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ITB Berlin opens with 10,000 exhibitors

BERLIN, March 9, 2017

More than 10,000 companies from 184 countries are being represented at ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, which opened on March 8 and will run till March 12.

Covering 160,000-sq-m, the exhibitors will be showcasing the global tourism industry’s latest products and trends.

Dr. Christian Göke, chief executive officer of Messe Berlin, said: ”As the world’s most important gathering place for the tourism industry ITB Berlin above all brings people together. A million face-to-face meetings at ITB Berlin will do one thing in particular, and that is build trust, trust on which we increasingly depend in our business dealings, in a digitalised and globalised world that has become more and more difficult to understand."

"Over 80 per cent of our exhibitors are from abroad. The organisers again expect more than 100,000 international trade visitors as well as many thousand members of the public on the weekend, who will be able to book their holidays directly at the show," he said.

Partner country Botswana focuses on sustainability
The spotlight this year will be on the partner country Botswana, which has been a regular exhibitor at ITB Berlin since 1983, and this year will be represented with 39 companies. Botswana has information on its wide range of products and services in Hall 20, and places a focus on ecologically sustainable tourism. Visitors can also admire traditional dances as well as handicrafts from Botswana in Hall 4.1.

ITB Speed Dating Day: 2,800 meetings in just one day
On March 9, two Speed Dating events gave buyers and bloggers an opportunity to meet with exhibitors from around the world, enabling them to establish valuable contacts all in one day.

Brief time slots gave leading buyers who are members of the ITB Buyers Circle a chance to meet and get to know exhibitors. Over 1,000 meetings have already been set up in the run-up to the fair. The exclusive ITB Buyers Circle gathers 1,000 leading buyers from Europe, Asia, America, Africa and Australia. Over the past five years the ITB Buyers Circle has become a sought-after meeting place for travel buyers from around the world. Some 80 per cent of the participants attend in a direct decision-making capacity, with a budget of more than 500,000 euros. More than one third of buyers even have over €10 million and more at their disposal.

At the ITB Blogger Speed Dating in the afternoon exhibitors and bloggers were given an opportunity to hold brief meetings and talk about joint ventures or exchange ideas on future collaboration. A total of 1,800 meetings were already arranged with the ITB Matchmaking Tool.

Year of Sustainable Tourism
The United Nations organisation UNWTO has declared 2017 the ’Year of Sustainable Tourism’. The focus is on the economic, ecological and social aspects that represent the sustainability goals of the Agenda 2030.

On March 10, the ITB CSR Day will be setting the tone. At the ITB Berlin Convention, high-ranking figures representing politics, science and business will discuss innovative concepts, examples of best practices and the economic prospects for sustainable tourism. The main topic this year will be ’Sustainable Food and Beverages in the Hotel Industry and at Tourism Destinations’. Besides the ITB Berlin Convention numerous other events will also dwell on the topic of CSR. Thus, a wide range of papers and discussions on sustainability will be taking place again, mainly on the two stages in Hall 4.1.

The future is digital
For many years growth and dynamic expansion have been the hallmarks of the Travel Technology Halls and the eTravel World. Currently, 30 per cent of the exhibitors in the Travel Technology segment are newcomers to the show. The increasing presence of payment system providers also underlines the growing importance of travel technology.

This year, the eTravel World is fully booked again. Due to the high level of demand an extra hall has been set up. In Hall 7.1c visitors will find that first-time exhibitors make up around 60 per cent of those present. The eTravel World was fully booked as early as November 2016. Over 70 companies representing social media, big data and mobile travel services are represented in this fast-growing segment. At the same time the eTravel World is attracting more and more international exhibitors and especially startups from around the world. On March 10 at 11.30 a.m., for the first time startups can take part in an international pitching event powered by Phocuswright.

New segment: Medical Tourism
This year at ITB Berlin, for the first time the important growth segment of medical tourism will receive its own platform. Medical service providers, hotels and destinations will be able to exhibit their products and services In the Medical Tourism Pavilion in Hall 3.2.

On March 9, in addition to lectures and presentations, a Medical Networking Reception took place in the Medical Tourism Pavilion in Hall 3.2.

High demand for space from exhibitors
At the 51st ITB Berlin exhibitor demand for floor space is as high as ever. Turkey, which is looking positively towards the future, will be represented in its own hall again. Regardless of India’s current economic crisis exhibitors from the sub-continent are participating in Hall 5.2b, which once again is fully booked.

Among the European countries occupying larger display areas will be Croatia in Hall 1.2, France and Portugal in Hall 1.1, and the Czech Republic in Hall 7.2 b. Hall 26, featuring Asia, is fully booked again with waiting lists. Exhibitors from Indonesia will also be occupying more space. HanaTour, one of Korea’s largest tour operators, will be represented on its own stand and for the first time. The stands of Caissa Travel Management, Beijing Nimbus Travel, China Inbound and the Dossen Hotel Group from China will be adding to the range of products displayed by one of Asia’s leading growth markets in tourism.

The growth potential of Middle Eastern countries will also be reflected at ITB Berlin. A total of 32 major exhibitors from the Middle East will be represented at ITB Berlin. The UAE and Qatar Airways on an area of 3,380 square metres as well as Saudi Arabia on more than 300 square metres will be occupying larger stands than in 2016.

The displays of the US are expanding by 100 square metres. This year, Australia will also be represented on a larger stand, and its neighbour New Zealand will be appearing individually with its services and new products in Hall 5.2a. Several exhibitors from Africa and Europe are now back after a prolonged absence. Among them, Togo und Senegal can be found in Hall 21. Andorra is also back at ITB Berlin and will be represented in Hall 2.1.

This year, the stand of Convention & Culture Partner Slovenia in Hall 17 has grown too. Slovenia is sponsoring the wi-fi network on the entire grounds at ITB Berlin. In Hall 9 this year, visitors can find even more hotels, including the enlarged stands of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Accor Hotels, Jin Jiang International and Expedia. Deutsche Hotel & Resort Holding is a newcomer this year and can also be found in Hall 9. Airbus is also a first-time exhibitor, in Hall 25. This is also where Aeroflot will be represented with its own stand for the first time. The number of car rental firms and tour operators in Hall 14.1 has also risen significantly. - TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Berlin | ITB |

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