The day of the official opening of gates of the 43rd International Belgrade Tourism Fair for visitors in Hall 5 of the Belgrade Fair, specially designed for this occasion in the company of numerous domestic and foreign guests, representatives of the diplomatic core of the social, cultural and political life of Serbia, but also the exhibitors and other participants, a ceremony was held on the occasion of the begging of this largest tourist festival in the country and the region.
This distinguished fair event with a long tradition, which is one of the key movers of the Serbian economy as a whole, will be held from the 24th to the 27th of March. At the same time two similar and also traditional events – the 17th International Fair of Hotel & Catering Equipment HORECA-EQUIPMENT and the 12th International Wine Fair BEOWINW (25th – 26th of March) will be held as well.
From today, Thursday the 24th of March at 10am, the fair is open to all visitors in love with traveling, vacation, but also fun, socializing and hedonistic enjoyment, because this event exceeds its, long established, commercial reach and is a brand of a multimedia event.
At the ceremonial opening, all speakers have congratulated the Belgrade Fair the grand jubilee – 85 years of existence and the excellent organization of this complex and large event, with a large number of participants from around the world. The role of the fair in overcoming the consequences of the pandemic and the war crisis in Ukraine was especially highlighted.
Speaking about the current even in the Serbian tourism industry, the Minister of Trade, Tourism and Telecommunication of the Government of the Republic of Serbia Tatjana Matic has pointed out the fact that Serbia “despite the global challenges, when the world is neither stable nor peaceful, is still on an upward line of not only recovery but also further development.”
“Serbia will”, she stated, “remain an attractive point on the global tourist map, and the domestic tourism will continue to develop and will become a part of our culture and our lifestyle. At this years’ fair we will welcome a large number of Ministers from different countries, which will contribute to the strengthening of the tourist exchange between our countries, but also in fostering the total existing business cooperation”.
Minister Matic highlighted that “the Fair in Belgrade has a long tradition and is one of the key mover of the Serbian economy as a whole, but at the same time is one of the most significant events in the region. After the last years’ break, both the exhibitors and the visitors were given a chance to remember the golden times and travel and to strengthen hope and faith in a normal way of living”.
She particularly highlighted the new tourist brand of Serbia, in regard to which she congratulated the Tourist Organization of Serbia and the National platform “Serbia Creates”, which have, as she stated “recognized that tourism may and should unite with the creative industries. Serbia was presented as it should, as modern open exciting and creative destination. Just the way millions of visitors from around the world, which have visited the pavilion at the Global exhibit in Dubai, have seen. We have set a new standard in the international presentation of Serbia to the world, and as a result we got more than 40 signed contracts and pre-contracts and more than 20 companies which are preparing to start doing business in the Middle East.
“We are getting ready for the next exhibition, in Osaka 2026 Belgrade is a candidate for the next specialized Exhibition – Expo 2027. It would be a great opportunity for Belgrade and Serbia for the promotion of all tourist and cultural potentials of the country. I am certain that Belgrade will be able to use this opportunity in the right way”.
The Minister reminded that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected social and economic flows as a whole and that it may hit the tourist sector the most. This period required a high level of coordination and adaptation, but also a serious economic support. “The Republic of Serbia has during 2021 achieved really good results, among other an unbelievable foreign exchange inflow of a record of 1,56 billion euros, with which we practically surpassed 2019. It’s a result of, primarily, economic measure which the Government brought during the pandemic. The Government has in 2021 put aside more than 5 billion dinars for various types of sectoral aid. A significant way of promotion and support of the tourism-catering industry were also the vouchers. Last year 150.000 vouchers were distributed, this year in January only we distributed 100.000 vouchers. During the last year we have also had other measures of tourism sector support: the Government has, for example, allowed the vaccination of foreign citizens, we have significantly liberalized measures regarding nautical tourism, with the entry of foreign citizens via cruisers in our country, than the fact that we were on the green list of the EU from May. All this has contributed to an increase in the number of foreign tourists, whose number increased by 150 percent in comparison to the year before. All this in the circumstances when the number of domestic tourist was dominant and thanks to which the growth in the tourism sector was achieved.”
