Final figures from Vinexpo showed a record 38% of non-French participants, with Chinese visitors proving particularly prominent in keeping with the fair’s global consumption growth predictions.
Total attendance at the five-day biennial fair reached 48,858 visitors from 148 countries, marking a 1.5% increase on 2011, although the number of non-French attendees rose by 3%.
Of these, by far the best-represented country was China, which supplied 3,388 drinks trade representatives, a 13.9% increase on its participation in 2011. Also well-represented was Japan, which sent 17.6% more visitors than two years ago with 427 visitors.
The fair’s efforts to attract a strong Asian following led to significant increases from other parts of the continent, with 32.7% more visitors from India, 20.4% more from Vietnam and 21.1% more from Malaysia.
Despite this strong growth in Asian participation, the US had the second largest visitor presence at Vinexpo, with 1,433 representatives. Following close behind was the UK, with 1,418 visitors, Belgium with 1,132 and Germany with 1,073.
Among the countries showing the sharpest increase in visitor numbers were Canada, which saw an 11.9% uplift, and Russia, which sent 9.8% more visitors.
Meanwhile French visitor levels remained stable, representing 62.2% of total attendance.
Vinexpo CEO Robert Beynat, who will now step down to focus on the organisation’s growing Asian fair schedule, noted that these figures correlate with earlier forecasts about world markets.
“Between 2012 and 2016, wine consumption will grow by 145 million 9-litre cases worldwide, an increase of 5.31%,” he predicted.
“Three markets in particular will drive this growth: the US with an extra 40.5 million cases, China, up 70.5 million cases and Russia with a further 17.4 million cases.”
In order to cater for this growing significance of the Asian markets, next year will see Vinexpo host fairs in Hong Kong (27-29 May), Beijing (2-3 June) and Tokyo (1-2 November).
Click here to see the drinks business’ photo diary of some of the highlights from Vinexpo 2013.