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The travel and tourism industry today is experiencing rapid growth, and there are enormous opportunities for obtaining new business in previously untapped markets. As far as the western tourist industry is concerned, Ukraine is such a market. By bringing together Travel Ukraine with Ukraine Tour & Leisure, Ukraine International Travel & Tourism Exhibition (UITT) will be the leading travel and tourism exhibition for the travel trade in Ukraine. It will be the showcase for outbound and inbound travel from and to the region, the fastest growing travel market in Europe. UITT will be held in Kyiv from April 14-17, 1999. Suppliers of international travel products will meet buyers from across the whole of Ukraine and neighboring countries and Ukrainian suppliers will meet buyers from around the world. The exhibition is a joint venture between the ITE Travel Exhibitions and Ukrainian organizers. ITE specializes in emerging markets, covering Russia, Ukraine, Bahrain, France, and India. ITE successfully launched Travel Ukraine in 1998, and its specialists are organizers of the largest international travel exhibition in Russia and the CIS, the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Exhibition, now in its sixth year. Olexander Horobets, Head of the Organizing Committee, UTL, and Editor-in-Chief of International Tourism and Welcome to Ukraine magazines, talked to David Hammond, Director of ITE Travel Exhibitions, when he was on one of his recent regular visits to Kyiv.

Horobets: Mr Hammond, could you say a few words about your company?
: ITE was established in 1991 and since then it has grown to become one of the leading exhibition companies of the world.

Horobets: What would you consider to be your greatest successes?
: Within the context of the ITE, the greatest success of myself, of our team and of the company as a whole has been the development of the Moscow International Travel & Tourism Show, the largest within five years. Within the last two years we've managed to increase our company portfolio from one exhibition to six exhibitions worldwide. But I think the greatest satisfaction is actually seeing that we can actively help in developing tourism, that is, that our tourism exhibitions do help to bring the buyer and seller together.

Horobets: And what are your future plans?
Hammond: I firmly believe in the effectiveness of exhibitions in general and particularly in the travel industry. Our long-term ambition is to see tourism developing, beginning to grow everywhere. We hope to supply to the exhibitions whatever is needed to meet the customers' needs.

Horobets: Do you really believe Ukraine has a good tourism potential?
I think Ukraine is a very good example of how tourism has developed and changed within the last ten years, both in terms of people travelling into different countries and travelling out of different countries.

Horobets: What is being done to promote Ukraine as an emerging tourist market internationally?
International destinations, international companies are very eager to have opportunities to promote themselves to the Ukrainian market. And I think it is reflected in the fact that we will have 35 different countries promoting their destinations at our next show. So, to this end we are putting together a number of activities to ensure that international travel companies will visit the show and will work with the long-term aim in mind of bringing more tourism into Ukraine.

Horobets: What do expect of this year's exhibition in Kyiv?
We are looking forward to this year's show which promises to come off on a higher level of success. We have formed a strategic alliance with the Ukrainian Tourist & Leisure and that means that a perfect marriage is being made. With the expertise of ITE in terms of servicing both the exhibits and visitors, the travel show in Ukraine is very likely to be a very important tourist event. ITE has experience and contacts with the international travel industry, and it will be very helpful in getting everything right.
It is an established fact that there is a great dem
and for the travel business to Ukraine and from Ukraine. We are determined to make this exhibition a focal tourism business meeting of the year, in the manner of any other major tourist business event held in London, in Germany and in Russia.

Horobets: What, actually, such an exhibition aims to achieve ?
: It is important to realize that one of the most precious resources is time. The exhibition such as this allows the travel business professionals to visit the whole world under one roof, and to do it within four days.

Horobets: Coming back to your company how big is it?
: As a company we have offices in the United Kingdom, in Italy, Turkey, Russia, Germany, and within each office we'll have a person who'll be working for the Ukraine Travel & Tourism Show. In our headquarters in London we have a dedicated team of 25 people working exclusively on Travel & Tourism. Altogether we have a total of over 400 employees world-wide.

Horobets: What are the actual ways of promoting Ukraine?
: Like many other companies we'll use brochures, all kinds of other materials. We'll use our database which has a total of 15,000 names world-wide. We believe in the power of advertizing. We have been advertizing Ukraine and other Travel events in Europe, in Russia in other CIS countries, even as far afield as India, and in Asia. I can say that our promotion of UITT is global. We also do it at all other major tourism business exhibitions. We realize that for a show to be successful people have to be aware of the product, so it's important that people are made aware of Ukraine. In the past three years I've seen a greater awareness of Ukraine. I keep saying to any international tourist company: go to Ukraine you've got to see what you're missing.

Horobets: What did you do before the establishment of the ITE?
: In the eighties I worked for the British Thomson Holiday Company, I was stationed in Madrid, Spain, and though my main sphere of activity was the Mediterranean, I sold tours to Eastern Europe, including Russia and Ukraine. I had a chance to visit Kyiv then. And in more recent times, in the past two and a half years, I've been making regular visits to Kyiv. It surely is a beautiful city, especially in summer, and in April, when the travel & tourism show will be held, Kyiv is just lovely, everything is in bloom. I wish though I had more time to explore the rest of Ukraine.

Horobets: Thank you for your time, Mr Hammond. Let me wish you all possible success.
: Thank you. Hope, our success will be mutual.

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