Positive economic climate in the Euro zone boosts the annual event.
ITB Berlin 2018, which had been booked to near capacity for months before the event, impressively confirmed its role as a reliable economic indicator and forwardlooking trendsetter.
With around 110,000 trade visitors, ITB Berlin was able to reaffirm its standing as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. Despite the warm spring weather around 60,000 members of the general public flocked to the display halls on the weekend to find out about the wide range of information available from exhibitors. The ITB Berlin Convention, which examined current issues such as overtourism and digitalisation, also underlined its role as the global travel industry’s leading think tank.
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. 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.”
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. Once again, there was a high percentage of buyers in a decisionmaking capacity: two-thirds of trade visitors said they were directly authorised to make buying decisions for travel products. Around 74% 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.
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.
For the ITB Berlin Convention, the global travel industry’s leading think tank, which hosted around 150 sessions featuring over 300 outstanding speakers, the event was also a success. Messe Berlin had been able to secure Zambia as the Convention & Culture Partner. Situated in the middle of southern Africa, this country is still largely untouched by tourism. However, it is gradually establishing itself as a popular travel destination. 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.
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 of the Regional Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern concluded, “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, opinionformers 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”.
Photo: Harry Glawe, Economics Minister of Mecklenburg-Verpommern, with Dato’ Siew Ka Wei, Chairman, Tourism Malaysia and Dr Martin Buck, Vice President of Competence Center Travel & Logistics Messe Berlin GmbH – “passing the baton” from this year’s partner destination to the next…