Worldwide, ITB Berlin is the only travel trade show that continues to expand in the international marketplace, with the 44th edition of ITB Berlin emphatically confirming its leading role. A slight rise in exhibitor attendance and stable trade visitor numbers from both Germany and abroad ensured the trade fair was a success.
Dr. Christian Göke, chief operating officer, Messe Berlin, gave a very positive assessment: “ITB Berlin 2010 broke records despite the difficult overall economic situation. More than 11,000 exhibitors placed a total of more than six billion euros worth of orders. The industry demonstrated resilience and placed its trust in the strong brand that is ITB Berlin, which once again was able to gather all the leading players in the market. ITB Berlin is the trade show where senior executives do business. The proportion of decision-makers attending this year’s fair was greatly in excess of fifty percent.“
11,127 companies from 187 countries (2009: 11,098) exhibited the international travel industry’s entire range of products and services. 110,953* trade visitors from 180 countries attended the show, equalling last year’s figures. As in 2009, 45 percent of the trade visitors came from abroad. This year there was a considerably higher number from Asia. Due to a well-chosen range of topics, the ITB Berlin Convention once again emphasized its role as the travel industry’s foremost discussion forum and think tank. Attendance rose yet again, with 12,500 delegates taking part in the convention. At the ITB Future Day topical issues such as Web 2.0 best practices and the latest market analyses attracted such high attendance that for the first time, available room capacity reached its limits. After three months of snow, the locals from Berlin and Brandenburg turned their thoughts towards holidays and on the weekend thronged the halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. 68,398* members of the general public (2009: 68,114) took the opportunity to obtain wide-ranging information from tour organizers and find out about niche market providers offering individual travel. A total of 179,351* visitors (178,971) attended the show.
ITB Berlin was an international media event, with approximately 7,200 accredited journalists from 89 countries covering the fair. Politicians and members of the diplomatic services from around the world gathered at ITB Berlin. 95 foreign national delegations and four royal highnesses were in attendance, as well as the President of the Republic of Maldives, the Deputy Prime Minister of Mongolia, and the Vice-President of the Seychelles. 111 ambassadors, three general consuls, 17 foreign presidents and prime ministers, 76 ministers and deputy ministers, and a number of foreign state secretaries visited ITB Berlin. Politicians from Germany also came to find out what the travel industry had to offer. Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Rainer Brüderle and Federal Minister of Transport, Building, and Urban Development Peter Ramsauer spoke to exhibitors during their tour of the fair. State secretaries representing the Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology and the Ministry of Defence, Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit, 17 ministers from German Federal States, as well as senators found out about travel products and trends.
SUCCESS FOR PARTNER COUNTRY TURKEY
Hüseyin Cosan, Cultural Attaché of the Republic of Turkey in Berlin stated: “Germany represents our foremost source market. More than 4.4 million tourists travel to Turkey from Germany. ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show and also the largest. For us, to be the partner country of ITB Berlin is something special. Turkey has created a new partner country concept. We set up a program of cultural events with numerous activities that took place outside the grounds. These included a show with an amateur choir from Antalya with singers who were rabbis, priests, nuns, and muslims. Our minister also invited a Kurdish singer to take part. We wanted to demonstrate our country’s diversity, and from my point of view, that was the highlight of our presentation. Turkey in its role as partner country attracted a great deal of attention among visitors. All our co-exhibitors were highly satisfied. If the exhibitors are happy then I think together we have achieved something remarkably good.“
IN TIMES OF CHANGE ITB BERLIN IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
Taleb Rifai, General Secretary of UNWTO said: ”As the world is experiencing a period of profound change – ranging from the economy to the environment – tourism as a truly global activity can make a meaningful contribution in these times of transformation. Against this backdrop, ITB 2010 has again proven to be the ideal setting to showcase the resilience and innovation capacity of the tourism industry. UNWTO is happy to partner with ITB and together contribute to a stronger and more responsible tourism sector.”
BTW AND DRV – A PROMISING START TO A NEW DECADE IN TRAVEL
Klaus Laepple, President of the German Tourism Industry Federation (DRV) and the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) stated: “Once again, the world’s largest travel trade show has demonstrated how important exchanging opinions and meeting people is, particularly in times of crisis. The rise in the number of exhibitors and visitors who attended ITB Berlin shows that in economically difficult times those representing the tourism industry need to keep in touch. However, the trade fair is more than a place for meeting and holding talks. During the five days of the fair joint ventures were negotiated, agreements were reached and business was done. The German tourism industry estimates that at ITB the amount of business concluded was equivalent to around six billion euros, a figure which gives us optimism. We foresee that in the medium to long term, the travel sector will once again experience sustained growth. We expect the travel market to further settle down in 2010.“
* The figures quoted are provisional results.
The next ITB Berlin will take place from Wednesday, March 9 to Sunday, March 13, 2011. The partner country will be Poland.
