The curtain falls on the world’s horticultural Expo Floriade

In 2032, the Netherlands will no longer host its world horticultural expo Floriade. Today, the Dutch Horticultural Council (NTR) announced the end of what since 1960 has been a colourful theatre of nature that blossomed once every decade.

According to the NTR, the concept of a world horticultural expo is “out of step with modern times”, adding that Floriade, for many decades, has been ‘an excellent tool to put the Netherlands on the world map and demonstrate horticultural innovation to a Dutch audience”, omitting that the presence of international visitors and international country pavilions mainly contributed to the success of the event.

NTR further explained that Floriade evolved from a primary flower exhibition into an event that addresses the world’s biggest challenges, such as rapid urbanisation, a growing world population, depletion of natural resources and climate change. The 2022 Floriade showed there’s a need for sustainability in all walks of life, and the Expo’s theme – Growing Green Cities – was one way to demonstrate solutions to the world’s biggest problems and give a massive boost to the ornamental horticultural sector.

“However, the expo’s last edition is a proof that today’s communication tools have changed so dramatically that a big scale event as Floriade no longer attracts the attendance figures needed to make the event profitable,” stated the NTR rather vaguely.

NTR concludes by saying that Dutch horticulture can help tackle global challenges, but it needs one year or even more time to reflect on how to spread this message to a wide audience.

As the approving body for International Horticultural Exhibitions, the International Association of Horticultural Producers-AIPH is saddened to hear the news that the Dutch horticultural industry will no longer be looking to organise a Floriade in the way they have done every ten years since 1960, says the Secretary General, Tim Briercliffe.

“AIPH can see that the recent Floriade in Almere failed to achieve its short-term financial objectives in a tough post-covid environment.  However, with different management, investment, government support and marketing, we believe the outcome could have been different, as demonstrated by previous Floriade Expos and similar Expos in other countries.  Many cities around the world remain very proud of the legacy of the Expos they have hosted, and in the future, Almere will also be proud of the new area they have created.

“In light of the problems with the recent Floriade, we believe it makes sense for the Netherlands to reflect on their future plans and certainly, a new approach would be needed. We wish them well and offer them our support in this.  AIPH-approved Expos have been proven to generate over 500 million euros of direct economic benefit to host cities.  The interest in hosting such events is increasing in other countries, and AIPH will work with them to deliver successful Expos.  As shown by many recent successful Expos, hosting an International Horticultural Exhibition is a great way for any city to create a unique visitor attraction, establish itself as a global green city and attract investment and growth.  As ‘the world’s champion for the power of plants,’ AIPH looks forward to working with upcoming Expo host cities to create unique and spectacular events fit to meet the needs and challenges of our time and to inspire millions in the enjoyment of plants and landscape.”

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