This year’s edition of ITB Berlin, taking place from March 7-11, is almost fully booked, according to Messe Berlin, and is expected to welcome around 10,000 exhibitors; organisations hailing from more than 180 countries; and some 110,000 trade visitors.
This year, the spotlight will be on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partner region of the show, which is coordinating a ‘zero carbon footprint’ opening event, shedding light on an important trend. Over the five days of the show the German federal state will be exhibiting its impressive variety of tourism products in Halls 6.2a and 4.1.
Head, ITB Berlin, David Ruetz commented: “The outstanding number of bookings this year once again underlines ITB Berlin’s role as a driving force and the event mirroring the global tourism industry. Particularly in an age of political unrest, overtourism and the ongoing digital transformation, the industry faces new challenges. Against this backdrop the world’s leading travel trade show has become important for exhibitors and trade visitors as a networking platform and reliable indicator of the economy.”
The constant development of the travel sector is highlighted this year with growth, waiting lists and returning exhibitors. Demand for ITB Berlin is particularly high among Arab countries, Asia and South America. Abu Dhabi has almost doubled the size of its stand, while the Ras al Khaimah and Fujairah displays are much larger than last year.
Egypt is will be making a dramatic return with a larger stand, and as the largest exhibitor at ITB Berlin, Turkey will again be demonstrating that this unique and vibrant destination has lost none of its sparkle.
This year, after long absences, Belize, Guayana, French Guiana and the Turks and Caicos Islands will be celebrating their return to the event.
Moving on, the 2018 edition of ITB Berlin will hone in on adventure tourism and sustainable travel. This trend is reflected by the fact that Hall 4.1 is now fully booked. In the Luxury Travel segment, the Loop Lounge @ ITB will be celebrating its debut in Hall 9, while on the Thursday of the show, the first ITB Luxury Late Night will provide an opportunity to develop relations with previously made contacts. Held at Orania.Berlin, a new boutique hotel, exhibitors will be able to meet leading buyers from the global luxury travel market. Participation is invitation only.
Also at this year’s event, the massive potential that medical tourism has to offer the global tourism industry will be highlighted. Due to high demand, this segment is moving to a larger hall (21b). An ever-growing number of international exhibitors will be represented, including delegates from Poland, Croatia, the Dominican Republic, as well as two Turkish hospitals and Visit Jordan. Newcomers from Germany will include VisitBerlin and Berlin Health Excellence, as well Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.
The Health Tourism Industry Conference is the official partner of the medical tourism segment. Taking place on Gendarmenmarkt on Friday, March 9, the ITB Medical Night, sponsored by Tuscany, will provide an exclusive networking opportunity. Participation is invitation only.
Another special focus at ITB Berlin 2018 will be the Travel Technology segment. Exhibitors including eNett, Traso, Triptease and Paymentwall have increased their display areas, while Travelport and the Hospitality Industry Club (a newcomer), will shed light on the excellent prospects of this growing segment.
Chinese exhibitor numbers are growing especially fast, and the online portal Ctrip will be exhibiting its products at ITB Berlin for the first time. Other newcomers from China will include Flightroutes, Ucloudlink, Letsfly, Qyer and Qup.
For the third consecutive year, ITB Berlin will be organising the ITB Chinese Night, allowing visitors to find out more about the Chinese travel market, exchange views and establish new contacts. At the ITB China 2018 Preview on Thursday, March 8 at the CityCube Berlin, visitors can find out about the fast-growing travel market and major attractions at ITB China, taking place from May 16-18 for the second time.