ITB Berlin: Display halls fully booked

The entire world in 26 display halls: this year, ITB Berlin is booked up again. In 2017, in addition to established exhibitors the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show has been able to secure many newcomers. ITB Berlin has also met numerous exhibitors’ requests for more floor space. Some of the stands have grown in height and the hall layout has been improved. This year the stands of many tourism destinations, especially in the Mediterranean, are now in different locations.

Thus, from 8 to 12 March 2017 around 10,000 organizations and companies will be represented in the largest marketplace of the international travel industry.

“The fact that our halls are booked up sends out a clear message: even in times of political uncertainty the international travel industry places a focus on strong participation, progress and face-to-face meetings at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. Demand has been high again this year, particularly from Asia, Arab destinations and the travel technology sector. We have taken this into account with a new, improved hall layout and have been able to meet many exhibitors’ requests for additional space“, said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.

This year the spotlight is on Botswana, the official partner country of ITB Berlin. This fascinating, landlocked country in southern Africa will host the artistic performances at the opening ceremonies on the eve of ITB Berlin and will be represented on a larger, two-tier stand. In Hall 20 visitors can find out more about sustainable tourism initiatives, safaris and wildlife conservation projects, this country’s impressive flora and fauna, and its cultural heritage.

Digital worlds on the march
Visitors interested in the booming Travel Technology segment can take a journey into a digital world. In 2017, due to high demand, the eTravel World will feature an additional hall. In addition to Hall 6.1 visitors will find almost only newcomers in Hall 7.1c. At the same time the eTravel World is attracting more and more international exhibitors and especially startups from around the world. The increasing presence of payment system providers also underlines the growing importance of travel technology.

The growth potential of Middle Eastern countries is also reflected at ITB Berlin. A total of 32 major exhibitors from the Middle East will be represented at ITB Berlin. The United Arab Emirates and Qatar Airways on an area of 3,380 square metres as well as Saudi Arabia on more than 300 square metres will be occupying larger stands than in 2016. Etihad Airways will be presenting a new island stand concept in Berlin.

Russia and the USA are now no longer in Hall 2.1, and instead can now be found in Hall 3.1. The US stand has grown and increased its display area by 100 square metres. This year Australia, the smallest continent, will also be represented on a larger stand at ITB Berlin. New Zealand will be appearing individually with its services and new products in Hall 5.2a. This year Jakarta City can also be found in Hall 5.2a.

Hall 26, which focuses on Asia and has attracted many international exhibitors, is also booked up and has waiting lists. Exhibitors from Indonesia will also be occupying more space. HanaTour, one of Korea’s largest tour operators, will be represented on its own stand and be appearing for the first time. The stands of Caissa Travel Management, Beijing Nimbus Travel, China Inbound and the Dossen Hotel Group from China will be adding to the range of products displayed by one of Asia’s leading growth markets in tourism.

Debut for Medical Tourism
Medical Tourism represents a new, fast-growing segment at ITB Berlin. The Medical Pavilion in Hall 3.2a will feature a concentrated display of new medical tourism products and information from the following exhibitors: the Anatolia Hospital, the Dünyagöz Eye Hospital Group and the Acibadem Hospitals Group from Turkey, the Dubai Healthcare Authority, the Bella Roma Medical & Aesthetic Surgery Center and the Al Zahra Hospital Dubai, as well as the spa group Polska Grupa Uzdrowisk from Poland and the Vitebsk State Medical University from Belarus.

On Thursday, 8 March, starting at 11.30 a.m., presentations by the above exhibitors, the Health Cluster Portugal, Hotel School The Hague and the Croatian Tourist Board, as well as lectures on the importance of medical tourism for the hotel industry and on cooperation with Arab markets will offer an insight into this growth market.

Afterwards, there will be a medical networking reception. Interested exhibitors and trade visitors can also find out more about medical tourism every day in the pavilion, on the Information stand of ITB.

