An economic boost from Berlin – All signs point to growth and a record year – ITB Berlin reaffirms its standing as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show
With a five per cent increase in business volume at ITB Berlin 2018 compared to last year ITB Berlin concluded, the five-day exhibition on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. With around 110,000 trade visitors from Germany and abroad, ITB Berlin was able to reaffirm its standing as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in with the attendance of 60,000 members of the general public flocked to the display halls on the weekend. It hosted around 150 sessions featuring over 300 outstanding speakers. The event was held in collaboration with Jin Jiang International and Ctrip for around 300 representatives of the travel industry.
From 7 to 11 March 2018, over a period of five days, more than 10,000 companies and organisations from 186 countries and regions exhibited their products to visitors in 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Around 74 per cent of the ITB Buyers Circle attended in a decision-making capacity, with budgets that exceeded one million euros. More than one-third of the buyers present even had ten million euros and more at their disposal.
The main reason for the industry’s positive mood is the positive economic climate in the eurozone which according to leading economic institutes is better than at any time since the turn of the millennium. Other partners of the ITB Berlin Convention included the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) in the role of co-host, Ctrip.com International, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey with Zambia as the Convention & Culture Partner. Two-thirds of trade visitors said they were directly authorised to make buying decisions for travel products. With its Baltic coastline and well-known Lakeland region, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany’s most attractive federal states.
The huge prospects that medical tourism has to offer the global tourism industry were highlighted at ITB Berlin. Travel Technology was one of the segments which displayed strong growth. Exhibitors including eNett, Traso,Triptease and Paymentwall, which increased their display areas, returning exhibitors, among them Travelport, as well as the Hospitality Industry Club, a newcomer, highlighted the excellent prospects of this fast-growing segment. The large increase in Chinese exhibitors there was particularly noticeable. The online portal Ctrip displayed its products in Berlin for the first time.
Two new formats celebrated their debut in Berlin, reflecting strong growth in the Luxury Travel segment. With the new Loop Lounge @ ITB organised in collaboration with Loop, the trade show for luxury products, ITB Berlin had created a new platform for networking in an exclusive atmosphere with a select group of exhibitors, and with the first ITB Luxury Late Night the show provided an opportunity for visitors to cultivate contacts. Currently, luxury travel accounts for seven per cent of the market and annual growth is in double-digit figures. The next ITB Berlin will take place from Wednesday, 6 to Sunday, 10 March 2019.
Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH: “The consistent forecasts of sustained global economic growth for the next two years decisively contributed to the positive mood among exhibitors and visitors these past few days. Against the backdrop of a booming economy, record low employment and good wage settlements, more and more consumers are willing to spend money. Furthermore, because of the strong euro and correspondingly weak dollar holidaying in numerous countries outside the eurozone is becoming noticeably cheaper.”
Harry Glawe, Economics Minister of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: ”Mecklenburg-Vorpommern overall successfully attracted the attention of visitors with its diversity and wide range of tourism attractions. The opening gala, the state’s participation as a whole and its involvement with activities and events were well received at the show. This was clear from the many conversations and reactions from visitors. The show again demonstrated how important it is to draw attention to oneself. We would like to thank everyone involved who helped make the state’s appearance an unforgettable event. We look forward to being back next year.“
David Ruetz, Head, ITB Berlin said, ”Luxury travel is booming and with our innovative formats we are responding to this welcome development. With this initiative we are also establishing ourselves in a role that devotes even more attention to this growth market and are showcasing this trend on the exhibition grounds.“
Malaysia will be the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2019. ”We want to increase tourism and establish Malaysia as a tourism destination“, said Dato´Sri Abdul Khani Daud from Tourism Malaysia at ITB Berlin.
Wolfgang Waldmüller, President, Regional Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern: ”In its role as the partner region of ITB Berlin, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was able to focus international attention on the diversity of the state that is Germany’s most popular tourism destination. By showcasing the best of everything that Mecklenburg-Vorpommern has to offer between the Baltic and Lakeland region, particularly its nature attractions, we were able to attract the attention of international buyers, opinion-formers and potential visitors on an unprecedented scale and drew a huge response from the media. Whether it was the spectacular opening gala to which more than 3,000 guests from 110 countries had been invited, our participation in the first Berlin Travel Festival, or the ITB Grand Finale, Germany’s northeast left a lasting impression. We will continue where we left off and ensure that this tourism destination profits from the contacts we established.”
Norbert Fiebig, President, German Travel Association (DRV) ”The desire of German citizens to travel could be felt in every hall at ITB Berlin and the foundation has been laid for 2018 to be a great success. ITB Berlin is not only a place for marketing destinations, but also an early indicator of how tourism bookings will develop for the summer travel season. In that respect the basic mood within the industry was very positive. This year, overtourism was a key topic at the show. Growth and responsibility go hand in hand and the travel industry is keenly aware of its responsibility. Once again, ITB Berlin picked up on the current trends and formulated new ones.“
Dr. Michael Frenzel, President, Federal Association of the German Tourism industry (BTW) ”At ITB Berlin 2018 we witnessed everything: impressive figures, dominant themes and innumerable outstanding tourism products from Germany and around the world. Over the past few days reports of record figures, positive survey results and inspiring tourism products for upcoming holidays have made us optimistic that providers and visitors can look forward to 2018 being an outstanding year for tourism. ITB Berlin again proved that in our industry nations and people working together to understand each other goes without saying, and not just on the exhibition grounds. Hospitality, a cosmopolitan outlook and bringing people and cultures together – that is what we and our tourism products stand for.”