickets to coincide with the high-speed train's 25th anniversary, Interrail routes, combined train/admission ticket packages for museums, Port Aventura, Ferrari Land, etc. – and other exhibitors such as Aeroflot or Tierras Polares who will raffle flights to Russia and Iceland. These promotions are directly available at the stands as part of the Black Friday (fleeting discounts) campaign and the B-Travel Passport treasure hunt.
B-Travel also explores the latest trends in tourism. In addition to its usual offer, grouped into different experiences – B-Happy (travel with family and friends and wellness), B-Culture (art, history and culture), B-Special (shopping, new luxury, etc.), B-Adventure (sport and adventure) and B-Delicious (food and wine routes) – this year's show will also include a new space dedicated to industrial tourism. This involves destinations promoting their historical and industrial heritage and current businesses, with visits to old factories, mines and mills, technology and research centres, and large companies that are currently operational. This type of travel is very popular in other countries like Germany, where the Ruhr Valley and the Volkswagen theme park together receive more than 12 million visitors a year.
Another new addition is the theme space given over to glamping, which combines outdoor camping with glamour, luxury and high-quality services and has gained quite a following over the last few years (there was 4% growth in the camping sector in Catalonia last year, with over 15.8 million overnight stays in 2016, according to data from the Statistical Institute of Catalonia [Idescat]). The space will feature some of Europe's most prestigious campsites, most of them located in Catalonia.
In the words of B-Travel's president, Jordi Clos, ‘after 25 years, the event continues to favour innovation and bringing the great tourism experience to visitors, with new proposals and destinations in Catalonia, Spain and all over the world.'
Local and worldwide experiences
This year, the show organised by Fira de Barcelona will bring together all of Spain's autonomous communities and some 40 regions and countries from around the world, including Italy (the Italian National Tourist Board, ENIT), Indonesia, Namibia and Jamaica as new additions, together with the traditional destinations such as France, Poland, Croatia, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, and North African and Middle East countries including Israel, Morocco and Tunisia.
Other exhibitors will include specialist travel agencies, the main cruise line companies, transport companies like Renfe and tourism product marketers such as the Spanish Post Office, which will be showcasing its new luggage service for travellers on the Pilgrim's Way to Santiago.
Coinciding with the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, some close-to-home destinations will be of special appeal as they not only have protected natural spaces but also promote sustainable sector management, such as the city of Barcelona, the Terres de l'Ebre area and the counties of Lleida.
The B-Delicious space, run jointly with Incantis, is set to delight visitors once more as the exhibition's cuisine space, with up to 100 different recipes and typical products from 30 different regions in Catalonia and the rest of Spain along with the very best of Asian cuisine, all available for sampling at prices as low as 1 euro.
Customised visits, more experiences
B-Travel is also looking to be the most inspiring space for visitors to choose their next holiday. There will be free guided tours where participants can customise their visit according to their areas of interest. The group tours last 30 minutes and are led by professional guides from the Barcelona Guide Bureau.
There are also a host of fun activities to be enjoyed on the B-Travel Experience Area stage – Arabian dance, ballet shows from the Dominican Republic, Bollywood dancing and informative talks about Interrail, among others – while experiences at the actual stands range from virtual reality trips in Catalonia (the multi-sensorial booth), Castilla-La Mancha, La Rioja and the El Soplao cave in Cantabria to dramatisations of Don Quixote and tasting of typical produce from Galicia and Navarra. And to get your strength back after all that, another new feature this year is the B-Travel Cinema, a relaxation area where travel videos are shown.
Travel on Sant Jordi's Day
B-Travel's 25 years of history date back to 1992 when the International Tourism Show in Catalonia (SITC) was first held. This exhibition was revitalised to become B-Travel in 2015, opting for a new, more customer-focused model showcasing the experiences that can be enjoyed at the different destinations, and functioning all year round online.
After a quarter of a century, this year B-Travel will coincide once again with Sant Jordi's Day (Saint George's Day), as it did 25 years ago, and a cultural session has been organised to celebrate the Book Festival and the tradition of giving away red roses. On Sunday, from 11 am to 2 pm, journalists and authors of travel books and guides such as Josep M. Palau, Carme Escales, Amèlia López, Francisco Sánchez, Pepo Paz and Francesc Ribes will present their books to visitors.
B-Travel for professionals
For professional visitors to the show, there will be conferences and talks analysing the latest sector trends such as industrial tourism, glamping and sustainable tourism, and the now customary Travel Blogger Meeting will be held, attended by more than 100 bloggers. Two business activities are also organised by Barcelona Activa: the Job Market Place, which brings together companies seeking new staff, and the Synergys networking session.
Barcelona, April 2017
Montse García Duque
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