ITBThis year’s edition of ITB Berlin will maintain its focus on Responsible and Sustainable Tourism practices while increasing exhibitor space for segments like Travel Technology. With a host of first-time exhibitors, ITB Berlin 2014 will offer a wider range of products for the global travel trade and general visitors.

The 48th edition of ITB Berlin, set to be held from March 5-9, 2014, has received record demand from exhibitors. The organiser of the event, Messe Berlin expects around 10,000 exhibiting companies and organisations from more than 180 countries to be present in the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds in Germany. While Mexico has been named as Partner Country of ITB Berlin 2014, Malaysia is the Convention and Culture Partner.

“Compared with last year, the number of bookings at ITB Berlin 2014 has remained consistently high. The majority of the halls are already booked and there are waiting lists. One noticeable trend is that exhibitors are booking larger stands. This demonstrates that the world’s largest travel trade show is a reliable economic indicator, which accurately mirrors the industry’s developments. This year it will once again unite supply and demand from around the world and send out an important message for the future,” said Dr Martin Buck, Vice President, Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin.

This year there has been a particularly high demand for exhibitor space from countries in Asia and the Arab world. Like previous years, all of Germany’s federal states will be represented at the show. The Travel Technology segment has also expanded significantly. Due to the high number of bookings (about 30 new exhibitors will be represented at ITB Berlin 2014), this segment with its focus on up-to-the-minute topics, will now occupy Hall 5.1.

The Training & Employment in Tourism segment, which, following a re-organisation, has moved to Hall 11.1, is fully booked.

In Hall 4.1 the focus is on Youth Travel, Adventure Travel, Youth Travel and Responsible Tourism. It will feature more than 130 exhibitors from 35 countries. Seventy exhibitors will be represented in the segments Responsible Tourism and Adventure Travel alone.

On the days reserved for trade visitors, the ninth Pow-wow for tourism professionals will be organised, covering details about the latest new projects and examples of best practices concerning Sustainable Tourism and Adventure Travel. TV host, Mary Amiri will moderate the three-day event, whose slogan is ‘Exploring Mountains, Canyons and Caves’. Responsible Tourism Clinics organised by the The Blue Yonder, ITB’s Responsible Tourism Partner, will be taking place on all three days of the Pow-wow. Hall 4.1 will also feature the Youth Travel segment. Sixty-three exhibitors will be showing how important this market segment has become for international tourism.

The ITB Berlin Convention 2014 will include discussion on various topics, with one of the key areas being the Luxury Tourism segment, informed Messe Berlin. The use of new technologies in the travel industry is another topic that will be widely discussed.

At the ITB Global Future and Trends Summit Day, the opening event of the ITB Berlin Convention, Lee McCabe, Head, Travel Facebook, will deliver a keynote speech on the prospects for social media securing new customers. Nils Müller, CEO, TrendONE, will follow with a second keynote speech on ‘The world in 2025 – a journey into the future’ and will demonstrate multimedia innovations. At the ITB Future Days, Rolf Freitag, CEO, IPK International, will present the ITB World Travel Trends Report with the latest data on global and European tourism. The ‘Airline CEO’ panel will feature CEOs from international airlines discussing how low-cost carriers are impacting the tour operator industry.

At the ITB Destination Days, Christine Duffy, President and CEO, Cruise Lines International Association, will deliver a keynote speech and provide an economic outlook. Both the ITB Asia Panel and the Latin America Forum will be examining the current challenges faced by the tourism industry. Delegates attending the Africa Forum will be looking at the prospects for the Luxury Tourism segment. The Progress in Tourism Research of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tourismuswissenschaft will be examining what makes people relax when they are on holiday. Travel author, Doug Lansky will deliver a paper on how innovative technology can provide solutions for managing overcrowded destinations. This year too, Gay and Lesbian Tourism will be a key topic, with papers and discussions to be held.

Visitors to the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day will receive tips and find out the latest marketing and sales survey information. The ITB Media Summit will focus on new business models and niches in the media market. The Open Innovations session will be examining innovations in the tourism industry. The topics of sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) will play a major role at the ITB Berlin Convention. At the ITB CSR Day experts and decision-makers will be discussing human rights and the Green Leaders Program of TripAdvisor.

From : Travel Biz Monitor

25 February 2014