60% of the foreign trade visitors who come to Thessaloniki in the framework of the trade fairs organized by TIF-HELEXPO, return to Thessaloniki as tourists. These Hosted Buyers have the opportunity to get to know the city initially as professional visitors and later on return to Thessaloniki for their holidays, as the city manages to enchant them as soon as they arrive for the first time.
These are some of the conclusions of a research presented at the 13th International Congress of the Association of Economists in Thessaloniki. The research entitled “The touristic dimension of the Hosted Buyers Program of TIF-HELEXPO. A first assessment for the period 2014-2016” was presented by the Director of the Exhibition Research Institute, Mrs Vicky Dalkrani, the Researcher of the Institute, Mr Dimitris Kourkouridis and the C.E.O. of TIF-HELEXPO, Dr Kyriakos Pozrikidis.
According to the research, the guest visitors of the trade fairs organized in Thessaloniki, may initially only visit the city for business purposes, nevertheless this visit offers them the opportunity to get better acquainted with the city and this is something that creates huge touristic potential. In fact, 86% of these trade visitors state that they would gladly propose Thessaloniki as a tourist destination to their friends and relatives.
More specifically, 31,5% of the participants in the research mentioned that they visited restaurants and bars of the city during their professional visit, 22% bought products from the local market, 19,2% visited monuments and locations of touristic interest and 9,3% visited touristic sites in the broader region.
According to Mrs Dalkrani : «Through its Hosted Buyers Programs TIF-HELEXPO offers a chance to all foreign guest-visitors from around the globe to visit and get to know Thessaloniki, something that is done with great effort but also with a lot of love for our city».
«The idea for this research came as a result of the experience we acquired during the past few years, while developing the Hosted Buyers Programs», Mr Kourkouridis stated. And he went on saying that «We noticed that apart from the undisputed business results of the hosted buyers programs, they also have a huge impact on the touristic development of the city. This is exactly the element that we wanted to measure and make more concrete through our research».
According to the research presented, 1.176 foreign trade visitors were hosted by TIF-HELEXPO in the framework of 23 trade fairs, during the period 2014-2016. These Hosted buyers had more than 17.000 pre-arranged b2b meetings with the relevant exhibitors (in average 15 appointments per trade visitor) during their visit to the trade fairs in question.