ITB Berlin 2013 Mirrors the Increasingly Dynamic Trends in the Global Travel Industry

Larry Brain - Mar 6, 2013
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10,086 exhibitors from 188 countries – exhibition grounds booked up – record number of two-tier stands – 120 exhibitors representing the partner country Indonesia – comprehensive market overview and fast-growing niche markets – first-time matchmaking event for bloggers and record numbers of bloggers – Travel Technology, Gay & Lesbian Travel and Adventure & Sustainable Travel continue to expand – demand from Asia remains high – all countries from Africa represented in two display halls – all countries from South America are present – unprecedented levels of international attendance at the tenth anniversary edition of the ITB Berlin Convention

The internet and virtualisation have accelerated the pace of development in the global travel industry. From 6 to 10 March 2013 ITB Berlin will be mirroring the industry’s increasingly dynamic market trends and providing a representative overview of global travel products and attractive niche markets. At the 47th edition of ITB Berlin 10,086 companies from 188 countries will be presenting their products and services on a display area covering 160,000 square metres. The 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds are booked up. A record number of exhibitors are represented on two-tier stands. The focus is on Indonesia, the official partner country of ITB Berlin, which is taking part with 120 exhibitors. Indonesia is represented in Halls 26 and 4.1, where visitors can witness colourful spectacles performed on stage. South Sudan, an independent state since 2011, is a newcomer to ITB Berlin. For the first time, exhibitors and travel agencies will be offering tours directly to the consumer on the weekend of the show.

Dr. Christian Göke, COO, Messe Berlin: “More than a billion travellers worldwide and the increasing popularity of easy-to-find internet products have totally fragmented demand. People’s travel motivation and travel products have become increasingly diverse. The industry’s information and business needs are growing all the time. At ITB Berlin exhibitors and trade visitors can gain a representative and up-to-the-minute overview of the travel industry’s entire value chain. They will find growth and niche markets, find information on exploring new markets and ideas for innovative sales strategies.“

Bloggers on the march

ITB Berlin is bringing international bloggers and exhibitors together at numerous panel discussions, workshops and lectures. A total of 250 bloggers from Germany and abroad are expected to attend. For the first time ITB Berlin is featuring a matchmaking event, which will be taking place on 7 and 8 March from 4.30 to 6 p.m. respectively in Hall 7.3. It gives 100 exhibitors an opportunity to meet the same number of international bloggers representing the adventure, luxury and family travel markets. This free service by ITB Berlin is aimed at helping exhibitors to improve their marketing of destinations and products.

Travel Technology is transforming the market

ITB Berlin features the largest range of travel technology products anywhere in the world. For years this section has been constantly expanding. Due to the high number of bookings this year hotel portals are also exhibiting in Hall 25. Around 150 companies from 25 countries are represented in Halls 6.1, 8.1 and 10.1, which will be exhibiting their IT-related services and product innovations for back and front offices in the travel industry as well as hotel software solutions and hotel booking portals. Exhibitors representing social media networks and mobile and analysis services are attending in particularly large numbers. Companies in the Mobile Travel and Social Media sections are presenting their innovations at the eTravel World in Hall 7.1c. This is where experts will be discussing industry topics such as “The opportunities and risks of the social web for the travel industry“ and ”More efficient travel using eTravel, navigation and mobile travel guides.“ The supporting programme of the eTravel World (Hall 7.1.c from 6 to 9 March) will feature more than 50 papers and workshops on two stages. Due to high demand, for the first time eTravel World events will also be taking place on the Saturday of the show (9 March).

Pink Pavilion: Gay & Lesbian Travel

This is the fourth year that companies exhibiting lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism (LGBT) products will be represented in their own section in Hall 2.1. 56 companies from around the world are represented in the Pink Pavilion, including the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association (IGLTA) and many co-exhibitors. Visitors to the pavilion will find the world’s largest display of travel products for this market. They include city tours of Vienna, Prague, Tel Aviv as well as holidays in Argentina, Bulgaria, Florida, Gran Canaria, Maspalomas, Greece, India, Thailand and Cyprus. A colourful supporting programme featuring Queer Tango from Argentina and the Vienna Gay Café will round off the display.

