Vinexpo, the world's largest wine trade show, attracted 7.5% less visitors in 2009, according to official figures.

Visitor numbers fell to 46,261 for the five-day show, which took place in Bordeaux last month, organisers said today (7 July). The previous Vinexpo Bordeaux, held in 2007, attracted around 50,000 visitors.

Despite the slip, organisers hailed 2009 as a success, given the backdrop of the global economic downturn.

Some organising bodies had expected a worse result. "On Sunday, we weren't sure how it was going to go," one told just-drinks at the end of the show.

This year's show set a new record for non-French visitors, which accounted for 34% of the total.

There were around 10% fewer French visitors, perhaps reflecting the the economic pressure on France's wine and spirits industry as it struggles to cope with falling export sales.

The number of visitors from China and Hong Kong rose by 63% to nearly 1,200, compared with 2007. Next year, Vinexpo Asia Pacific will take place in Hong Kong in recognition of its position as a gateway to China's blossoming wine market.

More than three quarters of 856 exhibitors surveyed said that they were pleased with the 2009 show, organisers said.