ITB Berlin is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary and is as successful as ever. Many of the halls are already booked up. From 9 to 13 March 2016 at the world’s largest travel trade show the fair’s organisers expect around 10,000 exhibitors and organisations from more than 180 countries to be in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
“Bookings are stable compared to 2015, underlining ITB Berlin’s role as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show – despite the difficult economic situation on the world market, the refugee crisis and terror attacks.
This year’s ITB Berlin will unite supply and demand from around the world again and send out an important message for the future. The high level of demand from emerging destinations such as Asia and the Arab countries and the growth of popular markets such as Travel Technology are proof of how dynamic the global travel industry is.
At the same time, up-to-the-minute and forward-looking themes at the ITB Berlin Convention, where leading experts will be taking part in the debate, emphasise ITB Berlin’s reputation as the travel industry’s driving force“, said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.
The focus is on the Maldives. This year’s partner country is organising the opening event on the eve of ITB Berlin. What is more, the island nation in the Indian Ocean, which first exhibited at ITB Berlin in 1984, occupies a larger display area. Trade visitors and the general public visiting the stand in Hall 5.2, which now covers 200 square metres, can find out about the many products and services of this travel destination which attracts visitors 365 days a year.
Growth and returning exhibitors reflect developments in the travel industry
Demand from Asia and the Arab countries remains particularly high. In Hall 26 China Southern Airlines, as well as tour operators and destination management companies (DMCs), including Beijing Charmission Travel, Europe Champion Travel, Ideaindochina & HGH Traveland Trails of Indochina are represented for the first time. Indonesia and Taiwan occupy larger stands. Bhutan has moved from Hall 5.2a to Hall 26.
In the hall displaying India [5.2b] the state of Rajasthan is returning in 2016, having launched a new global marketing campaign. Following the disastrous earthquake in April 2015 Nepal is back with its campaign ’Nepal Now’, promoting the country as an attractive and safe tourism destination.
Central America and the Carribbean have also expressed keen demand for places at the world’s leading travel trade show. Following an absence, St. Lucia and the Turks and Caicos Islands are exhibiting again. Now with larger stands, Cuba and El Salvador are even more strongly represented at the show.
There is also high growth in numbers from Canada, the USA and Central Asia. In particular, there are many exhibitors from Russia. Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates have already secured their places, and in Hall 22a Emirates is certain to cause a stir with its new stand.
With displays covering two halls, the African countries at ITB Berlin underline how important tourism is for this continent. Numerous countries are back at the show following an absence.
They include Zimbabwe, Cameroon, Burundi and Sierra Leone, whose appearance at the show after the ravaging ebola epidemic marks the return of this country to the tourism market.
The arrival of several newcomers from Europe emphasises the increasing importance of ITB Berlin. For the first time the Vatican Museums and the papal art collection from Vatican City are represented with their own stand in Hall 1.2a. Turkey, a popular holiday destination, is represented in its own hall [3.2] with 15 new exhibitors, a record figure.
Among the exhibitors in the Hall displaying Spain [4.2] are Ferri Land – PortAventuraWorld, Marbella and MTS Globe Spain, all newcomers to the show. Hall 25, where tourism companies are exhibiting, has also experienced high growth. This year the online portal Urlaubspiraten, the Mouzenidis Travel Group, one of Greece’s biggest tour operators, and the low-cost carrier Germania are all making their first appearance at the show.
For business travel managers and everyone involved with business travel Hall 7.1c at ITB Berlin is the place to meet. For the fourth year in succession the Home of Business Travel by ITB & VDR offers a relaxed lounge atmosphere where one can network and exchange knowledge. Acquiring new knowledge is key in this field. Accordingly, this specialist display area offers direct access to the lectures and discussion rounds of the ITB Business Travel Days.
Travel Technology provides an impetus for the global travel industry
Travel Technology is booming. Halls 5.1 and 6.1 have been booked up since December and there are already long waiting lists. The high level of demand expressed by first-time exhibitors reflects the dynamic nature of the market.
Around 30 per cent of exhibitors in this section are newcomers to the show, including major
international companies such as Tuniu [China], Bynder ’getbynder’ [Netherlands] and Clicktripz [USA], as well as Beachinspector, the winners of the Sprungbrett Innovators’ Competition. Roompad, Citos Systems and Freshcells occupy larger display areas and Sabre, the world’s leading provider of solutions for the travel industry, has moved to the Travel Technology Hall in 5.1.
Following a long absence, Traffics is exhibiting at the show again. This travel tech company is also a sponsor of the eTravel Lounge, which has established itself as an important platform for startups. On 9 March the final round of Start Tourism Up will be held on the company’s stage.
For the first time the etravel Lab is being sponsored, namely by Pisano Holding. David Ruetz has good news for everyone on this year’s waiting list: “Due to high demand, in 2017 ITB Berlin is planning to expand this highly topical segment, which continues to grow.“
Pink Pavilion: world’s largest display of gay and lesbian travel products
Since 2010 Gay & Lesbian Travel has been highly successful at ITB Berlin. In the meantime it represents the world’s largest specialist display of travel products in lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender [LGBT] tourism. Companies from around the world are represented in the Pink Pavilion, including the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association [IGLTA] and many co-exhibitors. Newcomers include include India and Nepal as well as Moments, an operator from Mauritius, Quiiky Travel from Italy, and Illinois Tourism, the partner of the Media Breakfast.
Culture Lounge: increase in international exhibitors
This year the Culture Lounge has experienced a considerable rise in international exhibitors, making it one of the highest growth segments at ITB Berlin. As well as regular exhibitors in Hall 16 over a dozen European cities, destinations and institutions are appearing for the first time, showcasing their cultural highlights.
They include Aarhus 2017 – the European City of Culture, Belgientourismus Wallonie-Brüssel, Fédération Européenne des Cités Napoléoniennes, Fondation Beyeler, Innovation Norway, Ireland Tourism and the Liszt Academy of Music from Budapest.