A smaller EIBTM but “air of confidence” prevails: Nutley

21 May 2003


GENEVA - The 16th and final EIBTM opened yesterday, 20 percent smaller than last year and with visitor attendance expected to be 12 percent lower.

Responding to a question by TravelWeekly on how SARS, terrorism and a competitive event, IMEX, held in April in Frankfurt had affected this year's event, Tom Nutley, chairman of Reed Travel Exhibitions, quipped, "Considering all that's happened in the last 18 months, I am amazed we actually have a show. The joke these days is, we don't know what to do if we don't have a crisis."

Despite this, he said the exhibitions business has held up better than the industry itself.

He cited as an example the Arabian Travel Mart in Dubai, held two weeks ago, " which to my surprise and to the industry's surprise", was 10 percent bigger in terms of exhibitors and 20 percent stronger in visitor attendance.

"In light of what has happened in the last couple of months, the industry is keen to go out, to promote and revitalize and get back the business it has lost."

Having said that, he reported EIBTM was 20 percent smaller and visitor attendance would be 12 percent lower. "That will give a fair better supplier-buyer ratio.

"We are looking forward to a successful show this week and more importantly, the industry is looking forward to a successful event. There is an air of confidence about the business going forward."

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