ITB Berlin has announced a record number of exhibitors for this week’s show, with 11,127 companies, up marginally from 11,098 last year, from 187 countries.
“At a time of reduced marketing budgets the worldwide market leader ITB Berlin enjoys a clear competitive edge,” said Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Operating Officer of Messe Berlin. “We are proud to announce that the number of exhibitors has increased again. Moreover, with new sections and new exhibitors, ITB Berlin confirms its role as a trendsetter and opinion leader.”
At the start of the 44th ITB Berlin there are encouraging signs for the travel industry. As revealed by the figures supplied by the latest GfK Tourism Sales Panel, demand across Europe is recovering.
The market for providers of mobile internet services is growing at a breath-taking pace and ITB Berlin is the first trade fair for the travel industry that is providing it with a separate platform, the “Mobile Travel Services” section.
Travel Technology has traditionally been strongly represented at ITB Berlin, and this year major players such as Sabre are back again, this time joined by new exhibitors that include XClirion, Lute Tec, Hotel Net Solutions, Vertical Booking and Hotelreservierung.de.
Focus on the partner country Turkey
As one of the largest exhibitors, Turkey’s display in Hall 3.2 ranges from the traditional to the modern. One of this year’s highlights is provided by Istanbul, and visitors to the Exhibition Grounds can experience something of the diversity and dynamism of the current European capital of culture. They will be able to see how the culture and art of Istanbul provide a spiritual and artistic bridge between the Orient and the Occident.
A second new section can be found in Hall 2.1 at ITB Berlin, featuring Gay and Lesbian Travel. A networking area featuring a photo display devoted to the city of Vienna will provide an ideal meeting place and discussion venue. The importance of this new section is underlined by an accompanying congress.
In the new hall for “Central and Inner Asian Countries” (CIA) destinations in Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan will be promoting their fascinating landscapes and cultural attractions.
Expansion and new exhibitors
The airline industry is well represented this year at ITB Berlin. Garuda Indonesia is making its first appearance and has its own stand in Hall 26. Singapore Airlines has relocated and its stand can now be found in Hall 5.2. United Airlines is back, in the USA hall, 2.1.
Many people are keen to visit the Indian display in Hall 5.2b. Once again Kerala has increased its display area, while the Rajasthan Tourism Board has a combined stand for the region for the first time, and the Indian adventure park “Kingdom of dreams” is making its world debut.
Main themes of the ITB Berlin Convention
The ITB Berlin Convention is regarded as the leading think tank for the global travel industry. In some 100 events it provides people in the industry with details about the inner workings of the financial crisis and of social changes. Over 200 outstanding speakers will be discussing trends, innovative strategies and vital issues. This year sees the launch of a new event, the ITB Global Future Summit.
On Thursday the ITB Hospitality Day will address a number of issues including the question of how hotels should revise their offers in view of climate change. Among the speakers on the panel of CEOs will be top executives from leading hotel chains, who will be talking about the market and their own strategies for survival.
The first Media Summit at ITB Berlin on 12 March will be attended by prominent representatives of the media, politics and the travel industry, who will be discussing many questions surrounding the future of tourism media.