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UITT exhibition as a tourist update system
The annually held UITT Ukraine — Travel & Tourism exhibitions reflect the state of tourism and tourist potential of Ukraine. Last year 750 tourist companies from 40 countries of the world took part in the UITT exhibition which occupied 8,500 square meters of floor space; the number of visitors exceeded 25,000 people.
This year, the UITT exhibition will be held in Kyiv March 29 through April 1. The organizers are the British Company ITE Group Plc. and the Ukrainian Company Premier Expo.
Pavlo Kyshko, Premier Expo deputy director, was interviewed by Yevhen BUDKO, senior editor of Mizhnarodny Turyzm Magazine.
Mr Kyshko, last year the UITT exhibition was held at the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv, filling almost to capacity one of the pavilions of the Centre. Will the venue of this year’s exhibition be the same? And will there be enough space for it?
Yes, the venue is the same. The Centre has enough space to mount any exhibition, and this time ours will fill one of the pavilions to its full capacity of 10,000 square meters of floor space. A new building has been recently built at the Centre, and still another one will be completed by the end of summer. So there’s enough space to expand into.
Does the fact that new floor space is being added to the existing one at the Centre mean that the number and size of exhibitions held there increases?
Absolutely. Both international and Ukrainian exhibitions are on the increase both in their number and size. UITT exhibitions are among the leaders in the sphere of tourist exhibitions. This year it will be Turkey that will play the first fiddle. Some of the Turkish companies that already took part in our exhibitions in the past have purchased more floor space than before, plus there are quite a few new companies that have signed up. Many Ukrainian tourist companies will advertise tours to Turkey on their stands too.
Polish companies want twice as much floor space for their stands as before. Greek, Slovak, Austrian, Bulgarian and Israeli companies also want more floor space. As of today, we have companies from about 40 countries which have already signed up for the participation in the exhibition. Argentina and San Marino will have their separate stands for the first time.
Four new tourist periodicals will be presented at the exhibition.
What about Ukrainian companies?
You see, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism is still in the process of establishing its priorities and so far there’s not too much money they are prepared to spend on developing tourism. But some companies have requested more floor space, particularly those from the Crimea thanks to help provided by the Crimean Ministry of Resorts and Tourism.
New companies, new tourist routes and itineraries, new forms of tourism — there will be a lot of new things presented at the exhibition.
Are the organizers offering anything new too?
The Ukrainian company Premier Expo, one of the organizers, held a business and corporate workshop, MICE Ukraine, the first of its kind in Ukraine, in Kyiv last September. The workshop showed that this segment of the tourist market has excellent prospects in this country. On March 31, we’ll hold an international conference, MICE: Prospects of Development and Problems. We hope that the conference will help Ukrainian tour operators learn more about MICE. This abbreviation stands for Meetings, Incentives, Congress and Exhibitions. Leading tourist experts from several western countries, from Ukraine and from Russia will deliver their reports at the conference. Incidentally, an association of business tourism has been recently set up in Russia.
We will also hold a food fest — Festival of National Cuisines and Wines. Tourism involves not only sightseeing, sunbathing and other forms of relaxation but also enjoyment of food. At the Festival, dishes of many national cuisines will be offered to the accompaniment of traditional ethnic music and ethnic shows. The food will be provided by foreign tourist companies, hotels and restaurants of Kyiv.
We shall hold a workshop dedicated to educational tourism on the last day of the exhibition, on April 1. Usually, the last day of such exhibitions is the least active and we want to revert this trend and make the last day as exciting and active as the rest of them.
Can you say a few words about the general arrangement of the exhibition?
At the ground floor there will be restaurants and cafes providing meals and refreshments; there will be several conference halls elsewhere for all sorts of occasions. The parking lots will be increased in size; new equipment, courtesy of the ITE Group Plc. will be installed. Registration can be done on line at www.uitt-kiev.com
UITT remains to be the best opportunity for Ukrainian tour operators to promote their business. The time when UITT exhibitions are held is very convenient for the tourist business — a lot of propositions for late spring and summer holidays can be advertised, and Ukrainians will be able to start buying tours shortly after the exhibition closes down. In fact, one can say that UITT opens the tourist season in Ukraine. It’s an excellent opportunity to renew the old contacts, to establish new ones, to get new information, to see the new tendencies, to learn what’s new in the tourist business. In a way, UITT is a sort of a tourist update system.
Will any other exhibitions be held at the same time at the Exhibition Centre?
Yes, there will be. Simultaneously hotel, restaurant, sports and yacht exhibitions will be held at the Centre. The Hotel and Restaurant Business exhibition and the Sports and Vacations exhibition will be held in the pavilion next door to ours. The Boats and Yachts exhibition will be held both in the open air and in the pavilion.
From the point of view of an expert in tourism, do you see any new tendencies in the development of tourism?
There’s one steady trend in the development of tourism in this country which is in line with the general economic development of Ukraine’s economy, and it is an upward trend which finds its reflection in many aspects of Ukrainian life.
Photos have been provided
by the International Exhibition Centre