235 exhibitors from 12 countries, Epidaurus as the Honoured Municipality, 70 hosted buyers from 27 countries, and 2500 scheduled meetings
A message of optimism for Greek tourism amidst the pandemic is being sent by the Philoxenia-Hotelia exhibition duo, which is being organised from 12 to 14 November at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre, after a year of absence, with complete respect of health protocols.
There will be a total of 235 exhibitors at Philoxenia and Hotelia representing 12 countries, more specifically, Greece, Poland, Cyprus, Armenia, Portuga, Vietnam, India, Azerbaijan, Luxembourg, Jordan, Iraq, and the United Kingdom. The domestic tourism industry will also be present, while Epidaurus will be the Honoured Municipality of Philoxenia.
The exhibitors include the Ministry of Tourism, EOT (which has both exhibitions under its auspices), tourism startups via the ‘Capsule T’ Accelerator of the Hellenic Chamber of Hotels, hotels, construction, technology, furniture, equipment, and renovation enterprises addressed to the tourism sector, the most important institutional bodies of the sector — XEE, SETE, HATTA, POX (which have placed the fair under their auspices) — and Greek tourism destinations (Municipalities and Regions).
More than 2500 scheduled meetings will take place between hosted buyers and exhibitors in the framework of Philoxenia. More than 70 hosted buyers will be physically present from 27 countries, while the two exhibitions will also welcome hosted buyer group delegation visits
The stand-out event, among the many side events of Philoxenia, is the Congress on the subject of ‘Experience Tourism: Searching for Authenticity’, which will explore the trend of seeking more experiential tourist activities that include an element of discovery, make experiencing something different more intense, and focus on interacting with the local community and its unique culture. The Congress will be held on 13 November at Pavilion 14 and the works will commence with an address by the Minister of Tourism Vasilis Kikilias, while the central speaker will be Dr Marianna Sigala, professor at University of Piraeus and multi-award winning tourism researcher. Participants in the congress will include distinguished speakers from the academic community, important representatives of tourism bodies, as well as successful professionals of the Greek tourism market.
All About Gastronomy and All About Café stand out in the framework of Hotelia. These units will present special tastes and ideas, unique product combinations, and award-winning producers, who will enrich the knowledge of any interested professional. The Greek breakfast, synonymous to hospitality in Greece and having a Greek “good morning”, will be on the table at the unique space of All About Gastronomy in Pavilion 9. At the same time, all the trends and new applications in the sector of gastronomy that were reinforced and established during the pandemic will be presented. All About Café is a unit dedicated to the art of creating coffee, with workshops and the unique Latte Art ThrowDown competition. Distinguished baristas and roasters will impress with their techniques and skills, and will reveal, through a series of seminars and presentations, their aromatic coffee “recipes” to sector professionals and coffee lovers at Pavilion 12, with Equipment Sponsored by Eurogat.
Today's Press conference
The President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tasos Tzikas, sent his own message from Cyprus on the connection of vaccinations to our return to our financial and social life. Mr Tzikas connected live over the internet from Cyprus as he was kept away from Thessaloniki due to quarantine. “I am in Cyprus, in quarantine, with no symptoms. Only vaccines in combination with scientific knowledge and strictly observing the health protocols will allow us to continue with our financial and social life”, he noted, announcing that meetings have been scheduled between TIF-Helexpo and the Cypriot authorities on restarting exhibition activities in Cyprus.
The CEO of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, underlined the exceptional qualitative characteristics of Philoxenia and Hotelia, despite the reduced number of exhibitors in relation to pre-pandemic levels, while he noted that the entire tourism industry and Greek tourism, as well as the most important institutional bodies in tourism, will be in Thessaloniki for this 3-day event.
The continuous effort of the government and tourism enterprises to defeat the pandemic and enhance Greece’s tourism product was highlighted by Philoxenia and Hotelia, according to Deputy Minister of the Interior (Macedonia-Thrace), Mr Stavros Kalafatis, who noted that the Ministry’s support for the two emblematic fairs is unwavering.
The mayor of Epidaurus, Mr Anastasios Chronis, expressed his satisfaction with the selection of Epidaurus as the Honoured Municipality of the event. He spoke of the municipality’s history, its cultural heritage, and the region’s natural beauty. In fact, he noted that the Temple of Asklepios at Epidaurus is the most visited monument in mainland Greece after the Acropolis. More than 800,000 people visit the municipality of Epidaurus and its monuments every years. “Our goal is for Epidaurus to be more than a place to see, as it is now; for it to become a place to experience, both for us and for the friends of Epidaurus, so that they can enjoy visits that last several days to the cradle of civilisation and Medicine”, he stressed.
Along with the recommencement of Philoxenia and Hotelia, as well as other trade fairs, the Region of Central Macedonia is also restarting its tourism brand, which will travel all over the world, starting from Philoxenia, according to the Tourism Sector Chief of the Region of Central Macedonia, Mr Alexandros Thanos. He also stressed that the goal for 2022 is to achieve the numbers of 2019, while he expressed his optimism for the new tourist season and the progress of the region.
Philoxenia and Hotelia are being held at a crucial and decisive moment, as they will contribute to the promotion of destinations
and offer a unique opportunity to exhibitors, according to the deputy Mayor of Culture and Tourism of the Municipality of Thessaloniki, Ms Maria Karagianni, who characterised them as major sales tools.
The president of the Tourism Organisation of Thessaloniki, Ms Voula Patoulidou underlined the fact that Greece is internationally treated as a major and powerful player in the tourism sector, noting that we have all worked towards this.
The President of the Thessaloniki Hotels Association, Mr Andreas Mandrinos, expressed his view that we have a difficult winter ahead of us, however he was also optimistic about the period from March onwards, while he noted that hotels have worked hard to prepare for the day after.
The All About Gastronomy and All About Café thematic units were mentioned by Sylvia Koumentaki from Chef Stories and Valantis Labrianidis from Valenia, each respectively in charge of their events.
The Hospitality Sponsor of the Congress, which will be held under the auspices of the Region of Central Macedonia, is Fraport (also the hospitality sponsor of Philoxenia), Coffee Break is sponsored by Thessaloniki Tourism Organisation, Taxi Way is the Transport sponsor, while POX, Souroti, and Greek Instagramers Events are supporters, while the Grand Communication Sponsor is ANA/MPA.
The meals of the hosted buyers programme are sponsored by Mediterranean Palace, while the walking tours will be organised with the contribution of the Tourism Organisation of Thessaloniki,
Entry to both fairs is free for professional visitors and open to the public on the weekend, while a vaccination or recovery certificate is required.