19 July 2017

The Spanish trade fair is consolidating its growth by bringing together the main market leaders

Hostelco 2018 is growing with the sector and is committed to innovation

Hostelco continues to grow thanks to its commitment to innovation and internationalisation, while also reflecting the positive progress of a sector that is consolidating its recovery thanks to the rise in domestic demand and tourism. At its next edition it expects to host the biggest-ever offering from the leading companies in the sector from 25 countries in almost 20,000 square metres of exhibition space, representing an increase of 20% over the area of the previous event in October 2016. 
Organised by Fira de Barcelona and the Spanish Federation of Associations of Equipment Manufacturers for the Hospitality and Related Industries (FELAC), the next edition of Hostelco will take place on 16-19 April 2018 at Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via exhibition centre, coinciding for the first time with the International Food and Drinks Exhibition, Alimentaria. 
Thanks to the synergies generated by this new alliance, the show will be presenting the entire HoReCa and Food Service value chain as well as the latest products, technologies and innovative solutions in the areas of equipment and machinery for the hospitality industry; kitchenware, tableware, utensils and packaging; technology, entertainment and software; Coffee Zone; textiles, clothing and uniforms; interior design, decoration, lighting and furniture; cleaning and laundry services; vending; spa, wellness and complementary services; bakery and pizza equipment and utensils; and ice creams and patisserie. 
The president of both the show's Organising Committee and FELAC, Rafael Olmos, sees this edition as a ‘strategic' one at a time when the recovery of the sector, which started back in 2014, is being consolidated. ‘We're putting a focus on innovation and we're committed to growing the domestic market and fostering mature foreign markets, such as Europe, and emerging markets, such as North Africa. We're working to ensure that Hostelco is a driver of opportunities and knowledge from which exhibitors and visitors can take advantage in an edition which, by being held at the same time as Alimentaria, will bring together the whole gamut of food and machinery in a unique platform.' 
The Spanish market leaders have already confirmed their attendance of the show, which will occupy Hall 8 and share Halls 6 and 7 of Fira de Barcelona's Gran Via exhibition centre with Alimentaria's Restaurama show, occupying some 20,000 square metres which is 20% more than the 2016 event. 
Innovation and knowledge 
Hostelco also represents an important barometer for identifying opportunities and trends, as well as for sharing experiences and information and gaining an appreciation of the innovation driving the sector. Consequently, at the forthcoming edition it is enlarging the demonstration areas where visitors can see the products and services displayed by exhibitors in action. As explained by the show's director, Arantxa Segurado: ‘We are strengthening and enlarging the content of the areas and activities with the aim of providing added value, extending the influence of products outside their stands and putting a special emphasis on promoting professional networking and synergies between the worlds of food and gastronomy.' 
In this respect, a highlight will be ‘The Hostelco Experience – Live Gastronomy', an area featuring demonstrations, showcooking and conferences – some of which will focus on the worlds of patisserie, ice creams and bakery – given by some of the top Spanish and international chefs. The show will also host the final of the XII National Barista Championship, an annual event organised in collaboration with the Coffee Forum which recognises the skills shown by the contestants in making coffees and other coffee-based drinks. 
‘The Hostelco Experience' will also be the setting for ‘Live Hotel', a space created by interior designers who specialise in hotels that will recreate the reception area and four bedrooms of a state-of-the-art hotel, including all the decorative trends and technologies in this new concept of hospitality. 
In addition, an upgraded Hostelco Awards will be the centre of attention for companies, trade professionals and influencers during a gala evening at which the best manufacturers, distributors, planners, architects and interior designers of hospitality establishments will be presented with their awards by the jury.
Equipment for the hospitality industry, recovering
According to the latest financial study conducted by FELAC, in relation to 2015, the estimated overall turnover of the 130 Spanish manufacturers in this association exceeded 1,424 million euros, 11% more than in 2014. ‘The provisional figures we have for 2016 are positive, and for 2017 and 2018 the economic indicators point to this growth being maintained,' says Olmos. 
Indeed, the hospitality and mass catering market had a satisfactory year in 2016 according to the report from the DBK Observatory in February: restaurants, hotels and catering companies posted positive results for the second year running thanks to a good economic situation, growth in family expenditure and a dynamic tourism sector. The hotel sector recorded the highest growth (+11.5% at the close of 2016) as a result of an increase in the numbers of both Spanish and foreign tourists. Meanwhile, restaurants generated revenue of some 21,800 million euros, 4% higher than the previous year, and catering companies billed around 3,400 million euros, an increase of 3.7%.
In addition to the recovery of the domestic market, growth in the sector is also due to exports of equipment, which continue to rise and now account for almost 50% of the sales of this Spanish industry. ‘Europe is our main export market, and the Americas, the Middle East and North Africa are also important destinations,' explains the president of FELAC and Hostelco.
Barcelona, 18 July 2017
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Mª Gloria Dilluvio
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