|ITB 2012 Closing Report.|
Tuesday, 13th March 2012
Source : Roland Wildberg ~ Exclusive from ITB Berlin 2012
After five days of tourism fair in Berlin the industry is looking ahead more optimistically; on various panel discussions and interviews the stake holders have showed consensus in essential questions like the further development of complex tourist destinations such as Egypt or Libya, strengthen sustainability regarding for example human capital or energy saving, and last but not least that tourism 2012 certainly will keep on growing.
And their audience was with them: More than 113,000 trade visitors came to ITB, which is a slight plus of about 2 per cent. A great success for the fair management shows the response to conventions, work shops and discussions offered: With more than 17.000 attendees there was an increase of astondishing 20 per cent on 2011.
"The fact that we observed an increase of more than 2,200 trade visitors, splendid business atmosphere and efficient networking in our new ITB Buyers Circle all which give us the feeling ITB Berlin is alltime leading tourism fair again," fair management CEO Christian Goeke said. Among the altogether 113,000 professionals there were over one third from international destinations.
The top topic definitely was Egypt - and the solidarity and sympathy many people at the fair expressed: "ITB was excellent," Egypt's minister of tourism Mounir Fakry Abdel Nour told. "I enjoyed each minute and frequently met friendly, fantastic people."
Adjacent to the overwhelming encouragement he felt happy that the current political problems visibly do not have any influence to the general spirit at all. Not only tourism managers but also high politicians had shown their solidarity.
The minister went on: "With Claus Braehmig from the German Federal Parliament's tourism commission (4hoteliers.com reported) we could clear all misunderstandings."
The official bilateral talks were completed by informal exchange options provided at Egypt's booth that suggested trade visitors and Egyptian citizens to communicate and link via social media. "This ITB is different from all I experienced in the past - I noticed remarkable will to co-operate between the countries," the Egyptian statesman concluded.
The ITB's focus on politics accumulated in the convention programme: There has been no ITB before that offered as many enriching contributions to current questions such as how to generate bookings from social media & mobile devices, how to cope with the 2011 established emission fee for aircraft, how to stand manipulation through fake online ratings at revue platforms and many more.
The resonance in exhibitors was good, too: 10,644 companies and single entrepreneurs from 187 countries crowded for five days occupying even the last square meters of roofed space.
"The ITB was quite promising," German Travel Industry Association president Jens Buechy said. He was sure that global tourism sector is expecting another great season. "There is still some that have not yet made it back to their old performance, for example the cruise sector, Greece and Egypt, but the travel industry stands by them!"
UNWTO general secretary Taleb Rifai resumed: "ITB Berlin has once more demonstrated that it is inevitable for all who want to stimulate their business or want to keep themselves updated about future trends and developments in the sector." Global tourism is among the most dynamic and exciting industries of the world, he pointed out. "Here in Berlin all act jointly to reinforce it."