The day after Philoxenia 2008 – Thessaloniki

As always, Thessaloniki was wonderful. Its food, entertainment, people, etc. The only thing that was a set back were the works being undertaken for the construction of the metro, but that is progress.

But one minute – lets focus here. The purpose of the trip to Thessaloniki was to participate in the exhibition Philoxenia 2008: 24th International Tourism Exhibition and secondarily to have a good time.

Well – we only had a good time.
Its like setting up tables for a gala diner  – and nobody comes – as if everyone was in some sort of conspiracy. The only event that people participated was the opening ceremony by the Minister of Tourism, Aris Spylotopoulos and the HATTA prize giving activity. That was IT.

Besides the schools and the individuals (non travel and tourism professionals), Philoxenia 2008 reached an all time low. One may say that it has the schools and the individuals – what do you want from the organizers!!! All of us who participated with stands, wanted to see travel and tourism professionals, either from Greece or abroad.

The Greek professionals didn’t take the time, effort or money to come to Thessaloniki. One might say that its was due to the worldwide financial condition. Any professional form any field would take the time, effort and money to invest is something which will enhance business. That is the key word “enhance business”. That is what Piloxenia does not do – so why should Greek travel and tourism professionals come.

One would say that Philoxenia had the buyers and sellers activity – or what ever they called it, that had foreigners. Yes, but they were cut off from the general exhibition. So, the companies that had made the expense of setting up a stand, spent money to come to Thessaloni and stay at a hotel and also bring along several members of its staff – had NO access to these peope – unless they knew that they had to book an appointment. These foreigners did not even pass by the stands.

So what is the need to set up a stand, bring company staff, put them up in a hotel, feed them, etc., when one can just cut all these expensive and just arrange an appointment to see these professionals. I am sure lots of exhibitors next year will think twice and will probably go to Thessaloniki – have a good time and make an appointment with the foreign delegation and save thousands of Euro.

Every year we all would say that it hit bottom and the organizers should do something.
This year there was no one to say it to.


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