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Paris textile events lure more UK visitors

UK visitor numbers at Paris textile shows Premiere Vision and Texworld rose last week as designers and fabric buyers looked to beef up their fabrications.

Premiere Vision reported a 15% rise in UK visitors compared with the February 2006 edition. Texworld said there had been a 4% rise in visitors from the UK compared with last year, although the number was down on last season.

Texworld moved its location from La Defense on the opposite side of the city to Paris Le Bourget Exhibition Centre, in order to be nearer to Premiere Vision's site at Parc des Expositions.

Exhibitors at Texworld criticised transport links from Le Bourget station, after some visitors were forced to wait several hours for buses on the first evening.

"Many exhibitors were really unhappy," said Sam Zhang, sales manager of Chinese supplier Running Textiles. "In the evenings, there were about 1,000 people waiting for the bus to the station. But with so few buses, it took hours."

Organisers have pledged to improve transport and a spokeswoman said the station would be renovated in time for the next edition.

Premiere Vision organiser Daniel Faure said the show would continue to grow its number of overseas exhibitors. This season was Faure's last at the helm, with former general manger Philippe Pasquet taking over as chief executive.

- Mills based in Prato in Italy are planning inter-seasonal textile shows in Florence in April and November. Called Up To Date, the invitation-only events are being organised by Pratotrade, the group behind Prato Expo. The first edition will take place on April 17-18 at Stazione Leopolda.

See page 32 for a full report from Premiere Vision.

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