It’s going to be an outstanding year for tourism in 2018 with all signs and insights collected at the 52nd ITB Berlin last week pointing to booming business, innovative products and more travel.
“The consistent forecasts of sustained global economic growth for the next two years decisively contributed to the positive mood among exhibitors and visitors these past few days,” said Christian Göke, CEO Messe Berlin GmbH.
“Against the backdrop of a booming economy, record low employment and good wage settlements, more and more consumers are willing to spend money. Furthermore, because of the strong euro and correspondingly weak dollar holidaying in numerous countries outside the eurozone is becoming noticeably cheaper,” Göke added.
ITB 2018 came to end on March 11 marking a 5 percent rise in business volume compared to 2017, with over 10,000 companies and organizations from 186 countries and regions exhibiting their products to visitors – 110,000 trade participants and and 60,000 visitors – in 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
In the meantime, the ITB Convention, the industry’s leading think-tank, hosted some 150 sessions featuring over 300 speakers and focusing on the challenges ahead for the industry, including overtourism and digitalisation as well as security and the impact of the sharing economy.
Medical tourism and its potential came into the spotlight moving to a larger hall due to high demand as did travel technology and the luxury segment, also displaying strong growth.
In terms of markets, the number of Chinese exhibitors grew.
“The desire of German citizens to travel could be felt in every hall at ITB Berlin and the foundation has been laid for 2018 to be a great success. ITB Berlin is not only a place for marketing destinations, but also an early indicator of how tourism bookings will develop for the summer travel season. In that respect the basic mood within the industry was very positive,” said German Travel Association (DRV) President Norbert Fiebig.
Partner region at ITB 2018 was Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, which also organized the opening ceremony.
Looking ahead, Malaysia will be the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2019 to be held on March 6-10.