Is MTF ready for the scrap heap?

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has played down rumours that Mediterranean Travel Fair (MTF) could be scrapped next year after participants at last month’s instalment in Cairo claimed visitor numbers were down.

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By  Joseph Mortimer Published  October 6, 2006

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) has played down rumours that Mediterranean Travel Fair (MTF) could be scrapped next year after participants at last month’s instalment in Cairo claimed visitor numbers were down. “I know there has been a lot of whispering in the corridors, but the truth is that we’re reviewing the event and looking at all the strategic options that we have in terms of developing and positioning [the show],” said Chris Chackal, group exhibition director, overseas events, RTE. “There is a lot of talk and I’d say much of it is inaccurate.” He conceded that the third day of the event was much queiter than the first, but in MTF’s defence, said: “It’s up to the visitors really; because they decide on which day to come [to MTF].” Official visitor and exhibitor statistics are yet to be released, but Chackal maintained the event was a success: “The second morning wasn’t as busy as we would have liked, but I think [by lunchtime], the aisles were busy, and we were pleased to see that people were meeting, contracting and networking.” But some exhibitors, including Mahmoud Salem, secretary general of the Egyptian Hotel Association, begged to differ with Chackal. “To be honest, I think this will be the last year for MTF,” he said. “It’s been so quiet. Maybe the situation in the Middle East has affected people though?” RTE has also come under fire for allowing too many real estate exhibitors to partipate in MTF’s sister trade show, ATM. Some regular exhibitors have threatened to pull out if real estate companies aren’t banned from the May 2007 event (ATN August 2006).

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