“We are very satisfied with the output of this first edition. We’ve had visitors from over 20 countries and the feedback from the exhibitors is also positive”, pointed Anwar El Mezwaghi, chairman of Ambar Connect, the company behind the exhibition.
ExpoHalal Spain 2015 positions itself as the starting point for the Spanish companies in the Halal sector, the one related to the products and services adapted to the Muslim consumer, a market of growth thanks to the strong increase of the Muslim population and a growing global demand for ethic and healthy products.
“Our company decided to boost this project with the clear commitment of setting Spain as the meeting point of the global Halal sector”, added El Mezwaghi.
Vast majority of the agro food sector
Most of the certified exports from Spain in 2014 went to Algeria, Morocco, Saudi Arabia, France, Kuwait, Emirates and Afghanistan, mostly from agro food companies. This sector was widely represented during the exhibition up to the point of becoming 64% of the companies there.
The data from Ambar Connect states that the sector registered similar figures in terms of visitors, reaching the 64% of the global number, compared to the 23% from the touristic sector and the 13% from the service companies.
Within the agro food sector, the subsector more represented was the meat one, with over 20 exhibitors and 37% of the visitors, followed by processed food (19% of the visitors), and bakery (9%).
One example of the interest raised by the meat gourmet industry was the presence of the ham slicer and four times Record Guinnes, Nico Jiménez, who probed his skills with a lamb hind quarter new brand created for the Muslim world.
Tourism, shopping tourism and health tourism
Turespaña, the Spanish organisation dedicated to promote the country abroad, indicated that up to the month of July Spain received already 600.000 tourists from Muslim countries. During all 2014 it received 1.200.000.
“The Muslim tourist is not a complicated or a special client. It is just a question of being a good host and making him feel at home and not pretending only to make money from him”, explained Francisco Garrido, deputy director at Hotel Intercontinental and Food and Beverages director.
One of the upcoming stars for the sector is the shopping tourism, already a 217.000 million euros market for Spain in 2014. At ExpoHalal Spain it was represented by big international brands as El Corte Inglés.
The emerging health tourism sector was also present at the exhibition. “It gathers together two sectors where we are world leaders: tourism and health” highlighted Teresa Almansilla, Development Technician at the health cluster Spaincares. This sector is estimated to reach 500 million euros in 2015, she added.
Almost half of the visitors coming from the touristic sector defined themselves as travel agencies (27%), wholesalers and Tour operators (21%) restaurants and caterings (13%) and hotels (12%).
Lastly, among the visitors identified as service providers the consulting and certification companies headed the ranking with 33%, followed by logistics (22%) and finances (20%).
Thanks to the positive feedback from visitors, exhibitors and institutions, Ambar Connect has already announced to be working in a new edition for autumn 2016.