The global growth engine that is the travel industry continues at full pace
Uninterrupted growth at a high level: despite a slowdown in the world economy demand within the world’s travel industry remains extremely stable. As ITB Berlin came to a close last Sunday the economic outlook for the global industry in 2019 is positive once again. The results of the five-day exhibition on the Berlin fairgrounds: trade visitor numbers rose to 113,500, a 3% increase compared with last year, underlining the fact that even in times of widespread uncertainty due to geopolitical and economic events such as Brexit and trade conflicts, ITB Berlin has retained its position as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show.
Trade visitors and exhibitors alike were highly satisfied with ITB Berlin 2019. In a survey, they gave ITB Berlin top marks for innovation. The trade show celebrated the successful launch of the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment, among others. Internationally, the ITB success story continues. Having already established ITB Asia in Singapore and ITB China in Shanghai, from 15 to 17 April 2020 Messe Berlin will be holding the first ITB India in Mumbai. Within the travel industry India is regarded as one of the most important source markets of the future.
ITB BERLIN IS OF GREAT IMPORTANCE, PARTICULARLY IN TIMES OF WIDESPREAD UNCERTAINTY
ITB Berlin, which was booked up months beforehand, is seen as a reliable economic indicator and forward-looking trendsetter of the global travel industry. As a recognised think tank and driving force for the industry, the ITB Berlin Convention was the main attraction again for many trade visitors. This year there was a record number of high-ranking international speakers. The CityCube Berlin, its new venue, was also very well received. Topics focused on by the convention included overtourism, sustainability and climate change, the shift in customer demands particularly in the luxury travel market, and the topic of Future Mobility.
“ITB Berlin is of great importance, particularly in times of widespread uncertainty. Even in a digitalised world, it is not possible for hi- tech communications to replace the confidence-building measure that face-to-face meetings and a direct exchange between business partners on issues concerning the global industry represent. That is why ITB Berlin functions”, said Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin.
In Dr Göke’s view, there is good reason to believe that the global travel industry will do satisfactory business in 2019. On the one hand the travel industry had learned to deal with the consequences of a poorly performing economy, and on the other there was clearly no evidence yet of German consumers displaying the lack of optimism that had now spread throughout the global economy, he said. Dr Michael Frenzel, president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) said once again, the trade show was a place to inspire visitors to nd out rst-hand about important forward-looking topics, offering many opportunities to get to know each other better: “In a world in which the focus is far too often on confrontation, it is this understanding among peoples, this cultural exchange – which the tourism industry stands for more than any other, and which year after year is why ITB Berlin functions – that is the bottom line. ‘Yes to openness, and no to racism’: that is the clear message that we as the tourism industry continue to carry to the four corners of the world.”
Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV), stated, “The German travel industry is optimistic about business in a year that will present us with a number of challenges. Despite that, Germans are as keen to travel as ever and the industry is well- equipped to meet the demand. At ITB we exchanged views on digitalisation and sustainability, the main trends, and made progress with our joint development projects. We established many international contacts and met old and new friends.”
ITB Berlin 2020 will be taking place from Wednesday, 4 to Sunday, 8 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only.
Photo: Dr Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH