Festuris Gramado, the biggest tourism business event in the Americas, was born more than three decades ago with the mission of connecting brands, destinations and people to contribute to the development of tourism. With its internationalization, Brazil's most beloved B2B event is also the most effective in terms of results.
In 2022, in the largest edition ever held, 40 international destinations sought out the event to promote themselves in Brazil. Every year, Festuris launches trends, bringing the best of Brazilian and international tourism to the showcase, thus generating excellent business for the trade.
For 2023, we are continuing to invest heavily in segmented spaces aimed at specific tourism niches. Qualified networking, differentiated content and much more will be available at Festuris Year 35 - "Human Capital - Key to Transformation".
The event is today the most respected trade fair for tourism, content generation and networking in Latin America.
Silvia Zorzanello and Marta Rossi, two professionals from the hotel industry in Gramado, spotted that although the Serra Gaúcha was a prime destination for its natural beauty, business tourism also had great potential to grow and generate foreign exchange for Gramado. They held a tourism fair to bring together travel agents and operators, stimulating the still incipient tourism market in Rio Grande do Sul, strengthening the trade and encouraging actions that would draw attention away from the center of the country to the Serra Gaúcha. The Gramado Tourism Festival was born, and took place from October 11 to 15. The venue chosen was the sports pavilion next to Gramado Town Hall. The figures for the first edition were: 2,500 participants; 1,200 m2 of floor space; 4 international destinations; 160 brands exhibiting.
In its fifth edition, the Gramado Tourism Festival was already showing that it was growing in scope in Brazil and abroad. This year's highlight was the 1st Southern Cone Tourism Fair, aimed at integrating neighboring countries. As a testament to the importance of the event, the presence of government bodies and trade associations was already significant, as was the coverage by the national press specializing in tourism. As part of the Festival's parallel program, the Football Tournament, which has been held since the first edition, began to take hold, bringing together the trade's sportsmen and women. It was a strategy created by RS travel agents to mobilize professionals from all over the country for the event. On this occasion, the teams were the Gaucho National Team against the Rest of the World.
The tenth edition of the Festival would mark the first major change in the location of the trade fair, as the Gramado City Hall pavilion could no longer accommodate the expansion in the number of exhibitors. The venue chosen was the recently opened Canela Trade Fair Center, at the entrance to the neighboring town, with an area of 3,500m2. The number of visitors already exceeded 5,000 - all of them linked to the tourist trade, confirming the correctness of the organizers' decision, from the outset, to only allow access to professionals in the area.
Once again, the trade fair changed location: this year it returned to Gramado, in a venue with 7,500m2 of floor space, twice as large as the previous year: the ExpoGramado Events Center, with parking for more than 400 vehicles. The Congress, traditionally held on Friday and Saturday mornings, this year took place on the premises of the Serra Azul Hotel. Also making their debut this year were the Rio Grande do Sul Tourism Exhibition and the Ugart Business Exhibition (União Gaúcha de Representantes Turísticos).
In a year that would mark the world, the attack on the Twin Towers in New York put the 13th edition of the Gramado Tourism Festival "in the eye of the hurricane". Undeterred by the apprehension in all sectors, the Festival gave a new demonstration of strength by moving the Business Fair to the imposing Serra Park Centro de Feiras e Eventos, initially occupying 9,000m2 of the pavilions. With more than 30 international destinations and 1,100 brands exhibiting at the Fair, the presence of countries from Asia and Africa showed that these continents were also represented in Gramado. The theme of the Congress was particularly interesting: "The era of space tourism and the tourism business of the future begins", and an American company that promotes manned flights into space presented its services. An example of the futuristic thinking that the fair has displayed since its first edition.
In its emblematic 15th anniversary edition, the Gramado Tourism Festival was a pioneer in the sector in segmenting fairs by market niche. The measure was in line with the Federal Government's proposal at the time. The Ecotourism and Adventure Tourism Fair was to be held for the first time. As a result, professionals in this area of the sector could go directly to the segment they were interested in, optimizing their visit time to do business. Figures for the growth of the event: 1,700 brands exhibited, visitors reached 10,000 professionals.
After two decades, the Tourism Festival had definitely become part of the circuit of major Latin American tourism business events, a fact proven by the presence of the largest national operators and several from abroad. The number of brands exhibiting reached 1,900 and the number of visitors exceeded 11,000. A success since their launch in 2006, the Sebrae Business Rounds were once again a success. The Salão de Turismo Cultural was born. Specialized press coverage, including journalists from abroad (an important caravan from Portugal came in 2005), was significant, with more than 200 professionals coming. In the lobby of Serra Park, the Gallery of Honorees with the Friends of the Festival trophy was exhibited for the first time. The presence of authorities at the Festival also attested to its importance, with the governors of Rio Grande do Sul, tourism ministers and state and federal deputies already attending the event.
