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TIF-Helexpo is taking the first step towards establishing the 'twin' exhibitions Philoxenia and Hotelia as the most important event of the tourism industry in South-East Europe by holding this year's events from 13 to 16 November.

As stressed during today's Press Conference at Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, the national exhibition agency aspires for the regional international tourism market to be represented at this pair of exhibitions, so that foreign hosted buyers can 'buy' into Greece, faced with the entirety of the domestic tourism product, on the one hand, and to be able to discover the tourism panorama of the Balkans, on the other.


The President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tassos Tzikas, stressed the representation of nearly all of Greece at the 30th Philoxenia, referring to the return of the Regions of Attica and Crete to the event after numerous years. The CEO of the company, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, characterised Philoxenia as the oldest tourism exhibition in the country and the only of its kind, which is currently experiencing a rejuvenation.

In turn, the deputy general director of the national exhibition agency, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, stressed the successful effort to completely overhaul Philoxenia and underlined the tremendous prospects of Hotelia, focusing on the sector of hotel equipment.

The authorised consultant on tourism and international relations of the municipality, Mr Spyros Pengas, formulated the proposal of the Municipality of Thessaloniki for the organisation of a tourism investment forum by TIF-Helexpo and spoke of a leap in quality at Philoxenia. 

The 30th Philoxenia has attracted select hosted buyers from Bulgaria, Canada, Costa Rica, France, Germany, India, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Slovenia, Turkey, the Netherlands, Ukraine, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, South Africa and the United States.

Over 100 international hosted buyers will attend this year's event as representatives of major tour operators and tourism agencies and will participated in over 1,000 scheduled appointments with exhibitors. Major international markets will also be participating in this year's event, such as Russia, Turkey, Bulgaria, FYROM, Egypt, Austria, Moldova, Tunisia and Indonesia.

In total, the exhibitors at this year's Philoxenia and Hotelia number 200, as compared to 152 last year. The majority of the domestic tourism 'map' is being represented at this year's 'twin' tourism exhibitions of TIF-Helexpo, as evidenced by the 4,600 square meters of exhibition area covered this year, compared to 3,100 last year.

As regards Hotelia, this year's creative innovation will be DPOINT HOTEL VILLAGE at Pavilion 12, which is a model village where furniture and decoration products as well as hotel equipment will be on exhibit.

The 'square' of this village will host the Hotel Design Project, where Andreas Varotsos (industrial designer), Sotiris Lazou (industrial designer), Aspassia Taka (architect), Manolis Metridis (architectural engineer), Yiorgis Pittarokilis (mechanical engineer, industrial designer) and Yiannis Yeorgaras (industrial designer) will present their proposals for model hotel rooms.

This year, there will be a rich schedule of parallel events, the most prestigious of which is 'Destination Thessaloniki', a conference aiming at highlighting the infrastructure and prospects of the city of Thessaloniki as a destination for international congresses, exhibitions and events of a scientific and cultural nature.

The two events will be inaugurated by the Minister of Tourism, Ms Olga Kefaloyianni, on Thursday, 13 November, at 20.00 in 'Emilios Riadis' Hall. Philoxeia and Hotelia are being held under the auspices of the Greek National Tourism Organisation, the Ministry of Macedonia-Thrace and all the major tourism agencies of the country, such as the Association of Greek Tourism Enterprises (SETE), the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels (XEE), the Hellenic Association of Travel and Tourist Agencies (HATTA), the Hellenic Federation of Hoteliers (POX) and the Macedonia-Thrace Travel Agents' Association.

Artion Conferences & Events is the associate in the field of hosted buyers, Skyserv is the sponsor and the National Bank of Greece is the official bank.

The working hours of the two exhibitions is as follows: Thursday and Friday from 11.00 to 20.00 and only for commercial visitors, on Saturday from 11.00 to 20.00 for commercial visitors and the public, and on Sunday from 11.00 to 18.00 also for commercial visitors and the public.