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The International Tourist Exhibition Ukraine was held for the eighteenth time which makes it the longest running exhibition event in Ukraine. Business talks were conducted among the exhibitors and guests who came from many countries of the world. Plans for the future were drawn, and festive fireworks were enjoyed.
The exhibition was held in one of the spacious pavilions of the International Exhibition Centre in Kyiv.
Participants and guests represented 600 companies and tourist agencies from 40 countries of the world (which is twice as many as there were last year). Naturally, all the parts of Ukraine were fully represented. In view of the fact that the world crisis has not yet been overcome, such a gathering can be regarded as a remarkable event. Some of the participants, who have been making regular appearances at this annually held exhibition, increased their presence several times over. The exhibition was dominated by the stands of leading tour operators of the neighbouring countries, but it does not mean that Ukrainian tourist companies took the backseat. In addition to the usual leaders such as Turkey and Egypt, Poland and Hungary, Thailand and Dubai, the other countries like Argentina, Mexico, India and Indonesia had extensive representations too. Palestine offered trips to see its Christian landmarks and Azerbaijan invited to come to health-improving oil health centres.
The guests and participants were welcomed by the acting head of the State Service of Tourism and Resorts Serhiy Syomin who had occupied high posts in tourist business in the past, and Valery Tsybukh, a diplomat who had been a notable figure in the tourist business too. The presence among the welcoming officials of Valentyn Zubov, deputy head of the National Security and Defence Committee of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine caused many raised brows (his welcoming address can be probably explained by the officialdom’s desire to show that Ukraine’s stance in the maters of defence is entirely pacific and is aimed at encouraging the peace-keeping potential of tourism).
There was another guest in a less official capacity whose appearance at the exhibition generated a considerable interest — it was the very real Santa Claus from Finland who was invited to appear at the Exhibition Ukraine 2011 by the Finnish centre of promoting tourism. The authenticity of the Finnish Santa Claus was beyond any doubt — and his tourism-generating potential is well-known. So many children and their parents desire to pay visits to his distant abode beyond the Arctic Circle that his appearance at a tourist exhibition was fully justified.
Santa Claus signed hundreds of invitation cards for little and grown-up admirers. He also paid a visit to the Okhmadyt hospital for children in Kyiv and to the Department for Children of the Institute of Eye Microsurgery. His charity visits were warmly appreciated.
Business talks and working out of plans are an important part of such exhibitions’ as Ukraine 2011. There were many seminars, roundtable discussions, workshops and presentations held at the Exhibition Centre conference halls.
With the winter drawing near, a particular attention was paid to the exhibition events connected with promoting mountain skiing by the Ukrainian company CITA. The Russian company Natalie Tours, which operates at the Ukrainians market offering tours to the United Arab Emirates, staged an event which also drew much attention.
The presentation of the Polish resort Warmia — Mazury was an experience that is likely to stay in memory of those who saw it thanks to such amazing things as craft that “walk” on grass between the lakes and then plunge into water.
A considerable amount of attention was given to the preparations for holding the EURO 2012 in Ukraine. New guidebooks for tourists and other materials were presented to the audiences, among them a marketing plan from the Tourism and Resorts Council.
The Green Tourism Promotion Union presented a project, Bia Peria, as “a culture road to Europe”.
The exhibition was the scene where new technologies in tour reservations, franchising, roaming connections and other high-tech advances were demonstrated and discussed.
The organizers of the Ukraine 2012 Exhibition from the Avtoexpo Company showed new information services. Two new restaurants provided excellent dishes for all tastes. The gala party devoted to the exhibition was held at the fancy club 5th Element.
The fireworks heralded the opening of the tourist exhibition.
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