Much of the world’s travel trade will be heading in the direction of Berlin early March to attend one of the largest travel shows of the year – the ITB Berlin 2008.
Travel agents, destinations, tour operators, businesses offering booking systems, airlines, hotels and many other industry representatives gather at this business to business platform.
From March 5 to 7 inclusive only trade visitors are admitted, and from March 8 and 9 the general public is also welcome. The show, held at the Berlin Exhibition Grounds, is open from 10am to 6pm for the entire five days.
Tickets prices: for a trade visitor pass or an exhibitor pass $63; for a single admission ticket valid on March 8 or 9 it costs $20.
To date 11,000 companies and organisations from over 180 countries have registered to take part in the trade show, which has in total 26 halls covering a display area of around 150,000 square metres.
Among first time visitor countries will be the Republic of Palau (islands lying roughly 500 miles southeast of the Philippines) and Yap Island in Micronesia, and the island of Zanzibar. Germany’s state of Hesse is exhibiting in its own display hall for the first time.
Abu Dhabi, Egypt, Macau, Thailand and Vietnam will all be occupying significantly larger stands. Rising demand due to favourable exchange rates means that exhibitors from the USA will also be represented in larger numbers. The stands of New York and Las Vegas have also increased in size.
Exhibitors representing travel destinations in Eastern Europe have also booked larger stands; countries such as Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Montenegro, the Czech Republic and Russia have increased by up to 40 per cent.
As is every year, this ITB Berlin will be setting new international travel trends. At the ITB Future Day on Wednesday March 5 the title of the event is “Tourism – responding to climate and poverty imperatives”. UNWTO general secretary Francesco Frangialli will be among those discussing these issues.
The ITB Hospitality Day on Thursday March 6 focuses on environmental concepts of the hotel trade, an event under the heading of “Green Hotels” examines aspects of this.
On Friday, March 7 at the ITB Aviation Day the discussion is on commercial aviation and its impact on climate. The topic title is “Is commercial aviation destroying our climate?” The discussion will focus on aircraft pollution and climate change, and on whether air travel will one day become unaffordable. Speakers include Andrew Harrison, CEO easyJet and Eric Heymann, senior economist, Deutsche Bank AG/DB Research