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ITB Berlin: Substantial increases despite strikes at airports and in public transport

“The ITB Berlin continues to grow. According to its exhibitors sales with a value of just under six billion euros were finalised at and around the ITB Berlin”, according to Dr. Christian Goke, COO of Messe Berlin. The leading trade show for the global travel industry not only included more exhibitors than ever before this year but also attracted more visitors over the past five days than it did last year, despite strikes and snow. Just under 40 per cent of the trade visitors came to the German capital from abroad in search of information about the latest trends in the industry. “The accompanying convention was an outstanding event with a record number of attendees and it continues to attract growing numbers of international decision makers, including many top executives. Once again the ITB Berlin has provided impressive proof of its position as a world leader in its field”, Goke continued.

There is a mood of optimism in the international tourism sector and on the business travel market. Exhibitors revealed a high level of satisfaction with their participation in this event. The world’s largest travel trade show attracted more exhibitors than ever before, with 11,147 companies from 186 countries presenting the latest products and services from the travel industry (previous year: 10,923 companies from 184 countries). Crowds of people came to the ITB Berlin each day and, shortly before it closed, attendance figures revealed a positive picture, with a total of 177,891 visitors to the exhibition halls. Between Wednesday and Friday a total of 110,322 trade visitors were registered (2007: 108.735). During the weekend 67,569 members of the public also came in search of information. The surveys conducted at the ITB Berlin revealed that more than 70 per cent of the general public who attended intend to use a travel agency when making their travel arrangements.

Once again all available space was taken at the ITB Berlin, which was taking place for the 42nd time. Because all 160,000 square meters of display space in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds was occupied, increasing numbers of exhibitors are resorting to the construction of multi-storey stands. One particularly spectacular example this year was provided by Emirates Airlines with a world first, a three-storey, rotating globe. The exhibitors from all over the world as well as the programme of the ITB Berlin Convention Market Trends & Innovations provided a clear indication that the travel industry is seriously addressing the consequences of climate change and its impact on tourism. With such outstanding speakers as Bertrand Piccard and Peter Sloterdijk, together with a wide and varied programme dealing with aspects such as aviation, hotels, travel technology and destinations, the Convention attracted a record attendance of 11,000. The Business Travel Days, which were opened this year by the CNN correspondent Richard Quest, also contributed to the twenty five per cent increase in attendance.

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