Horticulture in Holland

Next year will see the sixth Dutch Floriade take place in the central-eastern region of Venlo in Holland. Abbe Bates gives an insight of what to expect from this impressive event.

The Floriade World Horticultural Expo is staged once every ten years in Holland and returns in 2012 from 5th April until 7th October.
Set in the Venlo region, close to the German and Belgian borders, the 2012 theme is ‘Be part of the theatre in nature, get closer to the quality of life’. It is expected to attract two million people from around the world – and more than 100 participants from 35 different countries and 90 companies.

An overview

The event promises to be a stage for socially responsible production methods in horticulture and a showcase for sustainable and healthy produce. It will also look at the relationship between humankind, nature and food.

A diverse range of shops and restaurants with seating for 4,000 people will be available, with the site itself covering an area of 66 hectares; this includes 40 hectares of actual exhibition space, 7,000 square feet of which will consist of indoor flower and plant shows.
As visitors arrive through a central entrance, they will be greeted with the Floriade Plaza, with its tree-lined avenue featuring 120 different types of rare tree, and can then make their way to a forest of contemporary fruit hedges and 100 classic fruit trees representative of the Limburg region over the ages, planted by ‘Friends of the Floriade’ – regional businesses who have been given the chance to adopt a tree here.
Groups will have the opportunity to further enjoy flowers, plants, trees, fruit and vegetables from around the globe through five themed zones, telling the story of horticulture.

Relax & Heal – Wellbeing

This area aims to emphasise the importance of horticulture in achieving a healthy life. There will be a focus on healthy eating, rituals, religions and sports activities.
Visiting groups will be able to taste, smell, feel, hear and see the positive influences of horticultural products.
The area is being designed to have an organic feel to reflect the human body, with no straight lines but flowing paths, rolling grassy hills and loose shapes.

Green Engine – Sustainability

This zone will focus on the link between horticulture, the economy and sources of green energy. Areas such as bio sciences and the greenhouse as an energy source will be explored and processes such as product development and logistics in this field will be highlighted.
As horticulture is a major driver of the Dutch economy, it will be here that the large indoor exhibition will be found, featuring displays changing on a weekly basis to show the diversity of the Dutch flower sector.

Education & Innovation – The future in our sights

Visitors to this section of the park can expect an insight into the connection between education, innovation and horticulture. It will look at the possibility of increasing knowledge of the horticultural field throughout Europe.
To represent an ever-changing landscape, this area is being designed so that different features obscure others, making it impossible to view the whole site as one area.

Environment – Quality of life

An area that looks at how living and working in a green environment improves our quality of life awaits group members in this zone. As well as looking at how gardens and balconies are integral to the home, the use of natural raw ingredients, how to be green within an urban environment and better garden architecture will all feature as topics.
This zone will have the appearance of an urban green city.

World Show Stage – Cultural convergence

As a way to show how international art, culture, entertainment and horticulture inspire one another, a series of events are planned to take place on the open-air World Show Stage, as well as daily throughout the whole park.
These events will include workshops, theatrical performances, tales from regional and national folklore, and interactive creative events that visitors of all ages can take part in.
The World Show Stage area will be themed around water and will feature a Theatre Hill with a capacity for an audience of 1,000. It will be the main location for international participants, further highlighting its global feel.

Leaving a legacy

The 2012 Floriade site is being purpose built for the occasion and past venues have suffered from a lack of use once the event is over. The 2012 show aims to leave behind an environmental legacy, true to its original message, by continuing as the site of GreenPark Venlo, a sustainably developed business park that will still be utilised once the exhibition has come to an end.

Facts and figures at a glance

Duration Open daily 5th April until 7th October 2012, from 10am to 7pm; between 21st June and 2nd September, part of the park will be open until midnight
Expected attendance 2 million visitors
Peak number of visitors a day 35,000
Average visit 7 hours
Cable cart This will show the park from a height of 30 metres over a length of one kilometre; there will be 42 carts, each carrying up to eight people
Refreshments One restaurant and two food stands per themed area as well as an international food and wine festival on the boulevard of the World Stage Show and a Coffee House at the Floriade Plaza

Group Bookings

There are a number of benefits being offered to groups thinking of visiting the Floriade:
Discounted entrance fees for groups of 20 or more with GTOs free (maximum one per coach)
200 free parking places for coaches and a special lounge for coach drivers, plus free entrance to the park
Groups of 20 or more offered a special two-course menu including a soft drink at the five themed restaurants
Each restaurant will have separate seating areas for groups of up to 100 people
Specially themed tours will be available on request
There will be workshops on topics such as flower arranging, cooking and wine tasting
Special packages to Floriade 2012 are also being offered by several UK tour operators including Tailored Travel and Greatdays Travel Group

Contact

Ms Rianne Hovens, Sales Assistant

Office Location

Venrayseweg 180a, 5928 RH?Venlo, The Netherlands

Mailing Address

P.O.?Box 178, 5900 AD Venlo, The Netherlands
tel +31 (0)77 399 81 47
fax +31 (0)77 399 81 39
email groups@floriade.nl
web www.floriade.com