Milanese footwear trade show Micam, saw an increase in visitors this season with attendees from China and Hong Kong up almost 70% compared to September 2017.
Its 86th edition closed last week in Milan after playing host to more than 45,000 visitors from all around the globe, a 2.7% increase on February 2018.
The footwear show had 27,272 visitors from Italy and 18,152 from abroad.
International visitors from China and Hong Kong grew at a combined rate of 68.6%, while the event also saw 43.2% more Americans, Canadians and Mexicans than last year.
“Micam is still an event with a strong international vocation,” said Annarita Pilotti, the chair of Assocalzaturifici, the organisation which represents the industrial companies operating in the footwear production sector.
Pilotti said that she had asked Italian deputy prime minister to provide extra help to small businesses, and to cut social security contributions and taxes, so that the exhibition can maintain its status as a world leader.
“This is the only way companies can afford to pay their employees more, become more competitive and continue to invest, generating wealth and promoting an upswing in consumption,” she added.
“It is also important to eliminate the sanctions imposed on Russia, which have had a negative impact on the participation of buyers from the country. Lastly, we need European legislation making labelling of origin obligatory to protect the excellence of our manufacturing industry.”
Within the European Union, Spain saw the greatest increase in visitors – up almost 10% - with Portuguese attendees up 4.5%. Switzerland, meanwhile, confirmed its status as the key logistics platform in the footwear sector with a 7.8% increase.
However, the number of buyers from France, Germany, Russia and the former Soviet republics were down.
The event showcased more than 2,000 footwear collections.