New destinations and firms to boost MTF<!-- -->


The Mediterranean Travel Fair (MTF) will be bigger with a greater mix of international participation this year, says organiser Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE).

The MTF will be held from September 17-19 at the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Egypt.

"This year we have a number of new destinations and companies exhibiting at Mediterranean Travel Fair," said Matt Thompson, RTE's group exhibition director.

"The show will be bigger in terms of space occupied and we will also have representation from a greater number of countries. With the interest currently being displayed in the show, I anticipate that we will have representation from at least 26 countries.

"Many destinations have already signed up to exhibit at MTF 2002 including Bahrain, Cyprus, Dubai, Egypt, India, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Malta, Oman, Romania, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey and Yemen in an official capacity and Saudi Arabian Airlines on one of the show's largest pavilions.

"The event is very well supported by the private sector including representation from airlines, hotels, groundhandlers, tour operators, health resorts, spas, technology companies and tourist attractions."

Hilton hotels are returning to the show this year after exhibiting at MTF 2001.

"Hilton's presence at MTF reinforces Hilton's brand attributes and strengths. We were the first international chain to operate hotels in Egypt and we are still pioneering in expansions in new tourism destinations," said Carmen Ramzy, Hilton's regional director of public relations in Cairo.

MHR Collections from Athens, Greece are exhibiting at MTF for the first time this year.

Jenny Tsioutsis, PR and marketing manager, MHR Collections, said: "MHR Collections provides marketing and promotional support to all our hotel members. Part of that support is exposure to different international markets which may offer potential business.

"Mediterranean Travel Fair is a very important exhibition for us as it allows us to tap in to a different market."

RTE is working closely with the network of Egyptian Tourist Authority offices internationally and inviting their most senior buyers to the show. In addition, it is also targeting key buyers from its comprehensive market database. Many buyers have already pre-registered to attend the event this year.

One such pre-registered buyer is meetings planner Andrea Sigler, president, CIMPA (Connected International Meeting Professionals Association), USA.

"Egypt is one of those few destinations where meeting planners do not need props! Nothing can equal the majesty of the Great Pyramids or the mystique of the Nile," she said.

"CIMPA is organising a Friendship Corps to promote understanding, friendship and tolerance among peoples around the world. This will take the form of seminars, cultural tours, medical missions, trade missions and others where at least 50 per cent of the time will be spent interacting with the local people.

"I am attending MTF with my colleagues to seek partners for these programs. Reed always does a great job of putting buyers like us in touch with the right suppliers."

Meanwhile, RTE has added two major global travel and tourism events to its portfolio, to underline their growing reputation as the world's market leader.

It has acquired La Cumbre, which sells and markets the United States to Latin America and the Caribbean, and formed a partnership with International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), the first trade event dedicated to the global luxury travel sector.