ITB Berlin 2009 - stronger than ever

ITB 2009 beats crisis fears

IN times of crisis more market players than ever before visited ITB Berlin 2009, according to organisers at Messe Berlin.
A total of 110,000 trade visitors were recorded, and the ITB Berlin Convention saw much public interest.
“More market players visited the leading platform of the international tgravel industry than ever before. In times of rapid structural changes and highly competitive markets the focused on gaining a comprehensive market overview and on new business approaches. Thus, unlike many other industries, the travel sector is actively responding to the challenges,” said Dr Christian Göke, chief operating officer of Messe Berlin.
“Trade visitor attendance remained high, proof of ITB Berlin’s resilience even in economically difficult times. We are delighted that there was an increase in visitors from abroad. Once again, ITB Berlin re-established itself as the world’s leading travel trade show.”
 From March 11 to 15 a total of 11,098 companies from 187 countries exhibited their products and services and discussed their future market strategies. (For 2008 figures were 11,147 companies from 186 countries). Of the 110,857 trade visitors who attended (110,322), 42 per cent came from abroad, an increase of four per cent. Once again, record numbers took part in the convention. This year’s figure was 12,000, compared with 11,000 in 2008,” he said.
The weekend also saw approximately 68,114 members of the public. Despite the global financial crisis there was a positive mood among exhibitors, who were satisfied with business at ITB Berlin.
According to a representative survey carried out by Fachhochschule Eberswalde during the fair, six out of 10 exhibitors said the recession had had no impact on their business. However, they said that travel behaviour would change. A total of 52 per cent of exhibitors expected tourists to take even shorter trips, 60 per cent believed local tourism would boom, and 68 per cent expected demand for last-minute travel to increase.
More than half of the exhibitors claimed they were currently adapting their products to suit changing conditions. According to a survey by an independent market research institute, more than 87 per cent of exhibitors obtained a positive impression of the fair. As in 2008, even before this year’s fair had ended, 91 per cent said they would be back next year at ITB Berlin.
The next exhibition takes place from March 10 to 14, 2010 with Turkey as its partner country.