MITT celebrated a successful 20th anniversary, as over 73,765 visitors (over four days) congregated in Moscow on the March 20-23, 2013. The event greeted 3,000 exhibiting companies from 198 countries and regions.
This year, MITT was delighted to welcome Cuba as the event’s official partner country. Cuba’s participation was met with an enthusiastic reaction from attendees, as they hosted on a beach house themed stand:- a traditional steel band; authentic Cuban dancers, and served the famous Havana Club rum.
Manuel Marrero Cruz, Minister of Tourism, Cuba, commented “For me MITT is a very important fair because it’s a space that we can show our products, our facilities, and because the Russian market has huge potential for Cuba. Last year we attracted 88,000 Russian tourists and I think that this year we can receive many more from this region.”
To mark MITT’s 20th year, a ministerial summit was held for the first time. The summit saw tourism ministers and senior government representatives in attendance. Issues discussed included the removal of tourism barriers, destination marketing, and using technology effectively in the tourism industry. Marrero stated, “For the first event that has been held at MITT, I believe it has been really good. I think the topics that have been addressed by different countries allowed everybody to focus on interesting subjects.”
Destinations from North and Latin America, Asia, Africa, Oceania, Europe and the Mediterranean were all present at MITT 2013. Newcomers this year included Paraguay, Guatemala, Uruguay, Ecuador, Bosnia, Dubai Health Authority, Philippines and the Japanese region Okinawa.
Marie Venus Q Tan, Director of the Philippines Department of Tourism commented, “We’re excited to be here, the Philippines are premiering in MITT, this is one of the most prestigous travel fairs in the world and we cannot miss it. We’ve brought a lot of our industry partners with us, and it seems that they are very happy with the results of the fair and certainly we will be back.”
A full coverage of industry segments were showcased at the event, as the exhibition was divided into sections for Medical Tourism, Luxury Travel, Sea & River Cruises, and Technology in Tourism. The Medical Tourism section featured over 100 private and state medical trusts, diagnostics centres, health resorts, and specialised travel operators from 45 countries.
Talal Al Suwaidi, Regional Head of the Department of Tourism & Commerce Marketing, Dubai said “One of the promotions we are adding this year is medical tourism; we have an allocated stand for the Health Department of Dubai. This is their first time to participate at the exhibition and I think that it will not be their last; this marks their first step that will take them further and further.”
More than just an exhibition, MITT 2013 featured an extensive business programme which gave exhibitors, trade visitors and journalists the opportunity to get first-hand information on visa developments and issues facing Russia’s outbound tourism market.
A key event, the 4th Moscow Medical & Health Tourism Congress, gave 200 delegates from over 70 countries, the opportunity to gain knowledge and discuss the latest trends and developments in medical and health tourism.
In line with celebrations, the official awards ceremony took place at the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Special awards were presented to companies that have exhibited since MITT’s launch in 1994. In addition specialized awards were given to exhibitors in correspondence to their 2013 participation.