ITB Berlin 2018: Next Agenda to focus on Medical Tourism

With a five per cent increase in business volume compared to last year ITB Berlin 2018 is showcasing that the international travel industry is well on course for a record year. At the conclusion of the event, the global travel industry presented itself in good health and in an optimistic mood. The results of the five-day exhibition on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds confirmed its role as a reliable economic indicator and forward-looking trendsetter. With around 110,000 trade visitors from Germany and abroad, ITB Berlin was able to reaffirm its standing as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. Despite the warm spring weather around 60,000 members of the general public flocked to the display halls on the weekend to find out about the wide range of information available from exhibitors. The ITB Berlin Convention, which examined current issues such as overtourism and digitalization, also underlined its role as the global travel industry’s leading think tank.

The main reason for the industry’s positive mood is the positive economic climate in the euro zone which according to leading economic institutes is better than at any time since the turn of the millennium. Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH: “The consistent forecasts of sustained global economic growth for the next two years decisively contributed to the positive mood among exhibitors and visitors these past few days. Against the backdrop of a booming economy, record low employment and good wage settlements, more and more consumers are willing to spend money. Furthermore, because of the strong euro and correspondingly weak dollar holidaying in numerous countries outside the euro zone is becoming noticeably cheaper. “

From 7 to 11 March 2018, over a period of five days, more than 10,000 companies and organisations from 186 countries and regions exhibited their products to visitors in 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.

The huge prospects that medical tourism has to offer the global tourism industry were highlighted at ITB Berlin. Due to high demand this segment, which was introduced only last year at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show, was relocated to a larger hall (21b). This year again, Travel Technology was one of the segments which displayed strong growth. Exhibitors including eNett, Traso,Triptease and Paymentwall, which increased their display areas, returning exhibitors, among them Travelport, as well as the Hospitality Industry Club, a newcomer, highlighted the excellent prospects of this fast-growing segment. The large increase in Chinese exhibitors there was particularly noticeable. The online portal Ctrip displayed its products in Berlin for the first time.

For the ITB Berlin Convention, the global travel industry’s leading think tank, which hosted around 150 sessions featuring over 300 outstanding speakers, the event was also a success. Messe Berlin had been able to secure Zambia as the Convention & Culture Partner. Situated in the middle of southern Africa, this country is still largely untouched by tourism. However, it is gradually establishing itself as a popular travel destination. Other partners of the ITB Berlin Convention included the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) in the role of co-host, Ctrip.com International, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), and the Ministry for Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey.

Malaysia will be the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2019. ”We want to increase tourism and establish Malaysia as a tourism destination“, said Dato´Sri Abdul Khani Daud from Tourism Malaysia at ITB Berlin.

The next ITB Berlin will take place from Wednesday, 6 to Sunday, 10 March 2019.

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