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ITB Berlin News Preview Edition

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NEWS 5

NEWS 5 ITB Berlin – a Reliable Economic Indicator The world’s premier travel and tourism trade event unites supply and demand from around the globe ITB Berlin continues on its ascension as the world’s largest and most comprehensive travel and tourism trade show. But what are the key trends this year? We put the question to ITB Berlin Vice-President Dr Martin Buck… Jürgen Büchy President, German Travel Association (DRV) New Record for German Travel Industry Package tours to medium-haul destinations have seen the biggest hikes in sales in Germany in the past year, according to the German Travel Association (DRV). According to DRV president Jürgen Büchy, in 2013, the German industry’s turnover rose to a new record of an estimated 25.2bn Euros (previous year 24.4bn) and the number of holidaymakers relying on a tour operator remained stable on a high level at about 40 million. Offerings in the high-end segment were particularly in demand as customers develop stronger quality awareness. With positive forecasts from organisations such as GfK, the DRV is expecting further market growth also for the business year 2013/2014. Package tours to medium-haul destinations recorded the most distinct increases in sales revenues with 3.5 to 4 percent, along with flights to long-haul destinations with 4 to 5 percent. In terms of favourite destinations, Spain is still holding the top position, especially in the summer months, followed by the countries around the Mediterranean, such as Turkey and Greece. Fuller details of the DRV’s findings can be found on www.itb-berlin-news.com (news section). Compared with last year, the number of bookings at ITB Berlin 2014 has remained consistently high. The majority of the halls are already booked up and there are now 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. The ITB Berlin Convention’s agenda features up-to-the-minute and forward-looking themes and leading experts will be taking part in the debate. You have announced a new ITB summit on omni-channel marketing on the eve of ITB Berlin 2014. Could you please tell us more about this? In future, travel companies will have to place a greater focus on their customers and tailor their marketing activities to their needs. Today, the path a customer takes before ultimately booking a trip is no longer difficult to understand. Big data offers a wealth of information, helping to better understand customer behaviour. This helps to significantly improve the dialogue with the customer and enables the travel industry to tailor its products ONE NOTICEABLE TREND IS THAT EXHIBITORS ARE BOOKING LARGER STANDS accordingly, which in the medium term can potentially boost sales. At the same time tourism marketing methods are changing. Digital omnichannel marketing has combined the various methods of addressing the customer to a greater degree than the previous model of Dr Martin Buck Vice-President, ITB Berlin multi-channel marketing. For the tourism industry, rapidly developing omni-channel marketing instruments such as real-time advertising and user centric marketing are becoming more and more important. Therefore, ITB Berlin will kick off with an event on the topical subject of omnichannel marketing featuring high-ranking participants. Among those taking part in the new ITB Summit on 4 March 2014 from 2 to 6 p.m. will be Facebook’s Head of Travel, Lee McCabe, who will talk about the prospects for social media securing new customers. Rounding off the programme will be a thought-provoking discussion at which members of various parts of the media will debate the future of marketing communications. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 28 th February 2014

ITB Berlin News