Minister Matic has expressed the belief that we will this year as well succeed in the continuation of the growth trend and that this system should show that we are an adaptable industry. She highlighted the significance of regional and international connection, because only through this type of cooperation challenges may be overcome.
“In these difficult times tourism gives hope in a brighter and better future, because even in difficult times people love and wish to travel”, she concluded.
Marija Labovic, the Director of the Tourist Organization of Serbia, considers that “The Tourism Fair for all of us presents the right place and the right moment to show what we have been doing in the previous period and what novelty we brought in order to improve our tourist destinations and in order to adapt to the new requests of guests and tourists”
“For us”, she stated, “the main goal is the improvement in tourism, a larger tourist traffic and more tourist on our destinations. In the preparations of this fair, our get together after a longer break was highlighted multiple times. We had a break with exhibition performances, but the employees in tourism didn’t have one, they were very active and worked hard and were constantly challenged to adapt to a newly found situation, to improve their destinations, to begin their more intense promotion and the fight for a better quality of all that we have and all that we can offer to our tourists.”
“From the TOS is expected to make an even better step forward, considering that we have used the previous period to create many novelties in our work and the promotion of our country. Our spot “Serbia. Experience!” is a part of the new branding procedure. The experience shows that we hit right in the center of what tourism is. And the four days of the fair which are ahead of us are significant precisely as a beginning of a performance under this new brand, which the visitors will be able to see in Hall 4.”
“We are glad that, sated Marija Labovic, “this fair has remained and became attractive for new exhibitors and destinations. We are pleased to have new countries participants at the Belgrade Fair this year as well.
The statistics show that we are recovering faster than many countries from Europe and the world and we plan on keeping this trend. In that, large investments will help us primarily, which happened in the previous period, a large number of accommodations were opened, much of the investments went into the tourism and road infrastructure. That’s the main trump card, because it put us on a higher scale of tourist destinations. The TOS will this year as well and in the upcoming period continue with intense promotional campaigns, and the begging of these campaigns is in a way the participation in this fair.”
She concluded that “from the Fair we expect a large number of new projects and deal, to “experience Serbia””.
The mayor of Belgrade Zoran Radojcic has highlighted the importance of the Tourism fair for the City of Belgrade, which through hosting this event becomes the center of happenings in this economy branch. “For the City of Belgrade it is important that at this fair as well it presents its diversity, cultural and historical tradition of the City of Belgrade, which dates back to 5.000 years ago. There are also archeological sites from the Roman Empire period, and also new historical events in the last 2000 years, which are many in Belgrade. Few cities in Europe has such diversity and such riches, we can compare ourselves with the most beautiful Italian or French cities. Belgrade has a rich cultural and festival life, and is famous for its nightlife, hospitality and gastronomy. Belgrade has potentials in the area of ecotourism as well, healthy food, especially in suburban areas, we have Avala, Kosmaj, War Island, Ada Ciganlija.”
The Mayor has reminded that also “every ninth man in Belgrade lives or has some benefit from tourism. Last year we have had double the tourist in comparison to two years ago, we will use such a trend and such an opportunity to have tourism grow for about 20 percent annually. The development of Belgrade is something which allows the development of tourism – when you look at the Belgrade Waterfront, any tourist who comes remains fascinated in the way in which that part of the City is being developed. There is also the lower Dorcol with a future line park, then the St. Sava temple…”
“Therefore the only thing the participants of the Tourism Fair should do is to connect the beautiful with the useful and to make arrangements and agreements”, Radojcic stated.
These welcome greetings were ennobled with an appropriate cultural and artistic promotional program, in which the singer-songwriter Lena Kovacevic, the prima donna Sanja Kerkez, the actress Jelen Gavrilovic and the young “string representations”, picked by Stefan Milenkovic for the performance in Expo 2020 have participated in. Two promotional videos were shown – “Serbia. Experience!” and the video dedicated to the performance of Serbia at the global exhibition in Dubai.
