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ITB Berlin News Preview Edition

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NEWS 5 the industry’s

NEWS 5 the industry’s Most international Event Messe Berlin COO Dr Christian Göke underlines the importance of the international vocation of ITB Berlin In a world where uncertainty reigns in a number of areas, Messe Berlin’s events such as ITB Berlin continue to “show the way” with a clear roadmap for the future of the industry. We asked Messe Berlin COO Dr Christian Göke what the main reasons are for trade and press to attend this year’s show… riding the Groundswell ITB Berlin 2013 more than ever reflects industry trends and changes Dr. Martin Buck Messe Berlin‘s Vice-president, competence center travel & logistics Each year, ITB Berlin attracts growing numbers of international decisionmakers. Nowadays around 40% of buyers come from abroad. As a result, ITB Berlin claims not only the most balanced and international range of exhibitors but is also the industry’s most international event in terms of its trade visitors. These are the ideal prerequisites for business success. And as is the case every year, the ITB Berlin convention will provide valuable insights into the most important trends in global tourism. Particularly in these times of information overload, a platform such as ITB Berlin offers an ideal opportunity to obtain the maximum amount of relevant information in the shortest possible time. Messe Berlin has, for the first time, decided to launch its own magazine for this event – ITB Berlin News. What was the reasoning behind this? We want to provide international trade visitors with information in English that will help them in their decision-making processes. The magazine will bring greater clarity to a variety of topics and events. It will be a valuable source of information for trade visitors, not least with regard to the hospitality and travel technology section of the exhibition. In addition, readers will get an insight into the many events and seminars at the ITB Berlin Convention, seminars and studies. Messe Berlin is developing rapidly, with new major construction at the present site, and also a huge new project next to the airport. What is the roadmap for the organisation in this respect? Dr. Christian Göke Messe Berlin cOO Currently, work on the shell of the German capital’s new venue for trade fairs, conferences and events, CityCube Berlin, is now well under way, with its opening scheduled for early 2014, and we are very happy that the calendar of events at the new trade fair and conference venue is gradually filling up. In September 2012, the launch of the ExpoCenter Airport next door to BER, the capital’s future airport, was very well received. This multi-purpose venue for trade fairs and events complements ExpoCenter City, situated next to the Berlin Radio Tower, and the International Air Show ILA 2012 was its inaugural event. Comprising three permanent display halls covering 21,000 square metres and temporary halls with an area of 55,000 square metres, it offers space for additional trade fairs and product presentations. Improvements are currently being made to the infrastructure, with construction of passageways connecting the halls as well as transport links under way. Messe Berlin‘s Vice- President, Competence Center, Travel & Logistics, Dr. Martin Buck gives ITB Berlin News his preview to trends at the upcoming show... Compared with 2012, the number of bookings at ITB Berlin 2013 has remained consistently high. Thus the world’s largest travel trade show will live up to its reputation as the industry’s leading international platform, and will also send out an important message for the future. The markets in South America, Asia and the Middle East are displaying particularly strong growth, and a substantial number of exhibitors from these regions will be present at this year’s show. We also see a growth of popular markets such as travel technology and gay & lesbian travel. The focus is on Indonesia, the partner country of ITB Berlin, which is occupying a large display area. What are you seeing as the biggest groundswell changes that will be highlighted at the show? We see a greater emphasis on travel technology in global tourism. Mobile bookings and technological advances change the way people book and travel. Today’s digital natives already have a totally different approach to booking tours than the generation preceding them. Sustainable and responsible travel will continue to be a widely discussed industry topic. Numerous best practices already exist at this year’s show - mainly in hall 4.1. In this sense, how are exhibitors evolving? Asian countries, including Indonesia, the Philippines, Taiwan and China are represented on larger stands. Indonesia, the partner country of ITB Berlin 2013, is represented in Halls 26 and 4.1, where visitors can watch colourful stage events. Hall 5.2b is fully occupied with India’s displays and a number of Indian exhibitors have moved to Hall 5.2a, where the state of Uttarakhand is represented for the first time. Visitors can get the full picture of South America because all of its nations are represented at the travel trade show. Good news from the Arab countries as well; with the exception of Syria and Saudi Arabia all countries have booked their places at the world’s largest travel trade show. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 27 th February 2013

ITB Berlin News