Hiroshi Yamashita, Director of the Japan National Tourism Organisation, was on hand at a busy Japan stand and was very upbeat about the show: “Compared to last year, we have had a lot of overall growth in business meetings”.
Even compared to the year before last, or say three to five years ago, our co-exhibitors have had more detailed meetings, whereas in the past we had simple walk-ins without any objective. The nature of the meetings has been more serious compared to previous years. So the show has been very positive.”
This fact has only increased the importance of ITB Berlin for the Japan tourism industry. “We see ITB as a very positive showcase in Europe,” he said. “We’ll be seeking more floor space next year.”
While German tour operators are one of the key focuses in terms of source markets at ITB Berlin, Yamashita says exhibitors have increasingly connected with operators across Europe and beyond.