Berlin: As it marked its 50th anniversary, ITB Berlin has again underlined its importance as the leading trade show for the global travel industry. The five-day trade show on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds once again showed how resilient the international travel industry is even in the face of refugee crisis and geopolitical risks, demonstrating that it remains in a robust state as a vigorously expanding industry despite difficult global conditions.
In Germany, one of the most important source markets for international tourism, the uncertainty of the first weeks of the year is clearly being replaced by a growing confidence. After a somewhat restrained start to the 2016 travel season, the desire among the German public for vacation trips is currently being accompanied by an ongoing positive mood among consumers and a stable job market. Moreover, a reduction in the cost of living and above all the sharp fall in energy prices have given consumers in the Eurozone additional financial scope for the most enjoyable weeks of the year.
In its 50th year, ITB Berlin emerged stronger than ever. Some 10,000 exhibiting companies from 187 countries and regions met with 1,20,000 trade visitors in the 26 exhibition halls, which had been booked up months in advance. The figures reveal that the world’s leading trade show for the international travel industry attracted the largest number of trade visitors since it was launched in 1966. On the purchasing side there was also a further increase in the number of decision-makers: two thirds of the trade visitors stated that they held direct authority for all purchasing decisions. Business conducted during the trade show rose from last year’s figure of 6.7 billion euros to around seven billion this year.
Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin, said: “Never before in its 50 years has ITB Berlin welcomed so many trade visitors to the exhibition halls. After this five-day event, trade visitors and exhibitors are leaving Berlin with a clear message: even in times dominated by a ‘sense of uncertainty’ people are not willing to do without their holiday trips. Conversely, over the past few days the travel industry has made it clear that it can provide suitable answers to the major challenges that it currently faces.”
The world’s largest convention for the global travel industry attracted a record attendance. The 200 events at the ITB Convention were attended by over 26,000 visitors. According to a provisional estimate by the organisers, some 60,000 members of the public took advantage of the wide range of information available from tour operators, including those representing niche markets.