The Philoxenia and Hotelia trade fairs will open on 18 November and last until 20 November, with 335 exhibitors from 18 countries, 115 hosted buyers from 35 countries, a 158-member business delegation from Iraqi Kurdistan coordinated by the Chamber of Commerce of Erbil, 3500 planned business meetings, and a number of side events. During the same period, TIF-Helexpo will welcome Real Estate Expo North to the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre. The Expo is here to cover all the real estate investment needs of northern Greece and it is being co-organised by RM International.
The Honoured Country at this year’s Philoxenia is Armenia and the Honoured Region is the Municipality of Heraklion, Crete. There will be 235 exhibitors participating, while 97% of the hosted buyers have never attended the expo before. In fact, following the conclusion of this year’s event there will be three fam trips for the hosted buyers, organised in collaboration with the Region of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace, the Municipality of Epidaurus, and the Chamber of Commerce of Kilkis. Also participating in the tourism expo are the Deputy Ministry of Tourism of Cyprus, the Tourism Organisation of Armenia, the Ministry of Tourism of Bulgaria, and the Tourism Organisation of Serbia. EPSILON HOSPITALITY is sponsoring Philoxenia.
Philoxenia will be framed by a wealth of side events with thematic presentations and colloquiums. The Philoxenia Congress stands out among these side events, as this year it will be focusing on sports tourism, and its good practices and development opportunities on an economic and tourism level. The Congress is sponsored by Fraport and will be held on 19 November at Pavilion 14. The opening speech will be made by Minister of Tourism Vassilis Kikilias, while established speakers will also be participating.
The Ministry of Tourism, EOT (which has both trade fairs under its auspices) and the most important institutional bodies of the sector — XEE (Hellenic Chamber of Hotels), SETE (Greek Tourism Confederation), HATTA (Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies), POX (Hellenic Hoteliers Federation), and SETKE (Greek Confederation of Tourist Accommodation Enterprises), which have placed the Expo under their auspices — will also be participating in Philoxenia.
Meanwhile, TIF-Helexpo in partnership with the Greek Instagrammers Events team invited photographers of all levels (professionals and amateurs) to submit their photographs to participate in the open competition on the subject of ‘Philoxenia & Travel’. The goal of the competition was to create a group photo exhibition that would highlight Greece as a beautiful and hospitable travel destination, and a total of 87 photographers participated. Alongside the exhibitions, the largest job fair in Greece will be held at the I. Vellidis Congress Centre, where meetings and job interviews will be held for tourism positions throughout the country.
Hotelia is also being held at the same time as Philoxenia. Hotelia is the trade fair that presents the very latest in the sectors of hotel, restaurant, and café equipment, and this year it has attracted 100 exhibitors.
Hotelia’s side events include the following: a. All About Gastronomy (curated by Chef Stories) will present events with special tastes and ideas, unique product combinations, and award-winning producers, who will add to the knowledge of all interested professionals. During the 3 days of the Expo, the special dining area table in pavilion 9 will host master-classes, presenting tasty, high-quality, low-energy footprint local products from various parts of Greece in unique combinations, as part of the ‘My Local Greek Choice’ theme, and b. All About Café, an event 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, through a series of seminars and presentations, they will reveal their aromatic coffee “recipes” to sector professionals and coffee lovers at Pavilion 12, with Barista’s Gold by Nounou as the Grand Sponsor and Eurogat as the Equipment Sponsor.
The Press conference
The heart of tourism will be beating in Thessaloniki from 18 to 20 November, according to the statements of President of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Tasos Tzikas, at today’s Press conference on the upcoming events of the national exhibition agency, while he characterised the Philoxenia-Hotelia trade fair duo as the most important tourism event in Greece, while he welcomed Real Estate Expo North to Thessaloniki.
On his side, the exhibition agency’s CEO, Mr Kyriakos Pozrikidis, underlined the internationalisation of the two trade fairs and the significant interest of the more than 115 hosted buyers from 35 countries.
Philoxenia, with its many years of experience, is now facing a much better prepared tourism environment in Thessaloniki, noted the mayor of Thessaloniki, Mr Konstantinos Zervas, who pointed out that after two difficult years, Thessaloniki is now sold out and every month is its best month.
Philoxenia already has a strong brand name and it keeps getting stronger every year, according to the President of the Tourism Organisation of Thessaloniki, Ms Voula Patoulidou, who noted that the popularity of TIF-Helexpo trade fairs has improved drastically.
It is the first time that Armenia has been named Honoured Country at an expo in Greece, as mentioned by the honorary consul of the Republic of Armenia, Mr Takis T. Dagazian, who characterised the event as a landmark in the relationship between the two countries, while he noted that there is still room for their further improvement.
The municipality of Heraklion chose Philoxenia as the first expo in which to present its renewed tourism product, as explained by the deputy mayor of developmental programming-digital transformation, integrated rural development, and tourism, Mr Giorgos Sisamakis. In fact, he stressed that besides this promotion, the municipality will put forward the experience of Heraklion and Crete in general through its presence at the expo. He also made it known that a major municipality delegation should be expected at Philoxenia.
The desire of hoteliers for Thessaloniki to level up in the future was expressed by the president of the Thessaloniki Hotels Association, Mr Andreas Mandrinos.
More than 50 international investors will attend Real Estate Expo North, according to the CEO of RM International, the co-organiser of the real estate expo, Mr Kostis Moschonas. He noted that Thessaloniki’s geographic location and its relationship with the Balkans are significant factors in developing the region’s real estate marker.
Philoxenia selected the Thessaloniki Convention Bureau (TCB) to present the Greek Meetings Alliance, a strategic alliance it has made with This is Athens Convention & Visitors Bureau and HAPCO, as stated by TCB president, Mr Giannis Aslanis, who noted that MICE development is an important opportunity for tourism and local economies.
The general director of TIF-Helexpo, Mr Alexis Tsaxirlis, highlighted the dynamism with which the national body will continue its exhibition activities.
Lastly, Mr Valantis Lambrianidis of the Valenio company referred to All About Café to be hosted by Hotelia, which will present the evolution of coffee through events, seminars, and competitions. Ms Sylvia Koumentaki from Chef Stories spoke of seven different master classes, and one additional master class dedicated to the municipality of Heraklion, which will be held in the context of All About Gastronomy, Hotelia’s thematic section.
Thessaloniki was characterised as a top real estate investment destination by President of the Realtors Association of Thessaloniki, Mr Konstantinos Tzaros, who expressed his satisfaction with the organising of Real Estate North in Thessaloniki.