Local and International exhibitions - Tourism, science and work
I have a long history of participating in specialized exhibitions, particularly European ones. They are international in their scope and in terms of the numbers of visitors. For more than fifty years, I took part in more than a hundred exhibitions, the most recent being ATM in Dubai, held from 1st - 5th May 2007. I wrote an article entitled “From the Souk of Ikaz to international fairs”, published in the review “Al Hidha” in 1984, the magazine which I set up nearly 24 years ago. Today, the world is witnessing a revolution in the exhibition business.
The organisation of exhibitions has become a business in its own right. It has an international organization to supervise it, special equipment, and data-processing programs. Participating in exhibitions or just visiting them has many advantages: tourism, science and work. This contributes to the development of the individual. Whatever one invests in this sector, in terms of effort and money, he will be rewarded sooner or later.
Those visiting exhibitions have an interest in the industry or in acquiring knowledge. Tourism is one of the most important results of participation in exhibitions.
The analysis of the exhibitions, their specializations, host countries, dimensions, history, and the competitiveness of the different sectors, are all important for participants and visitors. It is necessary to underline the possibility of failure for those taking part in exhibitions or just visiting them, particularly for people with limited incomes. Although I encourage participating in exhibitions and visiting them, I warn against any temptation to invest in them adventurously and to expect good results. This is a warning, despite the benefit, experience and know-how which one can gain regardless of financial success or failure.
Visitors to exhibitions come from the host country, neighbouring countries and further a field. In the case of the big international exhibitions, there are various tourist activities that could profit the participant or visitor such as:
1 Walking through the exhibitions offers the visitor an opportunity of getting to know people from all over the world.
2 The organizers hold meetings, parties and even visits inside and outside the city where the exhibition is based.
3 Visiting the city where the exhibition is held or joining tours to the various sites of the host country.
4 The interest and hospitality of the host country, and the concerned and specialized organizations, are also a good form of tourism for visitors.
1 The visitor to any exhibition acquires scientific and other knowledge, especially if he is a professional, researcher or an interested party in a particular industry. The scientific gain increases progressively through successive visits to the same exhibition or similar ones.
2 The gain comes from scientific and technological developments, as well as exhibited innovations from year to year. That makes it possible for the visitor to keep up to date and make informed decisions regarding his work and future.
3 It is usual for the exhibitors to exert every effort to explain the advantages of their products or services. There is no monopoly on scientific information and they will not withhold it from the visitor.
Any work must have a material benefit, such as selling or purchasing products or services. In the exhibitions, there are many opportunities with good rewards that cannot be achieved by other means. For example:
1 Producing high quality products at competitive prices, because of the international competition which increases each day for every product.
2 Discovering new products and services which are exhibited as soon as they are produced.
3 Discovering new opportunities and allowing visitors to develop ideas for production innovations to further the development of their production quantitatively and qualitatively.
4 Products can be marketed directly or through a chain of distributors, national agents, retailers, international agents and wholesalers.
5 Exhibitions are the forum in which the leaders of the sector and the professionals within it meet, and not the place for the flow of products to consumers and retailers.
6 To benefit from the advantages of the exhibition, it is necessary to prepare for it. The fruits are not gathered at the time of the exhibition but by continuously working after it in order to finalise the business discussed.
7 The exhibitions sector plays an important part in the world economy. Without it trade and industry could not have developed. It is the first tool of globalization and bringing nations together.
Al Moltaqa exhibition in Dubai
The exhibition was not a simple tourist exhibition. Other elements and activities were added including:
Many countries, such as Germany, Austria and the Czech Republic, stressed medical tourism, by promoting their thermal spas and hospitals. Medical professors held conferences on medical tourism. For more information on this subject, please read my article published in Issue 5 of this magazine in 2003 entitled: “Medical tourism" which highlighted the importance of this kind of tourism.
Tourism cities and villages
Among the activities of this exhibition is the creation of tourist cities and villages, such as the ones I referred to in my article which was published in No 21 of ITM at the beginning of 2006 entitled “Tourism of Residence or Residence for Tourism”. I discussed the dimensions of this sector and its promising prospects. Large companies started to propose plans of villages or districts in beautiful forms in response to consumer’s demands.
One of the wonders of the exhibition was that the well known British company, Virgin, which operates in the field of railway transport and airlines, began marketing space tourism through its participation with a large stand and press conference.
Dubai was a leader in shopping tourism and it was followed by other countries. Dubai is one of the richest markets of the world: gold, jewellery, clothes and household items are the best in terms of quality and trade mark. Dubai is also the place for lower priced quality goods, especially Chinese products found in the Dragon market, a series of stores which represent this mythological animal.
The participants in this exhibition went beyond the traditional forms of tourism and concentrated on tourism with a high return such as medical, real estate and shopping tourism.
The exhibited products and projects became increasingly numerous. New exhibitions are created with new names for new sectors.
For more information and a follow-up of the development of renewed prospects for tourism, please refer to my book entitled “Tourism Prospects”, which includes articles published in ITM magazine. It is a reference work for all those who work in the field of tourism and teaching.
May God guides us to success