Travel and Adventure & Sustainable Travel

The Adventure & Responsible Tourism Hall is celebrating its tenth anniversary with a colourful programme of events on the topic of socially responsible tourism. This year the focus in Hall 4.1b is on “Earth’s Wetlands & Geoparks – Celebrating Earth Heritage, Sustaining Local Communities“. Presented in English, the topic headings at the workshops, panel discussions and lectures are Wetlands, Wildlife Watching and Biodiversity. Various parks from different regions of the world will be introducing their eco-friendly concepts. Protecting wildlife is also one of the topics. Events in the Adventure & Responsible Tourism section in Hall 4.1b include discussions and lectures on human rights, tours for the deaf and developments in Haiti three years after the earthquake disaster. Azerbaijan, this year’s Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin, will be presenting its sustainable tourism concept.

CSR also features prominently at ITB Berlin. On 7 March 2013, the major think tank of the world’s leading travel trade show will again be holding its own CSR Day and highlighting strategies, best practices and the market potential of sustainable tourism. At the ITB Berlin Convention practical experts and leading scientists will be discussing and providing information on the latest developments in corporate social responsibility. Topics include tourist encounters with local residents, conflicts over water, a vital human resource, and protecting children from sexual exploitation. By printing zero-carbon copies of the ITB Berlin catalogue and Quickfinder Messe Berlin is demonstrating social responsibility and supporting a geothermal project in Indonesia, this year’s partner country.

High demand from Asia, South America and the Arab countries

Once again, demand from Asia is particularly high at this year’s ITB Berlin. Countries such as Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and China are represented on larger stands. Indonesia, the partner country, can be found in Halls 26 and 4.1. Hall 5.2b, where India is represented, is also booked up, so that exhibitors from this country are also occupying Hall 5.2a. Destinations such as Nepal and Bhutan are becoming increasingly popular and can be found in Hall 5.2a along with various independent exhibitors. Regulars at ITB Berlin include North Korea, which already attended last year. African countries are represented in Halls 20 and 21, among them South Sudan, which only gained independence from Sudan in 2011 and is a newcomer to ITB Berlin 2013. Arab countries such as Egypt, Jordan, Israel, Morocco, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates have also booked their places at the world’s largest travel trade show. Iraq occupies an even larger stand compared with last year. Yemen and Libya are back after an absence from ITB Berlin. Every country from South America is represented at this year’s show.

The travel industry’s international think tank

This year the ITB Berlin Convention is celebrating its tenth anniversary. Over the past decade it has become the world’s largest event of its kind. This year the convention features an unprecedented number of leading international speakers. At 200 sessions more than 420 speakers, half of them from Germany, will be presenting the latest expert knowledge from the fields of tourism, politics and society. Examples of best practices will highlight ideas and solutions for current and future challenges. This year’s topics include Muslim travel, changes affecting the market for coach tours, water shortages that can potentially spark conflict between tourists and residents, and new technologies, a major trend.

Azerbaijan, the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin 2013, will be hosting a colourful and diverse programme of events and spanning a bridge between Europe and Asia. At the world’s largest travel trade show Azerbaijan will be highlighting the beauty of its natural landscapes and cultural wealth. It will also be promoting itself as an attractive destination for culturally interested tourists as well as an outstanding venue for MICE events. At the ITB Berlin Convention, the international travel industry’s leading think tank, Azerbaijan will feature prominently at panel discussions attended by high-profile speakers that will focus on the country’s economic progress.

The success of the ITB Berlin Convention led to the format being adopted last year in Brazil. The ITB Berlin Convention was the knowledge partner of the travel trade show A Feira de Turismo das Américas (ABAV) in Rio de Janeiro and presented a comprehensive programme of events on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender tourism, corporate social responsibility, as well as MICE and business travel.

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