Over 20pc more business at 40th edition of ITB

Some culture at ITB

IN its 40th year, ITB Berlin’s reputation as a focal point for the worldwide travel industry has been strengthened, according to Dr Christian Göke, chief operating officer of Messe Berlin.

“The 40th ITB Berlin is remarkable for the number of records broken: 10,856 exhibiting companies, 4.3 per cent more than the previous year, and, despite the ice and snow, a total of 162,823 visitors, a 14.5 per cent increase (2005: 142.351). The number of trade visitors rose 12.6 per cent to 94,553. Over the weekend, when the fair was open to the public, a total of 68,270 people were registered, 17 per cent over 2005. “The exhibitors also had many appointments with buyers over the weekend, we expect them to sign around 20 per cent more contracts than last year,” says Göke.
This year saw a marked improvement in the quality of the visitors. Attendance by trade visitors rose by 12.6 per cent to 94,553 (2005: 83,987). Around a quarter of all trade visitors came from outside Germany, a growth of ten per cent. Among the trade visitors in 2006 there were some 15 per cent more decision-makers compared with last year. There has also been an increase in the proportion of top executives and managers.
Ninety-five per cent of exhibitors said they were ‘very satisfied’ with commercial results at the fair and 92 per cent are planning to attend next year.
This year saw a 17 per cent rise in attendance at the 3rd ITB Convention Market Trends & Innovations, from 6,000 to 7,000. With 273 speakers and 88 individual events it provided insights into current trends and innovative business models in the tourism sector.
Among the events that made a successful debut were the ITB Hospitality Day and the ITB Marketing & Sales Day. The world’s largest convention for the tourism business is now regarded as the industry’s think tank too with the success of the Travel Technology Convention, Travdex@ITB.
ITB Berlin 2007 takes place from March 7 to 11.