Current booking levels for ITB are outstanding, underlining its role as the world’s leading travel trade show. From 10 to 14 March a total of around 11,000 companies and organisations from over 180 countries and territories will be exhibiting their products and innovations in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. This year more than 110,000 trade visitors are expected at the show, where once again they will be finding out about all the tourism products and services on offer. The focus is on Turkey, the partner country at this year’s ITB, which is organising the opening ceremonies on 9 March and will have exciting products and services to show to both trade visitors and the general public.
David Ruetz, Senior Manager ITB Berlin: “The recession has had a severe impact on every holiday destination in the world and has affected all forms of vacationing. With this in mind, ITB Berlin as a network platform and marketing instrument for exhibitors and trade visitors has become more important than ever. As the global travel industry’s leading trade fair it accurately reflects the current economic situation.
New exhibitors, with many returning
Some six weeks before the show is due to begin bookings reported for ITB Berlin are impressively high and on a level with last year’s figures. Even better, this year major players such as Fraport and United Airlines are returning to ITB Berlin. In the Travel Technology section Sabre Travel Network and Dolphin Dynamics are back after an absence of several years. A large number of new exhibitors will also be displaying their products to trade visitors and the general public. The increase in exhibitors from Asia is impressive. Inside Hall 7.2b, an all-new building, the Central and Inner Asian Countries (CIA) are promoting their geographically attractive and culturally fascinating local destinations. Private exhibitors from Vietnam who are new to the show such as Ami Tourist, Footprint Vietnam Travel (previously also at ITB Asia), Fusion Management and Wuxi/China, a new region, are represented with their own stands in the Asia Hall (26) for the first time, as is Garuda Indonesia. Thailand and Indonesia are occupying considerably larger stands.
As a tourism destination Africa is a booming continent. Accordingly, the Africa Halls (20/21) are completely booked up. Zanzibar and Gambia have returned and Djibouti is exhibiting its products for the first time since 1991. Demand for space in the India Hall (5.2b) remains unabated even though it too is fully booked up. Kerala is occupying an even larger display area yet again. This is the first time the Rajasthan Tourism Board will be at the fair with a joint stand representing the region.
Tourist numbers from America continue to be on the increase, and this is reflected in the number of exhibitors from the US. Apache Spirit Ranch, EOV Group, Myrtle Beach SC and Vantage Hospitality are newcomers to the Discover America Pavilion (Hall 2.1). Alaska and Continental Airlines are increasing their presence and have more than doubled the size of their stands. The Gay and Lesbian Travel section in Hall 2.1 is celebrating its debut at ITB Berlin.
Growth in the Luxury, Low Budget, Education and Travel Technology sections
Exhibitors in these sections at ITB Berlin are among those whose numbers have increased, and there are newcomers in the sections representing cruises, Caribbean hotel resorts and economy accommodation. Adventure travel is beginning to shed its niche-market status. Gabon, Benin, Senegal, Ecuador and Egypt are represented with additional stands in the Adventure Tourism section.
The fact that there is a long waiting list for Training and Employment in Tourism in Hall 5.1 shows that this section at ITB Berlin is gaining in importance. Demand from exhibitors from abroad has been particularly high. Russia, Poland and the UK are newcomers to the section this year. The large number of exhibitors represented in the Travel Technology halls (8.1 and 6.1) underlines ITB Berlin’s role as a trailblazer for new technology and software in tourism. This is the first time that ITB Berlin is offering international companies their own platform in the Mobile Travel Services section in Hall 7.1c.
The details, products and services of all the exhibitors at ITB Berlin can be found at the Virtual Market Place at www.itb-berlin.com. The Virtual Market Place also functions as an online catalogue. Information is updated on a regular basis.