ITB Berlin, in its 50th edition, was stronger than ever: from 9 to 13 March some 10,000 exhibiting companies from 187 countries and regions met with 120,000 trade visitors in the 26 exhibition halls, which had been booked up months in advance. On the purchasing side there was also a further increase in the number of decision-makers: two thirds of the trade visitors stated that they held direct authority for all purchasing decisions. Business conducted during the trade show rose from last year's figure of 6.7 billion euros to around seven billion this year.
Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin: "Never before in its 50 years has ITB Berlin welcomed so many trade visitors to the exhibition halls. After this five-day event trade visitors and exhibitors are leaving Berlin with a clear message: even in times dominated by a "sense of uncertainty" people are not willing to do without their holiday trips. Conversely, over the past few days the travel industry has made it clear that it can provide suitable answers to the major challenges that it currently faces. ITB Berlin has again provided evidence that this trade show, a global market place and a platform for personal encounters, provides a "firm foundation for the industry during turbulent times", and in the digital age too it has lost none of its importance for the travel industry all over the world.
Dr. Christian Göke: "Currently ITB Berlin is not only one of the most important trade shows taking place in Berlin but, over the past five decades it has been a significant economic factor for our city. This international show for the global travel industry has also been a remarkable success story for the trade fair sector in Germany, and this is something of which our company and the Berliners too can be very proud. In terms of its exhibitors and its trade visitors, no other show anywhere in the world has an international structure that can compare in any way with it. ITB Berlin is "more than just a trade show" - today, all over the world, it represents Germany, symbolizing hospitality and serving as a practical example of international understanding."
The travel trade show that was held for the first time in Berlin 50 years ago has now evolved into a real international success: ITB Asia has been held annually in Singapore since 2008.The world's largest convention for the global travel industry attracted a record attendance. The 200 events at the ITB Convention were attended by over 26,000 visitors. It was taking place for the 13th time and occupied eight halls on the Exhibition Grounds. The main themes at the ITB Convention, which is regarded as the "think tank" for the international industry, were "Travel 4.0" and the complete digitalization of all the various business processes of travel companies. Due to the evident willingness of many travelers to spend, the subject of luxury travel also attracted a great deal of interest. Discussions also took place about the opportunities and risks facing tourism as a consequence of the influx of refugees to Europe. With the first appearance in Europe by a humanoid robot from Japan – clad as an elegant trade show hostess – visitors to ITB Berlin were able to see for themselves how engineers and scientists view the future of a service-based industry. The importance of ITB Berlin as an economic and social platform was underlined by the presence of many prominent speakers. Among those providing information and inspiration for the participants in the Convention were Günther H. Oettinger, EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Dr. Gerd Müller, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, and Professor Dr. Hans-Werner Sinn, President of the IFO Institute – Leibniz-Institute for Economic Research.