Leisure Travel Fair in Moscow: Not Promising First Day’s Results
The 21-st Leisure Travel Fair opened yesterday in Moscow. This year the exhibition is organized in Expocenter (Vystavochnaya metro station), where annually MITT takes place. The last few years Leisure was organized in Crocus Expo (Myakinino metro station). Leisure Travel fair is considered to be the second largest travel fair in Russia after MITT, and is mostly dedicated to winter destinations. In 2016, it takes two exhibition halls - Pavillion 1 where mostly the European destinations by national tourism boards are presented, and Pavillion Forum where the stands of long-haul exotic destinations are located.
The obvious fact is that less and less Russian tour operators decide to participate in Leisure fair. If 3-5 years ago it could be considered as dangerous sign that tour operator might have problems, now nobody wants to show off. This year only Natalie Tours among major tour operators had its own stand. Coral Travel / Sunmar were presented on the national stand of Turkey. Mouzenidis decided to join Cyprus national stand. Annex completely changed the strategy: instead of participation in the fair, the tour operator organizes Annex workshop on Friday in Crowne Plaza hotel near the Expocenter.
Exhibitors about the fair
"The organization is rather poor. It took us almost half of the day to sign all the papers. The organizers do not allow to bring some materials even by taxi, the security is really impolite. Moreover, we dis not mention any actions to attract more visitors. They even did not organize a press conference! Meanwhile, the participation costs increased!"
- Exhibitors from Cambodia stand -
"We are the first day on the exhibition, we expected more visitors. Even on the first day, the halls look rather empty."
- Exhibitors from Georgia stand -
The web site is absolutely not informative. Even on the second day of the exhibition they do not have the floor plan on the web site. If you go to News Releases, you only see the press releases from 2015!
- Exhibitors from tour operators -
Visitors - Travel Agents about the fair
"Each year the exhibition gets smaller and smaller, of course, the crisis in tourism industry influences here as well. We are glad that we at least have the opportunity to meet international hoteliers here face-to-face and get information from them directly."
- Travel agent in Moscow
"We have to admit that many companies are not well prepared for the travel fair especially from exotic destinations. They even do not have Russian-speaking staff on the stand! Yes, it is the international travel fair, but the exhibitors cannot expect that all travel agents speak well English. I came to one hotel chain in Sri-Lanka, there was nobody who could answer my questions in Russian, so I just the brochure. Meanwhile, on the small booth of a travel company from Zanzibar, there were two students who assisted with translation. It was very convenient. I don’t think it costs much money to hire professional assistants or at least interpreters."
- Travel agent from Vladimir
Yury Mishchenko, graduated from Moscow Institute of Foreign Languages, has more than 15 years experience in tourism and travel. Working both in tour operator company as destination manager, and in travel agency as sales manager, he is focused on analysis of Russian tour operators’ daily routine. Recently, Yury works in Baginet Marketing and Sales Agency.