The Belgrade Fairgrounds soon expects the temporary COVID hospital to close, and outdoor events, which will mark the opening of the season, complying with all the epidemiology measures, are planned for the end of June, as recently announced for Tanjug by the assistant commercial director of the Belgrade Fair, Aleksandar Ivkovic.
– We are proud that we have managed to provide all the resources in our struggle against the pandemic, and the closing of the hospital at the fairgrounds will enable us to return to our core activity – he says.
Fair and exhibition activities in Belgrade stopped in early March ahead of the traditional car show, and Ivkovic says that some events have been canceled, whereas others have been postponed and are to be held this autumn, depending on the situation.
– The business situation is very difficult and we are forced to rely on our own resources, which are now blocked, but we are looking at a bright future and we hope that our results will be more or less good in the autumn period – he said.
The fair and exhibition events drew 70,000 foreign tourists and 25,000 local ones to Belgrade last year. They spent a total of RSD 1.3 billion.
– That was a record-breaking year in the past decade for the Belgrade Fair. We hoped to exceed it in 2020, which the pandemic, unfortunately, swiftly put a stop to – he says.
Fairs are not expected this summer, but some other events might take place.
– We will try to use the period ahead of us as well as possible. We hope for the COVID hospital to move soon, so we believe that, with our own resources, we will be able to make up for everything we missed in the first half of the year – he said.
The losses incurred by the Belgrade Fair due to not being able to carry out the core activities in the past three months is enormous.
– We are collecting data and they can only be evaluated in the upcoming period. We expect state help and help from all other business entities, as it is truly important to have large fair events which attract a great number of tourists and visitors to the city and the state, generating a very strong consumption and direct benefit to all the business entities in the state – Ivkovic says.
June 3 is the world fair industry day, and the global network of large international fairs organizes 32,000 fair events a year, with over 4.5 million participating companies.
At fairs, globally, companies make contact with over 300 million visitors and the total business effect, including direct, indirect and induced sales, exceeds EUR 250 billion.