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Remarkable attendance figures

Despite the recession and a threat of swine flu, The London International Wine Fair and Distil attracted its second highest visitor audience in the events’ 29 year history

The net visitor figure of 13,893 individuals was 7% below the extraordinary level achieved at the 2008 show, which had beaten the previous record high by 9%.  One record was set in 2009 however; the number of visitors returning to ExCeL for more than one day.  5,562 visitors visited the Fair for two or more days, up 3% on the previous highest re-attendance figure, which was also set last year.

James Murray, event director, commented: “Despite the best efforts of the UK recession, global economic collapse and the threat of swine ‘flu, we’ve seen excellent results. Distil, which welcomed 6,190 visitors over the three days, has strengthened its position as the dedicated spirits event to the trade and exhibitors throughout both events have been really positive about the future.”

Jason Haynes, director of Flint Wines commented: “We were delighted to be able to get our wines out to a much wider audience than usual. We have confidence in the quality of our wines but that means nothing if potential customers don't get to taste them, so it was great to have various regional wine merchants and sommeliers come by and taste through the wines. Hopefully we have found lots of new, long term customers.”

Paul Stratford of Stratford’s Wine Agencies commented: “We always see the LIWF as a key part of our sales and marketing strategy.  We have invested in a brand new stand this year which has helped generate even more interest and importantly, specific business leads.”

Amal de Silva Wijerathana of Rockland Distilleries said of Distil: “The show was fantastic for us newcomers... We had more enquires than we ever expected from the UK, the rest of Europe, US, Australia and Russia etc.  My thanks to the Distil team for attending to our needs to make the show work for us.”

Dan Audley, director at Hierbas Ibicencas noted: “Distil 2009 was the perfect way to show the rest of the industry our new products and liaise with similar organisations.  It is the ultimate one-stop shop for everything out there in the spirits industry.  We will definitely be back in 2010”

Jo Mason, UK market manager, Wines of South Africa added: “This year's London International Wine Fair was a great success for South Africa, with visitors to the Wines of South Africa stand getting a real feel for what is making the country so exciting at the moment. The producers on our stand were exposed to an excellent quality of visitor that the show continually attracts.”

Martin Krajewski, Proprietor of Chateau de Sours, when asked if he was happy with the investment he made in his LIWF stand comment, “Am I happy with the money I’ve spent? Yes, I’m delighted – we’ve already booked for next year!”

Michael Dala, managing director of Rimon Winery, continued “Everyone has been shocked and delighted by our pomegranate wine…demand and desire has been huge. We are so happy with the visitors we’ve seen this year and are already excited for next year.”

The 2010 event will run from 18-20 May at ExCeL celebrating its 30th anniversary.

Visitor breakdown

Tuesday May 12: 6,357
Wednesday May 13: 4,704 (plus 2,730 revisits from Tuesday)
Thursday May 14: 2,832 (plus 2,832* revisits from Tuesday/Wednesday)

* Coincidentally, an identical figure to the number of new visitors on Thursday May 14.

1 May 2009 - Felicity Murray