CLOSING REPORT ITB Berlin 2013: World?s largest tourism policy summit provides significant impetus for growth
More than 100 ministers of tourism and state secretaries from around the world ? increase in international buyers and business deals ? attendance at the ITB Berlin Convention and eTravel World grew by 25 per cent
ITB Berlin 2013 was by far the world?s largest meeting place of international tourism policy decision-makers and business leaders. The German chancellor Angela Merkel, the Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, representatives of the World Tourism Organization (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.
Dr. Christian G?ke, COO Messe Berlin: ?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 6 to 10 March 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. Exhibitors reported holding quality talks and sealing more business deals.
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 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. A poll among visitors revealed that one in three intended to book a trip.
Big success for the partner country Indonesia
The participation of Indonesia, this year?s partner country, at ITB Berlin 2013 was spectacular and featured more than 300 dancers, musicians and performing artists from Kalimantan, Sumatra, Sulawesi, Papua, Jakarta and Java. Besides showcasing its natural wonders, the world?s largest archipelago shined the spotlight on seven other aspects of the country: culture and traditions, nature and eco-tourism, leisure sports, cruises, gastronomy and shopping, spas, wellness and MICE events. International trade visitors and the general public were able to sample the country?s culinary delights and enjoy its age-old tradition of spas on the stand of Indonesia at the show.
Esthy Reko Astuty, Director General of Marketing, Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy: ?We are extremely satisfied with the way ITB Berlin 2013 went and are very proud to have been the show?s partner country. We had excellent opportunities here to showcase the diversity of our country: the various cultures, the beauty of our natural landscapes and the special people who live there. The joint appearance of the German chancellor Angela Merkel and our president, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, at the opening ceremonies was renewed confirmation of the good relations that exist between Germany and Indonesia. We felt very welcome and honoured by the visits of many official representatives on our stand as well as by the enormous interest shown by the international press. We came to Berlin with close to 50 per cent more exhibitors than in 2012 and can say that we are very satisfied.?
M?rcio Favilla, Executive Director for Competitiveness, External Relations and Partnerships, UNWTO: ?I felt very inspired by the wonderful opening ceremonies and the German chancellor Angela Merkel. It was an important moment when Germany?s head of government made the connection between tourism and creating jobs and growth. Against this backdrop, UNWTO is happy to be involved in this partnership between Indonesia and Germany. We hope to build on our long-standing and positive relationship with Germany. In my view it was the best opening event I have ever seen at ITB Berlin. All the guests were able to experience a small part of the enormous progress that has been made, witness the cultural wealth of Indonesia, and sense how close relations are.?
Dr. Michael Frenzel, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW): ?The past few days at ITB Berlin have renewed and boosted our confidence in the months ahead. I am happy to say that the mood among exhibitors and visitors on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds was very positive again. The results of numerous surveys and forecasts presented during ITB also gave us cause for optimism. People?s desire to travel continues to remain high.
Once again, ITB Berlin showed that modern means of communication can indeed make things easier in many ways and can thus benefit our industry. However, there is no substitute for face-to-face meetings. It was precisely these personal meetings and this relation-building that ITB Berlin made possible, on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and at numerous evening events after the show. Once again, ITB Berlin provided the platform for the global tourism industry to exchange information, conclude deals and cultivate business relations. Vast numbers of the general public took the opportunity on the weekend to find out more about the wide-ranging products and services that the global tourism industry has to offer, including ideas for their next holidays. For five days the halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds were once again the meeting place of the world of international tourism.?
J?rgen B?chy, President of the German Travel Association (DRV): ?2013 began well for the travel industry. Proof of that can be found in the positive mood over the past few days and in the travel bookings over the first months of this year. We expect this year?s ITB to again set the tone for a successful year in tourism by stimulating further growth in this sector. The signs are good, because German citizens remain keen to travel. Travel destinations that are traditionally popular among Germans will benefit especially, among them Greece, which has good chances of celebrating a comeback. Once again, ITB has confirmed its role as an indispensable international meeting place for tourism experts and enthusiasts. At the same time it provides an ideal opportunity to highlight and debate trends and to set the tone for the future.?
