Reflecting the importance of ITB Berlin, the opening night ceremony, was hosted by ITB Berlin partner Indonesia and attended by no less than German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indonesia’s President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Figures from Messe Berlin put the ITB Berlin 2013 exhibitor count at almost 10,100 from 188 countries. Trade visitors exceeded 110,000, with 43% of them from outside Germany. While the level of interest from most regions of the world remained roughly at 2012 levels, there were slight increases in the number of buyers from the USA and the Middle East.
Public attendance at ITB Berlin seems likely to have reached an all-time high. Some 60,000 members of the general public visited ITB Berlin on the first of two public days (Saturday and Sunday 9-10 March).
For the first time, consumers were able to book their holidays directly at ITB Berlin.
The ITB Berlin Convention (the travel industry think tank, trends and ideas forum of ITB Berlin) attracted a record 21,000 delegates and 250 speakers and panellists. They contributed to about 100 sessions, varying from 50-seat interactive workshops to panel discussions and keynote presentations on topical issues in large halls seating over 500 people.
The list of topics under debate at the ITB Convention was very thorough. Khiri Travel noticed agenda items such as environmental and social sustainability, HR, climate change, energy efficiency issues, gender equality, prospects for young professionals, wellness and health, e-travel, mobile and social media (the most popular sessions).
These days, foreigners mainly visit the former French colonial town of Siem Reap to see the temples of Angkor Wat. But the town is one of the world’s best undiscovered golf destinations. There are now three international standard courses each with their own variety and challenges for amateurs to professionals.
The government of Laos agreed to spend an USD 80 million to build a new airport for the fast growing and bustling tourism hub of Northern Laos: Luang Prabang – one of the two UNESCO World Heritage listed sites of the country.