Greek destinations and enterprises once again drew in the crowds at the East Mediterranean Tourism and Travel Exhibition – EMITT, which ran January 28-31 at the Tuyap Fair and Congress Center in Istanbul, Turkey.
Celebrating its 20th year and recognized as one of the top five tourism exhibitions in the world, EMITT 2016 welcomed some 4,500 companies, organizations and resorts from a total of 80 countries.
Greece was one of these countries and gave an upgraded showing this year as once again all Greek participants were located under “one roof” in Hall 2, organized and supervised by event organizers Aegean Communication. Over the last five years Aegean Communication operates almost exclusively for the promotion of Greek enterprises in the Turkish market.
“This year we managed to strengthen the Greek participation with new enterprises that experienced the Turkish market for the first time and successfully organize an additional B2B meeting program through an electronic platform exclusively for Greek participants”, the head of Aegean Communication, Panagiotis Miritzis, said.
Greece’s upgraded showing at EMITT was confirmed by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mevlut Cavusoglu, during his visit to the exhibition. Mr Cavusoglu visited the Greek section and congratulated Mr Miritzis for his company’s important contribution to EMITT.
“Once again, despite the difficult economic and political circumstances in Greece and Turkey, Greek tourism entrepreneurship had a dynamic presence in one of the largest exhibitions in the world”, Mr. Miritzis said.
Greek participation receives award
The exhibition’s organizer ITE Turkey for the fifth consecutive year honored the Greek participation for its dynamic and competitive presence in EMITT 2016.
ITE Turkey, which also organizes other top exhibitions in leading sectors of Turkey, has extended its partnership with Aegean Communication until 2020.
“This shows the confidence they have in us and the Greek market”, Mr. Miritzis said.
The partnership sees Aegean Communication taking part in exhibitions organized by ITE Turkey in Istanbul, Moscow, Azerbaijan, India and Uzbekistan.
Greek-Turkish B2B meetings
As part of their participation agreement with Aegean Communication, the Greek participants had the opportunity to attend pre-arranged B2B meetings with Turkish travel agencies and tour operators in a designated space in the Greek section.
The B2B meetings were organized exclusively by hospitality consultants and event organizers Respond On Demand following an agreement signed with Aegean Communication last year.
In its first year, the B2B meetings program operated on an experimental basis but Respond on Demands’ Maria Athanasopoulou told GTP that she sees the concept gaining ground between both Greek exhibitors and Turkish travel agents. She believes that the B2B meetings will become an incentive for Greek enterprises to participate in the EMITT expo.
“Already 25 meetings took place during the first two days of the exhibition… When referring to one of the largest exhibitions in the world, this is a success”, she said.
According to Mrs Athanasopoulou, the B2B meetings concept is innovative for the Turkish market because Turkish professionals do not usually do business through pre-arranged meetings at exhibitions as they are more accustomed to “walk in” meetings.
Highlight: North Aegean islands turn heads
Among the highlights of the first day of EMITT 2016 was the visit of Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mahir Unai, to the pavilion that showcased the 10 islands of the North Aegean. Minister Unai had a very friendly conversation with the Governor of the North Aegean Region, Christiana Kalogirou, who invited him to experience the Greek islands and underlined that “culture is the bridge that connects the joint efforts made to the benefit of both peoples.”
“The fact that the islands are so close to Turkey make them ideal destinations for those who want to explore the ‘hidden treasures’ of the North Aegean islands”, said the director of the Natural History Museum of the Lesvos Petrified Forest Professor Nikolaos Zouros.
Addressing some of Izmir’s top travel agents, Professor Zouros gave a presentation on the “Geological Monuments in N.E. Aegean Islands and ‘Green’ Tourism” and informed them on the tourism potential of the earth’s heritage sites.
Highlight: Mt Athos Area promo plan takes center stage
The presentation of the official campaign of the Mount Athos Area Organization which focuses on the history of Sidirokafsia, a settlement of eastern Halkidiki, took place at the Sismanglio Megaron in Istanbul, the sidelines of EMITT 2016.
The promotional initiative will come into full force with a fam trip scheduled for April under the title “From Thessaloniki to the Ottoman Past of Sidirokafsia” and a far-reaching campaign via social media.
Greek exhibitors @ EMITT 2016
Greek companies and destinations that participated in this year’s EMITT expo included Airotel Group, Beleon Tours, Alexander Beach Hotel & Casino Thraki, Filos Holidays & Travel, Grand Resort Lagonissi, Inova Hospitality Management, Kavala Municipality, Kavala Chamber of Commerce, Kosinfo, Kyvernitis Travel, Lafasi Maritime Company, Meli Tours, Nestosdevelopent, North Aegean Island Tourism Office, Pieria – Olympos Hoteliers Association, Porto Carras, Respond On Demand, Santorini island, Smart Expo & Design, Stathokostopoulos Group, Sunrise Tours, Thessaloniki Hotels Association, Thrace Hoteliers Association, Tourism Development Committee of Paggaio, Tourism Organization of Thassos and Visit Halkidiki – Halkidiki Tourism Organization.
Moments @ EMITT 2016
Following is a photo collection of what GTP saw while strolling the exhibition halls of EMITT 2016.
The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) was a media partner to EMITT 2016.