The Tourism fair in the sign of the concept Serbia creates this year as well, the national platform which creates the national brand of the modern Serbia, relying on an internationally recognized, talented and exceptional individuals, who inspire with their accomplishments, innovations and creative ideas.
The slogan of the Tourism Fair “Between mountains and seas” best illustrates the comprehensive fair offer and follows the trend of journey lovers, so much that next to traditionally popular sea destinations, summer tourism has been completed by the wishes of people to enjoy mountain tourism, natural beauties, fresh air and numerous cultural, gastronomical and active tours, as well
Exclusive fair prices, first minute offers and packages with lots of benefits
The visitors will have an opportunity to choose travels based on their affinities: family trips, far away exotic destination, travel for young people, city break, rest and recovery in spas, spa weekends in the mountains, eco and active tourism, congress events…
At the Fair over 350 participants from more than 25 countries around the world are present.
Countries presenting themselves at the fair are: Greece, Turkey, Montenegro, Tunisia, Egypt, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Bulgaria, North Macedonia, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, Maldives, and individually exhibitors from Albania, Croatia and Slovenia will perform.
For the First time this year visitors were exclusively presented four new, and globally famous, top notch destinations: the exotic Malaysia, the dreamy Maldives, the Democratic Republic of Sao Tome & Principe, which is composed of two islands in the Gulf of Guinea in central Africa, as well as Angola, and exceptional destination the lovers of long sandy beaches. Representatives of Malaysia have shown interest in preforming at the fair and have recognized its significance, our Ministry of Foreign Affairs has mediated that the destination, which they call “Heaven on earth” – Sao Tome & Principe, present itself at the fair. Angola, which has many things to offer in tourism, beautiful white sand beached and national parks, is presenting at the fair as a part of the cooperation between the Embassy of Angola and the Provincial Government of AP Vojvodina.
Next to extraordinary participants and guests from around the world, over 40 domestic tour-operators has participated in the Tourism Fair. Domestic travel agencies performing at the Fair: Kontiki, Big Blue, Wayout, Astra Travel, Odeon, Allegra Krstarenja, Belvi, Ponte, Robinson, Plana Tours, Mediteraneo Holidays, Grand, Euroturs, Fibula, Supernova Travel, Nitravel, Sabra and other.
The specificity of this year’s Tourism Fair is that it is inspired by Serbia. In Hall 4 of the Belgrade Fair this year as well at the Tourism Fair Tourist Organization of Serbia, Tourist Organization of Belgrade and many other local and regional tourist organization will present themselves from all parts of Serbia.
A large number of business visitors is expected at the fair, especially from the region. With the business B2B platform and the program of organized customer bringing which the Belgrade fair continues to conduct this year as well, 3500 exhibitor profile views were recorded and more than 250 meetings were made of professionals from the tourism sector, which will be held during the fair in a specially designed space “B2B Meetings” in hall 1. This activity the Belgrade Fair realizes in cooperation with the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia and the European Network of Entrepreneurship.
As an unavoidable starting point for the new tourist year, for which large expectations are in order, the Belgrade Tourism Fair remains an important reference of tourism representation in the region.
With the standard high professional levels in organization and business, satisfying needs of all participants and exhibitors, the fair is ready to attract and welcome its loyal visitors.
The Tourism Fair will be a place of complete experience: travel inspiration, meeting the cultures of the world, socializing with people and creating memories, tasting the finest products, wines and rakias from these areas.
Together with the 43rd International Tourism Fair at the Belgrade Fair the 17th International Fair of Hotel & Catering Equipment HoReCa is being organized which promotes trends in the hotel and catering industry and the 12th International Wine Fair BeoWine, a respectable two day wine even which gathers domestic and foreign producers, importers and wine lovers.