ITB Berlin 2013 has reaffirmed its place as the largest meeting place for international tourism policy decision-makers and business leaders in the world.
German chancellor Angela Merkel, Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, representatives of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) and the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), as well as more than 100 ministers of tourism and state secretaries, met in Berlin to help shape the future for growth in the tourism industry.
Christian Göke, chief operating officer, Messe Berlin, said: “Once again, ITB Berlin has kicked off the travel season around the globe.
“No other place in the world gathers so many leading representatives from the private and public sector.
“This is where the tone is set for the future of travel for a billion people.
“The increase in international buyers is proof that ITB Berlin continues to be the most important marketplace for the global travel industry.”
From March 6th-10th 2013, 10,086 exhibitors from 188 countries presented their products and services in display halls that were fully booked up.
Overall, some 110,000 trade visitors came to Berlin, of whom 43 per cent were from abroad.
This year there was a slight increase in buyers from the USA and the Middle East.
The ITB Berlin Convention registered record levels of attendance.
A total of 21,000 took part in the 200 lectures, discussions and workshops, 25 percent more than in 2012.
Social Media and Mobile Travel Services proved to be major visitor attractions.
The matchmaking event for bloggers involving exhibitors met with an extremely positive response.
Visitors also thronged the halls on the Saturday of the show.
More than 60,000 members of the general public came to find out about the wide-ranging information on offer from exhibitors and providers of niche market products.
For the first time, visitors at the weekend were able to book their tours directly at ITB Berlin.