NATIONAL INSTITUTION FOR THE ORGANISATION OF EXHIBITIONS, CONGRESSES AND CULTURAL EVENTS

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This year's Philoxenia and Hotelia the largest of the last five years

With 621 exhibitors, 383 hosted buyers and over 5,000 pre-arranged B2B meetings, the tourism exhibition 'duo' of Philoxenia and Hotelia will begin dynamically on 18 November at Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre.

More specifically, the 32nd Philoxenia will host 403 exhibitors (as compared to 351 last year) from 16 countries, as well as 217 hosted buyers from 34 countries, of whom 117 are participating individually and the remaining 100 through group delegations. Hotelia will host 218 exhibitors (as compared to 157 last year) from 24 countries (both directly and indirectly), as well as 166 hosted buyers, of whom 66 come from 10 different countries and Greece and the remaining 100 through group delegations. The two exhibitions, which will last until 20 November, will be inaugurated this Friday at 20:00 at 'I. Vellidis' Congress Centre by the Minister of Tourism, Ms Elena Kountoura.

During today's Press Conference, the President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tassos Tzikas, expressed the view that the 32nd Philoxenia will be the best of the last five years, stressing that the goal of turning the event into a truly international exhibition is very close to reality. He also spoke about the increased figures of Philoxenia and Hotelia, both at the level of exhibitor and hosted buyer numbers and at the level of exhibition space, as two additional pavilions have been added for each exhibition, and underlined the company's new tourism endeavour in Athens named 'Greek Travel Show'. He underlined the fact that from today and until next September, the trade exhibitions of the national exhibition agency

will be broadcasting a single message: the participation of China in the 82nd TIF as the Guest of Honour.

In turn, the Deputy Minister of Interior (Macedonia-Thrace), Ms Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha stressed that, with Thessaloniki at its centre, Northern Greece is a historical crossroads of culture, history, religion and art, a crossroads that boasts exceptional year-round tourism destinations. She added that we must invest in these qualities and expressed the view that this year's Philoxenia is an excellent opportunity for establishing this new mindset, which will allow us to conquer and keep a leading role in the field of international tourism.

The presence of all tourism regions of Greece - with all 13 of the country's Regions - at Philoxenia was underlined by the CEO of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, who made particular reference to the 4,230 B2B meetings scheduled for this event, as well as the 880 scheduled for Hotelia. He also added that, in 2016 to date, Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre has remained in operation for 275 days.

Ms Voula Patoulidou, Deputy Regional Governor of Thessaloniki and President of the Tourism Promotion and Marketing Agency of Thessaloniki, stressed the contribution of the Agency to the tourism efforts of the national exhibition agency. More specifically, she noted that the Agency has undertaken to take the 120 hosted buyers who will be visiting the city on a tour. She added that the dynamism of Thessalonians is clear and we must do everything in our power to communicate the city's qualities.

"TIF-Helexpo has paved an illustrious path and we are pleased to be on it, accompanied by all the other agencies", stated the Deputy Mayor for Tourism and International Relations of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Mr Spyros Pegas. He stressed that the national exhibition agency is dynamically contributing to the city's extroversion, noting that Thessaloniki has made exceptional progress in terms of tourism, with its recognisability having reached a high level.

In turn, the Deputy General Director of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, stated that Philoxenia is growing this year, following certain difficulties in the past, and will grow even further, acquiring a more international character. In fact, he stressed that part of the country's tourism policy is now being made at Philoxenia.

The schedule of parallel events of the exhibition 'duo' includes:

  • The International Tourism Conference '{Re}Branding Destinations: Image making', to be held on 18 November (at E. Riadis Hall), focusing on the methods and means that must be used in order for the tourism destination to grow in accordance with the dictates of the market. Top speakers from Greece and abroad and competent officials will answer important questions that concern the upgrading of the tourism image. The completion of the conference on Friday afternoon will be followed by a workshop titled 'Destination Thessaloniki 2020', where working groups will express their vision regarding the new identity of Thessaloniki in 2020 (city branding). The sponsors of the Philoxenia conference are Mouzenidis Travel & Ellinair Group (accommodation), ΑCT-American College of Thessaloniki (coffee break), Domotel (catering) and the Transfer for All company (transports).
  • 'D POINT Spaces' at Hotelia include the Green zero hotel (designed by Makridis Associates Architects), the first modular hotel that reflects all the modern practices that lead to a 'greener' way of living, the 'Future Boutique' (by the MINAS KOSMIDIS - Architecture in Concept firm) for accommodation of high luxury aesthetics and boutique hotels, and the 'Rent A Design Room' (designed by Nomen Architects), that does away with the myth that the renovation of rented rooms lacks aesthetics and design.
  • The 'Grow Greek Tourism Online' seminar, an initiative by Google, in cooperation with the Ministry of Tourism, the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT) and the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE).
  • 'THE ART OF DRINKING' Coffee & Spirit at Hotelia is an original and innovative section dedicated to the art of preparing coffee, cocktails and beverages.
  • The colloquium titled: ‘Outgoing Tourism from China: (almost) everything you’d like to know’.
  • The Hotelia Conferences on topics such as ecotourism and ecological building applications, concierge - holding the golden key to successful services in the hotel industry, ranking of tourism lodgings in stars & keys, etc.
  • The 'Study in Thessaloniki' initiative at Pavilion 13.

Philoxenia and Ηotelia are being held under the auspices of the Ministry of Tourism, the Ministry of Interior (Macedonia-Thrace), the Greek National Tourism Organisation (EOT), as well as all the major tourism agencies of the country, such as the Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE), the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE), the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA) and the Hellenic Hotel Federation (POX). The official air carrier of Philoxenia is Qatar Airways.

Free parking through the Trade Gate will be available for visitors to the two exhibitions.