The countdown to the 46th ITB Berlin, which takes place from March 7th to 11th 2012, in Berlin has begun, with many of the halls at the world’s leading travel trade show are already booked up.
Overall, Messe Berlin expects around 11,000 exhibiting companies and organisations from more than 180 countries to be present in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, said: “Bookings are level with last year’s figures, once again confirming ITB Berlin’s role as the travel industry’s leading international platform.
“Furthermore, ITB Berlin 2012 is living up to its reputation as the travel industry’s driving force.
“The ITB Berlin Convention’s agenda features up-to-the-minute and forward-looking themes and leading experts will be taking part in the debate. Among the topics will be cruises and tourism market developments in the Arab states.”
The focus is on the partner country Egypt which will be organising the opening ceremony on the eve of ITB Berlin.
During the fair all of Egypt’s local regions will be presenting their wide range of products and services to trade visitors and the general public in Hall 23a.
Newcomers and returning exhibitors mirror the changing travel market
More exhibitors from the Far East and Southeast Asia will be at ITB Berlin than ever before.
Indonesia, a booming tourism region, is making its way onto the market and Vietnam will also be strongly represented.
Exhibitor numbers from China and Mongolia have grown significantly too, with nearly two dozen newcomers taking part.
This trend is reflected by the fact that Hall 26 is now completely booked up, as is Hall 5.2a, which will mainly feature exhibitors from Southeast Asia and Australia. India (Hall 5.2b) will be occupying additional display areas in Hall 5.2a.
New hotels from Rajasthan and Kerala will be exhibiting their products and services. The number of individual exhibitors from Bhutan has risen considerably too.
Exhibitor numbers from Central Asia (Hall 7.2b) are also very high, due to the return of Bangladesh, absent from ITB Berlin since 2007, and to a rise in individual exhibitors from Uzbekistan.
Halls 20 and 21, where Africa is exhibiting, will also witness newcomers and the return of several countries. For example, the Republic of Côte d´Ivoire is back at ITB Berlin, as is Chad, which will be exhibiting in Hall 21, the first time since 1999.
The Democratic Republic of Congo is also back at ITB Berlin. Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Libya will all be occupying larger stands. Réunion’s is expanding by 50 per cent.
The USA will be occupying a larger stand in Hall 2.1, as will several countries from Central America: Panama, Nicaragua and Honduras (Hall 3.1).
Short-haul destinations are becoming more popular, with growth in the European halls reflecting a significant tourism trend. Among other newcomers are exhibitors representing Portugal, Greece, Italy, Spain and the Turkish Riviera.
The wellness boom continues. Hall 16 is fully booked up and on the open days for the general public a big programme of stage events hosted by Beauty 24 will be taking place here.
Tour operators More Travel from Latvia and Chic Outlet Shopping, who are also newcomers to the show, will be displaying their products in Hall 18.