Actually, the Travel Exhibitions of Moscow are like a Fiesta for the world tourism people,

to relax and have some fun before the season starts, after a long and tiresome marathon from November, WTM-London till March, ITB- Berlin. The main reason of participation is due to competition! If the other one is there, I should also be there... Nothing more!

The tourism officials of leading countries make declarations with their great visions. By looking at the crowds gathered at their stands or at their own parties, tourism will increase 15% for Turkey 30% for Egypt, 20% for Greece. However, those hundred thousands of personals of the thousands of travel agencies came there to have fun.  The officials of the countries look at the line in front of their stand or party club and make these assumptions with a great wisdom!

refet-kayakiran.jpgI was always wondering how these state officials can make these forecasts in these exhibitions, which I missed only 3 of them, including this year, within last 17 years. It has been a matter of great interest for me, how those officials foresee the season, while The Tour Operators are trembling with just having only 10% of sales in the month of March.

But more interesting is; there is not any protest from any exhibitor to these chain of unique exhibitions which are held, back to back 2 in March and 2 in September. With the pressure held on the leading countries in the market and on Tour Operators, the 2nd exhibitions are just a matter of abusing the goodwill of the tourism world. Of course, a 3-4 days exhibition cannot satisfy the hunger of Moscow Hotels with an average room rate of 300 euros. They need to cash at least a weekly accommodation of all the tourism world. Well, they do have some right... When the Russian tourists spread around the world millions of dollars, the world tourism should pay their debts to Moscow in return... It's fare in a sense!

But if one day Germany, who sends the world a triple of tourists more than Russia, would decide to put a new exhibition ITTB, in front of ITB, no one should react! And sure the Queen may follow the Chancellor with a WTTM linked to WTM in November!

On the other hand, while the 17 years old MITT is located at a very comfortable central spot in Moscow (although with terrible organisation failures) , the new exhibition goes on torturing the travel world with its location in the middle of nowhere, with no hotels, no metro and a ‘'propka'' of 2 hours at least from centrum! (Actually, the best way to visit this MKAD exhibition is; arrive Sheremetyova Airport in the morning, complete your job or fun in a day and fly back at night or early next morning without city transport or hotel need!) But more, these 2 exhibitions create a kind of competition among the participants and divide the unity of the peaceful travel world... You are either the fan of this one or that one... Be aware, someone is watching you! From which team are you?

But the best part of these Moscow exhibitions is, to be able to find all the world tourism staff in one spot before the season starts. You will definitely meet any world tourism personality if not during the day, definitely at night in a party or in a restaurant! Except this social advantage, you cannot expect to talk on the sales figures of this year or next year's products like you do in London or Berlin... What you can do professionally is; based on ITB ratings a week ago, you may fine-tune your rates for the Russian market... If German sales are good enough, guarantee cheques will fly around in Moscow or if the sales are poor at ITB, then you will revise your hotel rates ‘'chut chut'' lower! That's all!

How can you make a forecast for the season if the catalogues and rates are published just some weeks ago to the market? Let's assume that, someone has counted all the flight seats and found for each country the seats on sale... Impossible, as the peak season flights are unknown yet, in March!

Well anyway, instead of this serious publication like the one you are reading, someone should prepare paparazzi style news of these exhibitions... It would break all the rating records of any web-site! Follow this page... We will do!!!

About Refet Kayakıran

Mr.Refet Kayakıran, who is one of pioneers of the Russian Travel market since 1994, had established and managed several Tour Operators in Russia and Ukraine. (Director General of Detur, GTI, AClass in Russia. Founding partner of Magic Travel in Ukraine)