Over 16 years, MITT has become one of the leading travel exhibitions in the world. This year, the number of destinations at MITT increased to 157, and approximately 3,000 companies took part in the exhibition. New exhibitors included Colombia, Costa Rica, Japan, Panama, Macao, and Hainan Island. Luis Madrigal of the Costa Rica Tourist Board was very happy with his company’s first introduction to the Russian market, “This is our first time in this travel and tourism fair, and we see many opportunities in the Russian market. There has been a lot of interest in our destination”.
Many regular exhibitors increased the size of their stands, including Dubai, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, and Fiji. The event attracted an attendance of 85,741.
This year, Dubai became the official Partner Destination for MITT. In his speech at the official opening ceremony, Eyad Ali Abdul Rahman commented that, thanks to the increased exposure at MITT last year, the number of Russian and CIS tourists to Dubai has risen by 15 percent. At the end of the four-day event, his colleague Sergey Kanaev, stated: “The Dubai stand was visited by 10-15 percent more travel trade professionals than last year. Obviously, the increase in professional interest in the exhibition is determined by the changes in the market and companies’ attempts to find new ways to develop and diversify their activities. But the main thing was that the Russian tourism industry has retained its potential, which was clearly demonstrated at the spring exhibition.”
During the co-located conference, Hisham Zaazou, vice-chairman of the board of the UNWTO Affiliate Members, gave his forecast for the development of tourism around the world, noting that despite the possible decrease in tourist arrivals in 2009-2010, the total number should still be considerably higher than in 2005-2006, due to the rapid development of the industry over the last few years.
Event director, Maria Badakh, commented: “The success of this year’s exhibition and the number of interested contacts our exhibitors have seen, is a clear indication that Russian people still have a desire to travel. Our exhibitors tell us that Russia is an extremely attractive market because of the time and money that Russians tend to spend on holiday. Most of our exhibitors plan to continue or even increase their activity in the market so that when the crisis has run its course, they will gain a larger share of the market. The feedback from our exhibitors this year gives us reason to be very positive about next year’s exhibition and many have already rebooked their stands for next year’s show to ensure they don’t miss out!”