High level of media attention and political interest
Around 6,000 accredited journalists from 80 countries and some 250 bloggers reported on events at ITB Berlin. 350 politicians and diplomats from Germany and abroad were present at the show. The president of the Republic of Indonesia and the chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany opened the world?s largest travel trade fair. In addition to 98 foreign delegations, Thailand?s Princess Ubolratana Mahidol also attended the show. 77 ambassadors from all over the world, 47 foreign ministers and numerous foreign state secretaries were also gathered. Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Urban Development Peter Ramsauer, Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development Dirk Niebel, State Minister for Economics, the Infrastructure, Transport and Technology Martin Zeil, as well as Berlin?s Governing Mayor Klaus Wowereit, came to find out what the travel industry had to offer.
The UNWTO Silk Road Ministers? Summit and the Africa Forum on the KAZA beacon project also attracted the attention of international politicians.
The next ITB Berlin will take place from Wednesday, 5 to Sunday, 9 March 2014.
Comments by exhibitors on ITB Berlin 2013
Tim Clark, President, Emirates: ?ITB Berlin has once again shown itself to be the force driving the global travel industry. Our participation here as an exhibitor was an all-round success. Over the years the Emirates stand at the show has become the largest outside our home market in Dubai. This year colleagues from the Emirates group in Europe and Dubai were also here to maintain contact with business partners and customers from our core markets. Our stand in the shape of a huge globe and our logo ?Hello Tomorrow? were enthusiastically received by trade visitors, the media and the general public alike.?
Axel Biermann, Managing Director, Ruhr Tourismus GmbH: ?The participation of Ruhr Tourismus GmbH (RTG) and its partners at the trade show was a huge success. The city of Oberhausen in particular will keep fond memories of ITB Berlin 2013: The film promoting the city won the coveted ?Goldene Stadttor? Award, which is considered the Oscar of the international travel film world and is presented every year at ITB Berlin. The entire metropolitan region of the Ruhr was very satisfied with its participation in the world?s largest travel trade show. Following many meetings with trade visitors and joint venture partners it became clear that the region still remains very popular. Everything points to the current positive trend in overnights continuing over the coming months and years.?
Ines Kriegh?fer, Visit Scotland: ?The fair went very well for us. We had a large number of visitors and many fascinating talks with interesting partners and customers. This was the first time our chairman Mike Cantlay was at ITB Berlin and he was extremely impressed. Our thoughts are now turning to what we can do next year, because for Scotland 2014 will be a particularly exciting year.?
Ali Huraibi, Executive Director of the Yemeni Tourism Promotion Board: ?We are happy that this year we are finally back at ITB Berlin. Our exhibitors were able to establish many new contacts.?
Anja Dejoks, Managing Director, a&e erlebnis:reisen: ?The fair went very well for us and we had a lot of good talks. In particular, the events at the CSR Day were very thought-provoking and forward-looking. We were particularly honoured by the presentation of the Green Award by the princess of Thailand. And the Buyers? Lounge is an excellent idea and invention!?
Peter Foster, President, Air Astana: ?Once again, ITB Berlin set the tone for the future of travel. At Air Astana we highly appreciate this show as it gives us many ideas on how to develop our company and product.?
Muhammad Faruk Khan, Tourism Minister of Bangladesh: ?We are very satisfied and have already booked our place at ITB Berlin 2014.?
Dr. Peter Kleinen, JF Tours Innovations GmbH: ?We are very satisfied with how ITB Berlin went. We were here for three days of the show and had fixed appointments from dawn to dusk. We were booked up on each of these three days and sensed an upturn in business, and that our partners were aiming to increase their involvement with Japan.?
Perry A. Cantarutti, Senior Vice President Europe, Middle East &Africa, Delta Air Lines: ?ITB Berlin is undisputedly the industry?s main meeting place, where airlines, airports, business partners and business customers gather. The talks we had here in two to three days would normally take two months to organise.
