India a key player in global tourism; BITB an opportunity to acquire new streams of business

Martin Buck, Director Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin believes that with a booming travel industry, India remains a key player in the Asia Pacific and in the larger global tourism market. He noted that BITB would help the market acquire products and destinations, and bring in important players like the online service providers into the exhibition space.

What made ITB come back to India? 

martin_buck_portraitThe Indian market is eager to acquire new products and new destinations – Our Indian partner felt that India could do with a quality driven show, with a sharper focus upon tourism, senior leadership and serious buying and selling. BITB – Bharat International Tourism Bazaar is focusing upon segments that are driving the business today in India. It will bring new streams of business, such as online and technology in travel, weddings, MICE, Luxury, and other niche segments, with corresponding buyers – these are the segments that are presently driving Indian travel and tourism. Traditional segments will also bring exhibitors and these would include cities and states, destinations, airlines and airports and hospitality. Big tickets partners will host strong accompanying conferences that will bring some of the finest thought leaders in these businesses.

How does ITB see the future of Indian tourism?

India’s tourism industry is booming and will continue to do so. It will continue to be a key player in the Asia Pacific region and in global tourism. Indian outbound travel has grown strongly and continues to do so. Almost every country has its tourism office set up in India and is tapping the country for travelers. Indians are now looking for travel experiences that are out of the ordinary.

What is your impression of the tourism exhibition business globally?

There are many challenges facing the travel industry today, but tourism will continue to grow and contribute to global wealth. Tourism is a major force that drives economic development and creates and secures jobs at travel destinations. In this situation, ITB Berlin demonstrates its qualities as a networking platform and marketing instrument. During the last decade, the show was able to cement its position as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show.

 How does ITB continue to maintain its number one position?

ITB Berlin is the only show to give the full picture of the entire travel trade industry and it stands for global expertise and excellence. The secret behind the success of ITB Berlin is the fact that it showcases the latest travel industry trends and looks ahead into the future. Experts set forth their visions for the travel industry’s future during the ITB Berlin Convention, illustrate current examples of best practices and discuss the challenges now facing us. Take “Travel 4.0” as an example, which was our key topic in 2016. Today, the ITB brand enjoys an excellent standing. The outlook is positive and we are enthusiastic about the future. We look forward to developing the show still further for our customers and partners. 

What are your future innovations planned at ITB Berlin?

Over the last 50 years, ITB Berlin has been a major innovative force in the international travel industry. Many a times we were pioneers of important industry trends, such as LGBT travel and corporate social responsibility.

 Our aim is for our exhibitors to be represented in the best possible way at the world’s largest travel trade show. For that reason, and in response to rising demand, we have decided to enlarge the display area for exhibitors from the Middle East in 2017.

 We look forward to presenting an African country, Botswana, as the official partner of ITB Berlin to a wide audience of trade visitors and the general public in 2017. Botswana places special emphasis on sustainable tourism. Close to 40 per cent of the land area is dedicated to national parks, reserves and wildlife management areas. As the Culture & Convention Partner Slovenia will be showcasing its cultural and natural attractions at the ITB Berlin Convention. In the future this country aims to promote sustainable tourism and activities in nature.

Next year, innovation will also be a key theme at the ITB Berlin Convention. The international travel industry’s largest think tank gathers experts, tourism professionals and innovators in order to discuss the latest developments in tourism, politics and society. The eTravel World of ITB Berlin is where established companies and ambitious startups will meet to examine the latest trends in digital marketing, social media and mobile travel services. 

As a brand ITB Berlin now also has a huge international reputation. Eight years ago Messe Berlin launched ITB Asia, and in no time at all it established itself as the leading B2B event for the Asian travel market. The launch of ITB China in May 2017 will mark our arrival on the Chinese market. From 10 to 12 May 2017 leading tour operators including Ctrip, Alitrip and Utour will be represented at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Center. 

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