THE International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Berlin, taking place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and ICC Berlin from March 12 to 16 (March 15 and March 16 are only for trade visitors) is known throughout the world as the leading trade fair for the global tourism industry.
It’s an unrivalled opportunity to do business and thus offers a substantial return on investment for both exhibitors and visitors.
The ITB Exhibition is open to both trade visitors and the general public, with the 120,000 visitors split equally between the two categories. Three quarters of exhibitors and a third of trade visitors come from outside of Germany ensuring this event is a genuine international forum for the communication and marketing of the Tourism Industry. This makes ITB Berlin the main forum for communication and marketing for the worldwide tourism sector, attracting ever more exhibitors and trade visitors. It is an ideal opportunity for exhibitors to get their messages out to both trade visitors and the general public. As a result of economic development in Central and Eastern Europe, the Arab states and in Asia, these regions have increasingly been able to secure market share in the tourism sector, a fact which is reflected in the their promotional activities at ITB Berlin.
The proven geographical layout of the ITB will be maintained, complemented by a number of sections on special themes. These include Travel Technology, Airlines/ Airports, Young Travel, Cruiselines, Cultural Tourism, the ITB World of Books and the ITB Studies Centre, which, along with the training institutions of the international tourism industry, opens up room for dialogue between the business and research communities. Another important part of ITB Berlin is the ITB Congress with its more than 300 events annually. Current tourism trends and the effects of global tourism are examined at a wide array of gatherings, such as forums with tourism experts, special meetings, press round tables, to name but a few.
Exhibitors at the ITB Berlin come from all sectors of the international tourism industry. They include national and regional tourism organisations, tourism offices, tour operators, travel agencies, carriers, hotels, insurance companies, communication and information systems, publishing companies, and international tourism federations.
Clearly, ITB Berlin is a prime meeting place, a marketplace, and a driving force behind the entire industry. The exhibition area and various segments, along with the comprehensive congress programme and supporting events represent the entire product spectrum of the tourist industry. At the same time, they form the basis for the development of new ideas, global approaches and targeted marketing.
The ideal forum for establishing new customer contacts and conducting business, ITB Berlin guarantees high-quality customer contacts since it attracts top-ranking professionals with decision-making powers and shows a steady increase in the number of exhibitors and visitors.
Despite the world situation last year, ITB Berlin 2003 attracted 9,971 exhibitors (2002: 9,678) from 181 countries and territories, representing every sector of the international tourism industry, took part in the fair and there were more than 67,000 trade visitors from 180 countries out of 129,943 visitors (2002: 122,980) in total. Those numbers are likely to go up substantially this year.