COMMENTS FROM EXHIBITORS
Magdalena Beckmann, Press Spokeswoman of the Polish Tourist Board in Berlin: “Hall 15.1 was very well attended on the three days reserved for trade visitors at the fair. There were lively discussions on the stands and our information material was in great demand. The mood is positive, and we are happy to have maintained the same good results we achieved in 2009. Demand has risen ahead of the European Football Championships in 2012. There was no room left in our meetings timetable. Visitors arriving on the Open Days of the fair are bound to be very interested in our model of the Elblag Canal, which this year celebrates its 150th anniversary.“
Peter Hill, CEO, Oman Air: “ITB is the world’s most important travel trade show. Anyone who is serious about conducting business comes here.”
Maha Khatib, Minister of Tourism of Jordan: “Up to now ITB has been a great success for us. We enjoy being in Berlin. This trade fair gives us an opportunity to show people our country. It may be small, but it has something to offer for everyone. After establishing new contacts with organizers, we expect an increase in tourism, particularly from Germany, which for us is a very important market.“
Salem Obaidalla, Emirates’ SVP Commercial Operations Europe: “ITB Berlin is a significant force driving the travel industry around the world. It is imperative for us to be in Berlin, particularly in these challenging times. As in every year, the fair is an ideal place to meet business partners and contacts from our most important markets.“
Maureen Posthuma, Area Manager Europe Namibia Tourism Board: “Namibia is also profiting from the worldwide attention the FIFA World Cup in South Africa is attracting, something we have definitely noticed at ITB Berlin. As yet we are unable to forecast an actual increase in visitor numbers for the period during or after the World Cup. We are now looking forward to the two Open Days for Berlin locals and their guests.“
Burkhard Kieker, Managing Director, BTM Berlin Tourismus Marketing GmbH: “There are no signs of a crisis anywhere. Berlin has kicked off the new year with a bang. ITB Berlin has shown that interest among business partners from abroad in particular is huge. We are cautiously optimistic about the future.“
Thomas Brandt, Country Sales Manager Germany & Switzerland, Delta Air Lines: “ITB Berlin is the trade show one likes to be at, and which is a must.”
Manfred Traunmüller, Managing Director, Donau Touristik, Linz: “That was the best ITB Berlin in five years! We were constantly surrounded and had our hands full all the time. Everyone from all corners of the globe is here at ITB Berlin. The many new and concrete projects which have been set up here give us confidence. The recession has not affected cycling tours.”
Udo Fischer, Country Manager Germany, Etihad Airways: “ITB Berlin is a must in the positive sense and gives us an opportunity to do good business. The days reserved for trade visitors save us a lot of money and travel expenses.“
John Kohlsaat, Chief Commercial Officer, Germania Fluggesellschaft: “ITB Berlin exceeded all our expectations. The fair was impressive proof that it justifies its role as one of the most important meeting places of the tourism industry. Particularly for a medium-sized company such as Germania direct meetings and face-to-face talks with customers and business partners are essential. ITB Berlin is the ideal platform for presenting our products and services to an interested expert audience and for establishing new contacts. The decision to be at the world’s largest travel trade show with our own stand, the first time in our company’s history, was undoubtedly the right one.“
Leonie Stolz, Market Manager, Österreich Werbung: “We are very happy with how things went at this year’s ITB Berlin. In terms of business results, exhibitors’ expectations were fulfilled and there was keen interest from abroad. On all three days one could see that the Austria Hall was always very busy.“
Michael Zengerle, General Manager, Norwegian Cruise Line for continental Europe: “At Norwegian Cruise Line we are very satisfied with the way the fair has gone up to now, and we will be back next year. For us ITB Berlin is an ideal opportunity to meet our sales partners from all over Europe. As a form of travel, cruises are attracting keen interest everywhere. It used to be tour operators who dominated Hall 25. Now it is the organizers of sea and river cruises.“
Tobias Bandara, Promotion Manager Sri Lanka Tourism: “Sri Lanka is back on the tourism map. That is obvious from the number of German tourists and from the amount of interest expressed in our country by visitors to ITB Berlin. Up to now the fair has been a great success for us and our partners on the stand. We hope to have convinced many visitors that the time to rediscover our island is now. We are also looking forward to the two days when members of the general public come to ITB Berlin.“
Thorsten Lettnin, General Manager Sales Germany, Switzerland, Austria & Italy, United Airlines: “As a platform ITB Berlin is simply too good. This is the place where one can display products and put one’s hand on them.“
Holger Gassler, Head of Sales Promotion, Tirol Werbung: “This year Tyrol occupied a larger stand than in previous years, which led to much greater demand, something we definitely noticed. Compared with last year and 2008 there has been a vast increase in interest in summer holidays both in Austria and Tyrol. That applies particularly to offers of activities such as cycling and hiking tours.“
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