Twice as many hosted buyers at Philoxenia
An increase in visitor numbers in comparison to last year was recorded for Philoxenia-Hotelia and Real Estate Expo North, which set the scene at the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Centre from 10 to 12 November. The overall number of visitors came to 25,209, which highlights the importance of the three exhibitions dedicated to tourism (Philoxenia), hotel equipment, catering, and the café industry (Hotelia), and real estate (Real Estate Expo North). in fact, this year’s Philoxenia welcomed twice as many hosted buyers as last year’s event, proving that it is an unmissable meeting point for the domestic and foreign tourism market of the broader region.
Also encouraging, is the fact that exhibitors stated they were particularly pleased and expressed their intent of participating next year. During the three-day event, more than 3000 quality meetings were held between hosted buyers and Philoxenia and Hotelia exhibitors.
Bulgaria was the Honoured Country at Philoxenia. The neighbouring country was represented by Minister of Tourism, Ms Zaritsa Dinkova, who presented all of its popular tourist destinations.
The Philoxenia-Hotelia programme of side events was broadened and very interesting this year.
Seventy side events educated and informed Philoxenia visitors and captured the interest of the public and trade visitors.
Speakers and participants in Philoxenia Forum 2023 on ‘Searching for balance: overtourism – circular economy – climate change’, were very satisfied with the event. 30 distinguished speakers presented the challenges of overtourism and the impacts of climate change on the tourism product. The Forum was organised under the auspices of the Department of Organisation Management, Marketing, and Tourism of IHU and was Sponsored by Fraport Greece.
The musical tribute organised by the Mikis Theodorakis Museum of Zatouna, TIF-HELEXPO, and the Municipality of Gortynia, with the support of the Regional Association of the Municipalities of Peloponnese, and sponsored by EDIL, HENGAZ, and TILEMATIKI, stood out among the events.
Hotelia also presented a wealth of events, with the All About Gastronomy and All About Café thematic sections organised in its context. All About Gastronomy’s side events titled ‘Local Greek Tastes’ were dedicated this year to the promotion of the locality of each region and to the creation of a complete tourism experience through gastronomy. 8 master classes were held at the specially designed dining area in Pavilion 9, where visitors had the opportunity to learn about and try the delicacies prepared by Chef Giorgos Psyllos and his team, using the products of the 17 producers participating in the event. The sponsor of ‘Greek Tastes’ was Torre, while the event was organised by ChefStories.
All About Café’s thematic section, organised and supervised by Valantis Lambrianidis, Valenio WCE Certified Judge & Coffee Business Consultant, proved to be a success. Exhibitors stated that they had real traffic and made connections in the professional sector, while they exchanged interesting information regarding current developments in coffee. On their side, visitors were very satisfied, as they tried different coffee varieties and attended interesting presentations. Meanwhile, the LATTE ART THROWDOWN 2023 competition, whose Grand Sponsor was
Barista’s Gold by Nounou and Equipment Sponsor was Eurogat, was a complete success. First and second place were taken by Nikos Adamakis and Thanassis Basdanis respectively.
The 2nd Real Estate North, with participations by dozens of representatives of real estate agencies, construction companies, digital service companies, and law firms, was visited by more than 2000 professionals from Greece and abroad. In fact, representatives from the Greek real estate market, visiting professionals, and foreign investors held more than 100 B2B business meetings with the investors invited via the hosted buyers programme. The 3rd Real Estate Forum was organised in the context of the exhibition.
431 Exhibitors at Philoxenia-Hotelia and an international atmosphere
The Philoxenia and Hotelia exhibitions had a total of 431 participations from the entire spectrum of the tourism industry. More specifically, at Philoxenia there were 211 direct and 90 indirect exhibitor participations (a total of 301 exhibitors), a 30% increase from last year. There was a total of 17 exhibitor countries at Philoxenia: Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria — which is the Honoured Country — Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Armenia, Bosnia, Poland, Slovakia, Portugal, Iran, Georgia, Jordan, Luxembourg, the Philippines, and Kosovo.
National participations in Philoxenia included the Honoured Country, Bulgaria, (with the direct participation of the Ministry of Tourism and the delegation led by the Minister of Tourism, Ms Zaritsa Dinkova, and participations from Varna, Bansko, Sofia, and Veliko Tarnovo), Cyprus, Georgia, Serbia (with participations from Belgrade, Sokobanja, and the Republic of Srpska), Turkey (with participations from the Municipality and the Chamber of Commerce of Izmir), and Albania (with the participation of the region of Korça).
There were 130 exhibitors at Hotelia, with a direct international participation from Turkey and indirect participations from 17 countries, a 22% increase in comparison to last year’s numbers.
The exhibitors at Philoxenia and Hotelia include the Ministry of Tourism, EOT (the National Tourism Organisation with both
exhibitions under its auspices), tourist destinations, airlines and shipping companies, travel agencies, construction, technology, furniture, manufacturing, equipment, and renovation companies addressed to the tourism sector from all the regions of Greece, as well as the most important institutional bodies, XEE (Hellenic Chamber of Hotels), SETE (Greek Tourism Confederation), HATTA (Hellenic Association of Travel & Tourist Agencies), POX (Hellenic Hoteliers Federation), and HAPCO (which had placed the exhibition under their auspices).
There was also a noteworthy increase in the number of direct participations, the most important being the appearance of SKYEXPRESS for the first time, as well as SEAJETS, GRECOTEL, Easy Hotelier, 12 of Greece’s 13 regions, and municipalities from all tourist regions.
Philoxenia welcomed 101 individual Hosted Buyers from 34 countries, while Hotelia welcomed individual 13 Hosted Buyers from Greece, Cyprus, and Serbia. Furthermore, a 50-strong business delegation from North Macedonia and delegations from Bulgaria visited both exhibitions.
The sponsors of the Philoxenia-Hotelia exhibitions were the National Bank of Greece (Official Bank), Aegean (Official Air Travel Sponsor), PPC (Official Power Provider), NOVA (Official Telecommunications Provider), Epsilon Hospitality (Official IT Partner), and Autohellas Hertz (Official Transport Sponsor). The exhibitions were supported by the Thessaloniki Tourism Organisation, Thessaloniki Convention Bureau, Macedonia-Thrace Travel Agency Association, and the Thessaloniki Hotels Association.