India – focus on sustainability
Regardless of India’s current economic crisis exhibitors from the sub-continent will be participating in Hall 5.2b, which once again is fully booked. 2017, the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, is also important for India. Sustainable tourism is the focus of a stand in Hall 5.2b, which on 8 March will be opened by Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Many other exhibitors, representing luxury products in particular, will be presenting their sustainable tourism products. In Hall 5.2b, where India is featured, Assam will be exhibiting for the first time. Many first-time exhibitors from Kerala in the country’s south will also be showcasing attractive products. On the stand of Enfield Riders, a newcomer to this year’s ITB Berlin, lovers of classic machines can get tips on touring India by motorcycle.

Among the European countries occupying larger display areas will be Croatia in Hall 1.2, France and Portugal in Hall 1.1, and the Czech Republic in Hall 7.2 b. Following a prolonged absence Andorra is back at ITB Berlin in Hall 2.1. In Hall 18 the Scandinavian countries will also be represented on larger stands. In Hall 6.2 Bayern Tourismus will be presenting a new stand concept.

Return of countries from Africa and Europe
At ITB Berlin 2017, besides the partner country Botswana, fans of tours in Africa can again find numerous exhibitors. Thus, Namibia will be hosting several stands in Hall 20. After a lengthy break, Togo und Senegal are back and can be found in Hall 21. This year Colombia will be occupying a larger stand in Hall 23, as will Barbados in Hall 22.

For culturally interested visitors the Culture Lounge in Hall 16 (for the first time also in Hall 15.1) will be worthwhile attending. This year, the stand of Slovenia in Hall 17 has grown too. The Convention & Culture Partner is sponsoring the Wi-Fi network at ITB Berlin. In Hall 9 this year, visitors can find even more hotels, including the enlarged stands of Hyatt Hotels & Resorts, Hilton, Accor Hotels, Jin Jiang International and Expedia. Deutsche Hotel & Resort Holding is a newcomer this year and can also be found in Hall 9. Airbus is also a first-time exhibitor, in Hall 25. This is also where Aeroflot will be represented with its own stand for the first time. This year the Finnish airline Finnair can be found in Hall 26. The number of car rental firms and tour operators in Hall 14.1 has risen significantly. Several tour operators exhibiting for the first time can also be found in Hall 25.

ITB Career Center – the place to kickstart one’s career
She Trades – International Trade Center is a platform for female entrepreneurs and a newcomer to ITB Berlin. Located in Hall 26, this is where visitors can find out about the latest projects of Deutsche Gesellschaft für Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). For those looking for a new job in the travel industry or advanced training ITB Berlin is just the place to be. At the ITB Career Center in Hall 11.1, which features the Federal Employment Agency as its exclusive partner, more employers will be exhibiting than ever before. Some 40 universities from Germany and abroad will be on hand to provide individual advice on courses and advanced training.

A world full of diversity awaits visitors to Hall 21b, which is where the booming Gay & Lesbian Travel (LGBT Travel) Pavilion can be found for the first time this year. At the newly designed, and currently fully booked, Presentation Corner exhibitors will be able to present their latest LGBT products. The Media Breakfast, a popular event, will also be taking place again. Taking part in ITB Berlin for the first time will be the internet portal Hornet, World Pride Madrid, Belmond Hotel, Aspen Snowmass, Playa de las Américas from Tenerife, as well as the Asociación Latinoamericana de Turismo LGBT (ALAT.LGBT). First-time exhibitors in the Gay & Lesbian Travel segment also include Illinois, which is sponsoring the LGBT media brunch. The popular ITB Gay Café is being organised by mCruise together with its partners Schauinsland, DER Tour and Condor.
The CSR activities undertaken by ITB Berlin and many other exhibitors in recent years have met with positive reactions throughout. In 2017, to mark the International Year of Sustainable Tourism, even more activities await visitors to the show. Among the highlights will be the presentation of the World Legacy Awards, an event co-organised by National Geographic and ITB Berlin. On the Wednesday of ITB a festive awards ceremony will be held in the Palais am Funkturm for the first time.

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