Esayas Woldemariam Hailu, Senior Vice President, Global Sales, Ethiopian Airlines: ?ITB is always a big event for us. It is a one-stop show where we meet all our business partners.?
Sebastian Meyer, Hotel.de: ?Once again, ITB Berlin was an all-round success for hotel.de. We were able to establish new and interesting contacts and cultivate relations. We are very satisfied and look forward every time to this exceptional atmosphere in an international setting.”
Jewgeni Patrouchev, Proexport Colombia: ?On behalf of Colombia at ITB Berlin, all I can say is it doesn?t get any better!”
Andreas Gross, Chairman of the South America Working Group (Arge): ?I met for talks with more than 20 of our members ? travel destinations, airlines, tour operators. Everyone was very satisfied.?
Stefan Prien, Director, Marketing & Sales, Legoland Deutschland GmbH: ?After a long absence, 2013 was the first time we were back as an exhibitor at ITB Berlin. Because we are now offering trips to resorts and package tours and because travelling with children has become an important topic this is the right place for us to be. Being here is still an experiment for us, but I am very confident we will be back.?
Uwe Schuhart, Group Press Spokesman, Mitteldeutsche Airport Holding: ?ITB Berlin is the ideal platform for us to meet with airlines and business partners as well as with potential customers. The Open Days also gave us an opportunity to advertise our many flights from Leipzig/Halle Airport and Dresden International to the general public.?
Phyoe Wai Yar Zar, Myanmar Marketing Committee: ?This year we came to ITB Berlin with more delegates than ever before, 54 from a total of 29 companies. My impression was that there were more people visiting our stand than any other in the Asia Hall. We are very satisfied with how things are going.?
Mohammed Mubarak Al-Shikely, General Manager Marketing, Oman Air: ?ITB is very important for airlines and tour operators. It gives us great opportunities for networking.?
Jan Wawrzyniak, Director, Polish Tourist Board, Germany: ?Things have been going very well. Interest in Poland has increased tremendously since EURO 2012. The exhibitors are very satisfied with our hall. As far as we are concerned everything should stay as it is. Bookings and bus tours have increased noticeably. Our wellness island was a big attraction.?
Petra Quasdorf, Managing Director, SeaCloud Cruises: ?ITB Berlin regularly gives us an ideal opportunity to keep in touch with our business partners and show our colours.?
Rumy Lauffer, Managing Director, Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau: ?Fantastic, the Cologne Business School selected us as one of the three best Asian exhibitors! Our stand has a very natural atmosphere and is perfect. ITB Berlin was the ideal platform for our large delegation of 64 tourism companies, hotels and organisations. We are happy and the future looks bright. I do have one request: can ITB Berlin not hold a networking evening for all the tourism organisations, where people can get to know each other and establish new contacts??
Nishantha Wickremasinghe, Chairman, Sri Lankan Airlines: ?We are very happy. We did good business at ITB Berlin.?
John Will, Press Spokesman, Star Clippers Cruises: ?We are very satisfied with the way ITB Berlin 2013 went. We experienced great enthusiasm for our products among both the general public and our business partners from the industry, in particular for the new area the Star Flyer will be cruising in, which starting in 2014 will be operating new tours to and from Majorca. Star Clippers will certainly be exhibiting again next year at ITB Berlin.?
Mag. Renate Ecker, Managing Director, Tourismus GmbH Zell am See ? Kaprun: ?Preparing for the show in advance is my secret for success at ITB Berlin. We had some very positive meetings. Business is very good. I am looking forward to concluding good deals. I thought attendance was the same as in previous years.?
Kristina Szolar, Manager, Marketing & PR, The Walt Disney Company (Germany) GmbH: ?Disney was represented as a co-exhibitor on the stand of Visit Orlando in Hall 2.1. Overall, we are very satisfied with the way the fair went and can see no great change compared with last year?s ITB Berlin.?
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