Meet The Bidder: spring edition with support for Ukraine and hope for better times
Meet The Bidder Smart Fairs revived the meetings industry and integrated more exhibitors from many countries with Polish agencies and tour operators from the MICE industry. The last edition was also held in November last year at the Arche Hotel Krakowska.
At the Wednesday event, a special “Zone for Ukraine” was created, which was to promote aid initiatives and made it possible to engage in these activities. Each person wishing to provide support had the opportunity to visit three stands: Tourism for Ukraine, Lena Grochowska Foundation, Job Offers Intermediary.
“It’s good that we can meet despite the difficult situation with our neighbors. A lot of people did not come today because of the commitment to help refugees, as you can see the entire industry is strongly involved. We do not stop showing what we are best at, that is, in a great organization “- says Alina Dybaś, president of the board of the Open Tourist Organization.
The tourism industry does not stop helping, on the contrary, it is even more involved in supporting refugees. Assistance is provided from arranging transport, accommodation to workplaces.
“The first edition of Meet The Bidder has been additionally expanded to include support and assistance. The driving force behind the logistics and the project is Tourism for Ukraine. As part of these activities, we bring people, provide accommodation and full support. We can help because, as an industry, we are prepared to organize. All logistics from the very first days rested on people from the industry “- adds Iwona Masłowska, TOO board member.
“It is also comforting that the entire industry is trying to get involved in employing people from Ukraine. These people will certainly support us due to the shortage of staff caused by the pandemic. They are well qualified and after additional training they will be able to fill this gap in our tourism. It is also worth paying attention to the hotels which, despite the fact that they themselves find themselves in a difficult post -ovid situation, accept refugees from Ukraine. Tourism shows that when you have to help, you can unite “- says Łukasz Mikosz, also from the TOO board
New exhibitors and a revival of the industry
This year there were many foreign exhibitors, including the strong representation of DMC from Ethiopia. Many professional service providers from Poland and around the world also came. Among the visitors were people related to the organization of trips in the MICE industry, representatives of travel agencies. B2B meetings concerned mainly group trips, but also services for individual tourists.
“This is my first time at Meet The Bidder and I am impressed with the organization. We have a lot of meetings, which we have been missing throughout the pandemic. We can meet the expectations of our clients, or meet in person, because for almost two years we were usually in contact by phone or e-mail “- says Monika Kamieńska from Puro Hotels.
The changing tourism market
The ending pandemic caused a strong revival of the entire market. Travel-related facilitation and the growing number of bookings indicated a way out of the crisis. When there was hope for a better year, war broke out in Ukraine. Another thing that may affect this year’s travel is the constantly rising prices of raw materials. What is certain is that the tourism market is changing, and the way we travel is also changing.
“The calming down of the pandemic gave a big boost to the industry after this difficult time. However, complicated times followed, and many people were unable to reach us today. Some help refugees and others suffer from large staff shortages caused by the pandemic. Overall, the reception of the event was very positive. A lot of new people came who had not yet participated in Meet The Bidder. The changing market also attracted many exhibitors from the hotel industry. We want to reach a wider audience, so that every tourist organizer can find something for himself “- sums up Marcin Lewandowski, the event organizer from Meet The Bidder.