An increase in the number of trade visitors, exhibitors reporting more contracts signed, and an upsurge in attendance were all some of the key themes at ITB Berlin this year.
A total of 113,006 trade visitors came to obtain information about all sectors of the international travel industry from the 10,644 exhibitors from 187 countries during the 46th staging of the event in Berlin.
Pictured: Emad Aziz, chairman, Savoy Group, discussed the bright future for Egyptian tourism
Some 59,126 people from Berlin and Brandenburg came during the weekend to find out about holiday destinations and new travel offers.
Christian Göke, chief operating officer of Messe Berlin, drew some very positive conclusions: “Over 2,200 more trade visitors than last year, an outstanding climate for business and the efficient creation of new business contacts at the newly established ITB Buyers Circle all underlined the position of ITB Berlin as a world leader.
“Considering the current political and economic challenges the topics chosen for the ITB Berlin Convention were certainly the right ones.
“Experts pointed out strategies for achieving sustainability and for the effective use of smartphone-based technologies.
“As a consequence ITB Berlin was able to demonstrate why it occupies the leading position as a platform for disseminating knowledge throughout the tourism industry,” he added.
Etihad celebrated its first year of profitability at ITB 2012
Partner country Egypt
The partner country Egypt was aware of the strong solidarity shown by the international travel industry.
Mounir Fahkry Abdel Nour, Egypt’s minister of tourism, said: “ITB was fantastic! I enjoyed every minute of it and met some fascinating and outstanding people.
“In addition to the support that I received I am very happy that the problems in a political context have not affected the general mood in the slightest, in fact quite the contrary.
“All our German partners declared their solidarity with us, including the Federal minister of economics Philipp Rösler.
“In personal discussions with Klaus Brähmig, chairman of the Tourism Committee of the Bundestag, the representatives of the Egyptian parliament and I were able to resolve the confusion that arose as a result of his critical remarks regarding Egypt.
“It seems to me that ITB Berlin is growing larger all the time, and it is vibrant and more lively than ever.
“This could be my impression because we are the partner country this year. As a consequence of events taking place around the world the entire travel industry is in transition.
“This ITB is different from last year’s. I am experiencing a willingness among countries to cooperate and I find this very encouraging.”
Elhamy Eizayat, chairman, Egyptian Tourism Federation picks up his copy of BTN at ITB Berlin
The Egypt hall provided opportunities for visitors to use various social media platforms to find out about the political situation within the country.
Facilities were available for linking up with Egyptian internet users, to make use of a real time live stream showing vacation centres and resorts in Egypt, or to exchange views and thoughts with Egyptians via Facebook and Twitter.
Sixt chairman Regine Sixt celebrated the brand’s centenary at ITB Berlin by picking up the Woman of the Year title from World Travel Awards founder Graham Cooke
Keen interest from global media
A total of 6,975 accredited journalists from 94 countries reported from ITB Berlin.
Once again this trade show provided a meeting place for international politicians and diplomats. In addition to the 64 foreign delegations the fair was also attended by princess Ubolratana Mahidol of Thailand.
Meetings took place between 76 ambassadors from all over the world, as well as 43 government ministers and numerous state secretaries from many countries.
Phelisa Mangcu, acting chief executive of Johannesburg Tourism Company, welcomed Breaking Travel News to the South Africa stand