MITT, one of the top five travel exhibitions in the world, welcomed a record number of trade visitors this year, beating last year’s figures by 17 percent. In total, 46,300 unique visitors came to the show, and an official attendance of 79,850 was recorded. Event director, Maria Badakh, was pleased with the turnout: “MITT has always been a well-attended event and, this year, we were delighted to see the aisles even busier than usual. Furthermore, exhibitor feedback suggests that visitors continue to be of a high quality, giving exhibitors the best possible chance to attract more Russian tourists. Needless to say, we were very happy with the result!”
This year, MITT was spread across eight pavilions in Moscow’s central exhibition center, Expocentre, covering a total area of 50,000 m². The event hosted 1,750 main-stand holders, including leading travel companies and national tourism offices, and gave visitors the opportunity to discover more about the hotels, tour operators, and other service providers from 185 destinations.
One of this year’s major attractions was the Greek stand, covering an impressive 1,600 m² and comprising approximately 75 Greek companies. As MITT’s partner destination this year, Greece was a “must see” stand. Greece’s minister of tourism attended the event and commented: “It’s wonderful to be here. MITT provides a good opportunity to exchange ideas. We have found a great interest in cultural tourism, and we seek to pursue this further both this year and in the years to come. I think the exhibition is marvelous.”
Many other destinations demonstrated the importance of the Russian market to their tourism industry by significantly increasing the size of their stands. These included China, Israel, Japan, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Costa Rica, Tunisia, and South Africa. Also, Kenya made a welcome return to the exhibition this year following a huge demand from tour operators in the region.
Other displays that captured visitors’ attention included Holland’s flower festival, Albania’s Adriatic resorts, South Africa’s football World Cup promotions, Zambia’s Victoria Falls, Vancouver’s Olympics presentations, and Réunion’s attractions. The second day of the exhibition was dedicated to the Dominican Republic and Spain.
This year’s new launch, the medical tourism sector, proved a huge success. The growth in medical tourism fueled a great deal of interest in the sector’s exhibitors, who offered therapeutic services all over the world. The co-located Medical Congress, co-organized by treatment-abroad.ru, featured presentations by 20 key representatives of the sector, who shared their experiences with delegates. There was particular interest in a session presented by Elena Harvardt, director of treatment-abroad.ru, who focused on medical treatment in CIS. According to Badakh: “We are delighted to announce that the medical sector will become a permanent feature of the show, following this year’s success. In fact, the general feeling amongst participants was that demand far outweighs supply so this is a sector that looks set to grow and grow. Next year’s congress will provide an invaluable insight into the medical tourism sector in Russia and abroad and offer advice for increasing profitability, attracting new clients, and other vital aspects associated with the sector.”
Many cultural shows and informative presentations took place during the event, capturing visitor’s imaginations and helping to educate Russia’s travel agents travel package features, and attractions in key destinations. In addition, there were conferences on “Tourism in Russia: Opportunities for Development” and “Information Technologies in Tourism: Challenges and Prospects for the Development of Electronic Limited-Issue Forms.”
MITT 2011 will take place on March 16-19. The second edition of the Medical Congress will take place on March 17-18.