The Festival do Turismo continues its growth trajectory, now absorbing the blow of the loss of one of its creators, Silvia Zorzanello, who died on July 17, 2010. Eduardo, Silvia's son, and Marcus Vinicius, Marta Rossi's son, have joined the company. The figures for the 22nd edition were: 2,200 brands on display; 13,000 professional visitors; 17,000 m2 of floor space; 250 accredited journalists. Destinations in the Spotlight is the name of another segmented area, inaugurated in 2010, occupying another pavilion at Serra Park.
The Gramado Tourism Festival simplified its name to FESTURIS, making it easier to identify the event to the international market, which had difficulty with the old nomenclature.
The Festival is celebrating 25 years of constant and planned growth. With more than 2,500 brands exhibiting at 400 stands, the Fair introduced a new segment: the Sustainability and Green Tourism Exhibition. The international repercussions of the event can also be seen in the increase in the International Area: there are now more than 40 destinations from across borders.
The Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions sector, better known by the acronym MICE, will now receive greater attention and a special Show at the Tourism Festival, in partnership with the Brazilian Association of Event Companies - ABEOC, due to its great importance. The 26th edition will also launch the Parks and Entertainment Hall and the Buyers Club, a new tool to boost business flow, bringing together trade professionals and exhibitors, who will now be able to schedule meetings inside the fair in advance. The training and workshop rooms on the fairgrounds are increasingly popular with visitors.
Maintaining its success, FESTURIS launched the Luxury Space to promote meetings between companies and buyers from this niche, which caters to a differentiated public, immune to economic crises. Proud to receive the seal of the Most Accessible Fair in the Country, the event's organizers promoted the arrival of more than 200 Hosted Buyers from various countries. This 28th edition also saw the start of the FESTURIS Ambassador project, a partnership with tourism promoters from Rio Grande do Sul to help publicize the event among trade professionals.
Thirty years of the trade fair that generates the most effective results for the Brazilian tourism trade. Three decades of growth that have put FESTURIS on the same level as the world's major trade fairs for the sector. There were many new features, starting with the Congress: from the beginning it was held in different locations in Gramado, such as the Serra Azul Hotel, the Municipal Culture Center, the Wish Serrano Resort and the Palácio dos Festivais, but in 2018 it became the Meeting Festuris, in a more modern format, at the Gramado Master Hotel and aimed at 500 professionals. The Luxury Space was expanded once again and content areas were created in the LGBT Space and the Tech & Corporate Space. The Boutique and Culture and Customs Travel Spaces were created. The numbers: the Fair occupied an area of 24,000 m2; exhibited 2,500 brands; welcomed 15,000 participants and repeated the mark of 65 international destinations. It generated R$300 million in business. 450 journalists and influencers attended and 250 talks and workshops were held.
A new cycle of FESTURIS begins, betting even more on the trends presented by the tourism market. Among the new features are the launch of the Wedding Space, a segment specializing in weddings and honeymoons, and the Thermalism and Well-being Space, taking note of people's growing concern about issues related to health and the benefits of thermal waters. To launch a new segment, the fair always follows the most latent characteristics of tourism in the south of the country. Gramado has established itself as the third main destination for weddings, which contributed to the creation of Wedding. Thermalism, meanwhile, has stood out for years in Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina. This year will also see the launch of the new FESTURIS APP, optimizing participants' time and boosting business generation. In response to requests from professionals at the last edition, the fair will open an hour earlier and will feature a pocket version of the Gramado Gastronomy Festival. Investing in content since its first editions, Meeting FESTURIS presents a new layout and lectures with leading names from the tourism market.
Breaking paradigms and once again being a pioneer, in 2020 the first face-to-face trade fair in Latin America was held during the pandemic and had 5,000 participants. Festuris served as a benchmark for other fairs in the state that used the contingency plan developed by Rossi & Zorzanello and approved by the state government of Rio Grande do Sul.
In 2022, the largest edition ever held, 40 international destinations sought out the event to promote themselves. In addition, 2,700 brands were on display and attracted 12,500 participants in a built-up area of 24,000 square meters. Every year, Festuris launches trends, bringing the best of Brazilian and international tourism to the showcase. The novelty was the Food & Drinks Experience, which brought together flavors and aromas in the Hortênsia pavilion, in an area of 2,000 square meters. The edition also saw the return of the Wedding space and the expansion of the Luxury space.