This year’s ITB will be bigger than ever with new exhibitors and themes but also marked by uncertainties over destinations such as Egypt and Greece as well as the cruise sector.
With some 11,000 exhibitors from 180 countries, ITB will again live up to its name as the world’s largest travel fair. This year’s show includes bigger stands, more exhibitors from Asia, more technology exhibitors than ever before, the return of cultural tourism and a host of innovations and new attractions and events.
Much attention will inevitably be focused on this year’s partner country Egypt, whose tourism sector has suffered from a slump in demand after last year’s revolution. The country aims to take full advantage of its prominent status this year to reassure trade visitors and consumers alike that it is a safe destination. “As the partner country Egypt has the opportunity to win back tourists. They must explain that you cannot compare Hurghada with Cairo,” says ITB director David Ruetz.
Despite the financial crisis in the eurozone, countries from southern Europe have mostly not cut back on their stand size. Greece and Italy, for example, are fully represented in Berlin this year. The Balearic Islands, however, have reduced the size of their stand on cost grounds. In a sign of the strong long-haul travel market, the Asia hall is fully booked this year. And Lufthansa is back after a gap of several years. However, both Syria and Yemen have cancelled their stands this year.
With 100 events, the ITB Convention will again be a hotbed of lively and controversial discussions on major industry topics. Senior cruise industry chiefs will discuss the state of the industry in the wake of the Costa Concordia tragedy, while the impact of the ‘Arabellion’ will be another vital topic.
Fvw will again be keeping visitors and exhibitors at ITB fully informed on all the key news with the bilingual official ITB Dailies (from Wednesday to Saturday). A selection of the most important stories will be published daily here on fvw.com.