UITT, Ukraine’s largest travel event, took place on 24-26 March in the Kiev’s IEC. Attendance of the event was up 9 % compared with the 2009 event, at 17,318. According to Event Director, Maria Badakh, this year saw an above average rise in visitor numbers, “Our improved online registration service made it much easier for visitors to get a ticket to the exhibition this year. In addition, feedback from exhibitors at this year’s show indicates that more people than ever in Ukraine are travelling abroad on holiday. Our visitor figures appear to confirm this, which is excellent news for our exhibitors!”
This year, a wide range of companies from Ukraine and abroad competed for visitors’ attention. The show featured 51 destinations, including five newcomers: Abu Dhabi, Mauritius, Réunion, South Africa and Azerbaijan. On the second day of the show, Maxim Shandarov, of Aviareps, who was promoting Mauritius, commented “We have already distributed almost all the collateral we had. [On the first day], I got around 200 visit cards from different tourist agencies and I see that there are many travel agents who are interested in Mauritius, not only from Kiev but from other cities of Ukraine. We are already planning to come back next year”. Morocco also participated for the first time as the winner of UITT’s ‘wild card’ initiative.
European destinations came out in force, following the cancellation of visa requirements for European travellers staying less than 180 days. In total, 648 companies took part in UITT 2010.
The first two days of UITT 2010 were dedicated to trade only visitors, during which exhibitors met local tour operators, travel agents and other industry professionals, vital to their promotion amongst Ukraine’s travelling public. On 26 March, UITT opened to the Ukraine’s travelling public.
Every year, a number of events take place during UITT. This year, they included:
* An international conference entitled ‘Spa in Ukraine ‘10’, organised jointly with the Ukrainian Spa Association on 24 March.
* The 4th edition of the international business forum ‘Small Hotels & Apartments of Ukraine’, organised with the Association of Small Hotels & Apartments of Ukraine on 25 March.
* The 5th edition of the MICE Ukraine international conference entitled ‘Business Tourism – Ukraine’, which gave delegates an insight into the industry, its audience, trends and prospects. It also gave participants a valuable opportunity to network with their peers.
* A section of the show was dedicated to the growing market for medical tourism.
UITT 2011 will take place on 23-25 March.