The organisers of HOST claim that this year’s event surpassed the show held two years ago, with 133,000 people attending the exhibition over the five days.
The turnout marked a 7% rise on the 125,000 visitors that HOST attracted in 2011, leading organisers Fiera Milano to suggest the hospitality industry was on its way to overcoming the economic crisis.
Almost 39% of this year’s attendees came from outside of Italy as the number of international visitors grew 21% to 51,600 compared to 2011.
Countries with a double-digit rise in attendance included the US (up 28%), Russia (64%), UAE (141%), Japan (24%) and Germany (14%).
Michele Perini, president of Fiera Milano, claimed the numbers confirmed HOST’s “world leadership” in the professional catering industry.
“The entire world considers this event a key engagement to build and reinforce business opportunities,” said Perini. “For HOST operators, it represents an opportunity to project into the global markets because the five days give attendees the ability to make contact with all the industry players and recognise the excellence of this industry.”
HOST 2013 saw 1,700 exhibitors from 48 countries take part in the event, with 350 new companies appearing at the show.
The organisers said its success was helped by what went on outside of the exhibition booths, with more than 400 separate events organised as part of the show and 38,400 engagements set up in advance through Fiera Milano’s Expo Matching Program.
The next edition of HOST will take place on 23-27 Otcober 2015 during the World Expo in Milan.