The 27th edition of the OTDYKH Leisure Fair has come to an end and it was a resounding success. It ran from September 7th to 9th in Expocentre Fairgrounds in Moscow. This year an astounding 450 companies participated, from 41 Russian regions and 23 different countries.
The countries that participated in the 2021 OTDYKH expo were: Azerbaijan, Belarus, Brazil, Bulgaria, China, Cuba, Cyprus, Egypt, Germany, India, Iran, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Lithuania, Moldova, Peru, Spain, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Tunisia and Venezuela.
This year the OTDYKH Leisure Fair celebrated several newcomers to the event, including the country Azerbaijan, the region of Ceará in Brazil, the prefecture of Tottori in Japan and the company, Sri Lankan Airlines.
Among the 41 Russian regions proudly represented at the expo, there were also some hotly anticipated newcomers. These were the regions of Yugra, Krasnoyarsk Territory, Tomsk, Chelyabinsk, the regions of Rostov and Omsk and the Republic of Udmurtia.
Attendance at the expo reached almost 10,000 people both in person and virtually. Over 6,000 trade visitors came in person to the expo whilst over 3,000 people followed the exhibition via online platforms. By facilitating these online alternatives, the expo was able to extend the expo to virtual participants from all over the world.
Once again, the OTDYKH Leisure Fair featured an impressive array of partners, both domestic and international. The expo was proud to boast Egypt as its partner country this year with a phenomenal stand and large delegation. The partner region was Nizhny Novgorod and the partner city was St. Petersburg. The official partners of the event were the Altai region and the Republic of Khakassia. The official tour operator partner was Academservice. Finally, the general partner was Sberbank, the largest bank in Russia and one of the leading financial institutions worldwide.
In spite of the current global travel restrictions and closed borders, international exhibitors participated from all over the world. In a magnificent return to the fair, not only was Egypt a partner country of the exhibition, but it sent a large delegation to the expo, headed by the esteemed, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt, Mr Khaled al-Anany. The high level of professional interest in this year’s event was due to the resumption of direct flights between Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh and 41 cities in Russia.
A special mention goes to the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau who presented an exclusive, large stand with thirteen co-exhibiting companies. Sri Lanka featured a large delegation which was headed by the Ministry of Tourism & Aviation, the Hon. Ranatunga Prasanna. In addition to this, Sri Lankan Airlines participated for the first time in the fair’s history, with their own bespoke stand.
Latin America was well represented at the 2021 OTDYKH Leisure fair; Cuba marked a transition back to the pre-pandemic format of exhibiting with its very own 100m² stand. At the opening ceremony, the Cuban First Vice Minister of Tourism, Maria del Carmen Orellana Alvarado stated that Cuba is working incredibly hard to be a COVID-safe destination for travellers, and is gradually preparing to reopen its borders. As a result, from November 15th 2021 onwards, Cuba will cancel mandatory COVID PCR tests for tourists, and instead random testing will be carried out upon arrival.
Although many western European countries still have closed borders and travel restrictions, there was a healthy turn out from Europe. Bulgaria, Spain and Cyprus all had their own stands, while other exhibitors included Italy, Germany and Lithuania.
Aforementioned newcomers Azerbaijan made an impact with their impressive stand and 18 participating companies. They also held various events and engaged in pre-arranged B2b meetings with leading Russian tour operators and media outlets. This led to establishing a successful open dialogue between Russia and Azerbaijan.
There were many highlights of the 2021 OTDKYH Leisure Fair, including the many official agreements that were signed. The partner city St Petersburg signed three agreements, one of which was an agreement between St. Petersburg and Moldova to co-operate and work together in the tourism industry.
Another significant moment at the exhibition was the signing of an interregional agreement to create the federal Russian highway, the M-12. An impressive five Russian regions signed the accord: Moscow, the Republic of Tatarstan, the Vladimir region, the Nizhny Novgorod region and the Chuvash Republic.
Last but by no means least, the highly acclaimed Business Program was also a resounding success, boasting 30 events attended by 160 speakers and a staggering 1,500 delegates. The highlight of the business program was a session on strategy entitled, The Future of Tourism, Travel Trends. This event proved a to be an animated discussion between several Foreign Ministers of tourism as well as representatives from Rostourism and UNWTO.
In conclusion, once again the latest edition of the OTDYKH Leisure Fair was a spectacular success with 450 companies participating from 41 Russian regions and 23 different countries. The fair had almost 10,000 total attendees, both in person and online.
The OTDYKH Expo committee extend their thanks to everyone who participated in the exhibition, and they look forward to next year’s event, as they continue to break new ground in the international travel industry.