MITT, the 17th Moscow International Travel & Tourism exhibition, opens on 17th March in Expocentre, in the heart of Moscow. MITT is Russia’s number one exhibition for the travel industry and one of the top five travel exhibitions in the world. It comes as Russia has been confirmed as one of the top ten countries for big-spending tourists – currently, Russian tourists spend $25 billion on their holidays each year.
Every year, MITT showcases over 150 countries and regions and features approximately 3,000 companies. This year’s partner destination is Greece. According to the Greek National Tourism Organisation, “The partnership will complement Greece’s promotional activities in one of its key priority outbound markets. Russia contributes almost 260,000 tourists to Greece every year and continues to produce healthy growth figures. Statistics demonstrate that Russian tourists prefer luxury accommodation, especially during the summer season, and that they also travel to Greece on business.” Approximately 75 Greek companies will be represented at the show, on a stand of 1,600 m².
Many destinations are demonstrating the importance of the Russian market to their tourism industry by significantly increasing the size of their stands. These include China, Israel, Japan, Ethiopia, Seychelles, Costa Rica, Tunisia and South Africa. Dubai, MITT’s partner destination in 2009, continues to have a major presence at the exhibition, with a stand of 350 m². Also, Kenya makes a welcome return to the exhibition this year following huge demand from tour operators in the region.
Other displays that are bound to capture visitors’ attention include Holland’s flower festival, Albania’s Adriatic resorts, South Africa’s football World Cup promotions, Zambia’s Victoria Falls and Reunion’s attractions. The second day of the exhibition will be dedicated to the Dominican Republic and Spain.
This year, for the first time, a section of the event will be dedicated to medical tourism, a rapidly growing sector of the Russian travel industry. Exhibitors include: Medical Center Rogaska (Slovenia), Center Of Beijing Tibet Hospital (China), Medical Center Chaim Sheba (Israel), Jordan Private Hospital Association (Jordan), Vilnius Heart Surgery Centre (Lithuania), Medical Travel GmbH, University Medical Centre Freiburg, DeutschMedic GmbH, Medcurator Ltd., Medclassic (Germany), Genolier Swiss Medical Network (Switzerland), Premiamed Management GmbH (Austria), and Lissod Modern Cancer Care Hospital (Ukraine).
The medical tourism sector will be complemented by the first Medical Tourism Congress, co-organised by treatment-abroad.ru, which takes place on the second day of the exhibition. Influential and knowledgeable speakers at the Congress will discuss the outlook and trends in the health services sector. Speakers include representatives of clinics from Germany, Israel, Spain, Switzerland and Turkey.
On 17 March, a conference on ‘Tourism in Russia: Opportunities for Development’ will take place. Speakers include: Marina Drutman, Deputy Minister of Industry, and representatives of the UNWTO, Strategy Partners, Bauman Innovation, Administration of Veliky Novgorod, Concretica, Tralliance Corporation and Ugra Service Holding.
Another conference, entitled, ‘Information Technologies in Tourism: Challenges and Prospects for the Development of Electronic Limited-Issue Forms’ will take place on 18 March. Leading experts from Amadeus, Info-port, Nota Bena, PPP UDP, Bronni.ru, Megatech, SAMO-Soft, etc. will share their experiences in this dynamic sector.
MITT traditionally welcomes over 80,000 visitors. Event Director, Maria Badakh, comments “Despite the crisis, Russians have not stopped travelling and interest in attracting larger numbers of these lucrative travellers has not diminished. MITT has a very high proportion of regular exhibitors, but this year, we are pleased to introduce a number of new companies, such as Riu Hotels & Resorts, and destinations, including Netherlands, Albania, Réunion and Zambia. This year’s partner country, Greece, is organising a number of events that are bound to inspire our visitors.”