Night falls over Athens just before the major travel and tourism international exhibition of Philoxenia in Thessaloniki. This will be the 24th Philoxenia and the 18th for Travelling.
Every year participants and exhibitors, drop what they are doing and take the plane, car or train and head for Thessaloniki.
For some its an excuse to get away from the ending (ended) summer season. For others its place to see every one who is someone in tourism, all together at one place. Some go to listen to what the Ministry of Tourism has to say about the future. And there are others who go to Philoxenia in Thessaloniki to have a good time, eat the magnificent food Thessaloniki has to offer, enjoy the one of a kind night life.
Just recently Philoxenia has started to become really International – professionals have the opportunity to do real business, not that networking and all the other is not business (especially in tourism and travel), but when you know that in two weeks you will take the plane and go to “the” exhibition of exhibitions “World Travel Market” in London, Philoxenia is the practice court.
For me the day before Philoxenia has always been the beginning of a new and promising year – and the day after the closing of Philoxenia, the new year would start but it would not feel that it was promising. The general feeling would be that another year is ahead – where all have to work hard, compete, sell, promote, innovate, present, travel, host clients, inspect, prepare proposals – offers, test, learn, etc., etc., etc.
This year its all of the above but a lot different. This year we are at the beginning of something we know nothing about, nor what is coming or what we will be up against. What I am talking about is the general worldwide mess the “geniuses” of the banking system have gotten us in. I will not expand on this issue any further since it is not the purpose of this post – but I will at a later post (actually, once Hellenic Travelling is out of the press, I will let it rip).
So what I think this Philoxenia is all about – hope and vision for the future.
The mess we have been dragged into will not end quickly. It does not mean that life ends here.
People will travel, people will go on vacation, people will go on cruises, people will go on tours.
Maybe not as many as use to, but they will – and we will have to be there to pick up the business and offer them the time of their life not just value for their money. The time of their life!!!
Because, when they go back home, they will tell their friends and family what a wonderful time they had.
In just a few hours the sun will rise in Athens all of us who are not in Tessaloniki for the exhibition Philoxenia will hit the road for the new, promising and full of hope – new travel and tourism season to come, which starts at Philoxenia 2008.
Come and visit us at our stand.