The International Tourism Exchange ITB Berlin 2004, which will take place from 12 to 16 March on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and in the International Congress Center ICC Berlin, represents every aspect of the value-added chain in the international tourism industry.
Each year, firms and tourism enterprises from 180 countries and territories display the entire product spectrum of the international tourism industry, creating the basis for the development of ideas for new products, for purposeful action and a global approach. Despite the difficult economic situation exhibitors and trade visitors have shown renewed confidence in the ITB Berlin as a marketing forum.
Organizers say the fair enables exhibitors to enhance their companies’ profiles, establish contacts with new customers and to prepare to sell new products and services. They also get the opportunity to analyze the competitive situation around the world.
As an international market leader among tourism exhibitions, say the organizers, ITB Berlin provides a forum for direct discussions between experts, for cultivating contacts and pursuing PR objectives, and also for signing contracts.
As well, exhibitors get to utilize ITB Berlin through direct discussion opportunities with experts that that are available here in order to assess the degree of acceptance of their offers and services. This is also an opportunity to meet with international business associates to discuss co-operation, prices and terms. The international tourism industry continues to value the high volume of business conducted at this event and the intensity of the contacts that are available here.
Messe Berlin says it expects well over 60,000 trade visitors from more than 190 countries and territories to attend the ITB 2004, primarily to establish new business contacts. Trade visitors also make use of the world’s leading market place for tourism to obtain information about the market, to increase their professional knowledge, cultivate existing business results, study competitors and obtain a new perspective of the profession.
All these factors confirm the important commercial role of the ITB Berlin and its reputation as a meeting place for decision-makers.
Special forums planned during the fair include “Market Trends & Innovations.” This congress takes place parallel with the fair and offers exhibitors and international trade visitors an attractive forum for information and contacts on the main topics of interest in the tourism field.
The highlight is the “ITB Tourism Barometer”, which will reflect the mood in the tourism industry, by questioning 50 companies from 20 countries about their commercial prospects. One of its new features is the “ITB Berlin Message” that provides a preview of travel in 2004.
Another special event is this year’s Travel Technology Congress. Here, a host of papers will attempt to propose solutions to the industry’s most urgent problems. Attendance is highly recommended as travel agents are looking at zero commission on travel booked; online travel agents are fighting for market share at the expense of established travel agents; and airlines face pressure from low-cost carriers, as do travel agents and tour operators now that these carriers offer flights to traditional package tour destinations.