Ukraine’s International Travel and Tourism Exhibition (UITT) confirmed its status as a must-attend trade event. Held at the end of March, 724 exhibitors promoted their destinations to over 22,000 visitors from Ukraine and its surrounding regions. The 19th edition of the show exceeded expectations, as this year, 60 destinations were represented a 20% increase from 2012.
UITT 2013 marked the first appearance of national stands from Lithuania, Maldives (MATATO) and Italy. New private companies included Marina d’Or and Mouzenidis.
Marco Bruschini, Director of ENIT Italy, stated, “We started exhibiting in the event this year. The first day was excellent we had a lot of participants on our stand. We had more than 60 journalists present during our conference, as well as tour operators. It is a very productive fair and we look forward to having more Ukrainian tourists.”
Mohamed Khaleel, President of MATATO commented on their participation, “MATATO wanted local DMC’s to have the opportunity to promote the Maldives, and we thought that it would be better to promote the region collectively. The exhibition is going very well and this morning there was a queue of visitors wanting to collect brochures and information, which is a lot of exposure for the Maldives. UITT is very effective, is well organised and an excellent forum to have good business meetings.”
Many established companies and countries returned to the show. Georgia doubled their stand at the 2013 edition and Dubai increased by 70sqm.
Mohammed Essa Al Shaikh, Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing said, “Ukrainian tourist numbers to Dubai have been increasing tremendously, in 2012 we had 70,000 tourists. For the past 7 years UITT has been doing a great job in assisting our promotion, and I hope that it will continue doing so for the years to come.”
An extensive business program took place alongside the event. 67 seminars, conferences and exhibitor presentations brought together 7,500 trade attendees. Seminars included presentations from leading tour operators Natalie Tours, Pegas and Anex-Tours, amongst others. Topics discussed included: Internet Technologies in Tourism, Launching of Tours and the Direct Flight, Sightseeing- Bus and Air Tours and Presentations of Summer Destinations.
Maria Badakh, Head of Sales, ITE Group plc, commented, “The increase in represented destinations is a testimony to UITT’s global importance and mirrors Ukraine’s increasing outbound tourism market. In 2011 almost 20 million Ukrainian’s travelled aboard and this figure continues to grow year-on-year.”
Next year, UITT will mark its 20th anniversary and is scheduled to take place March 19-22, 2014.