Anyone in the travel trade who is serious about growing their business and keeping up to date on the latest trends just has to visit the ITB Berlin show every year.
The 2015 ITB Berlin, which came to an end on Sunday, was able to cement its position as the world’s largest travel trade show. From 4th – 8th March, 10,096 exhibitors from 186 countries (more than two-thirds were from abroad, were represented in 26 display halls, which were all fully booked.
Overall, some 115,000 trade visitors (2014: 114,000) travelled to Berlin. The share of trade visitors from abroad increased to 43% (2014: 40%). These visitors also remained longer at ITB Berlin because they did good business, with the average duration of a stay rising to 2.4 days (2014: 2.1 days). According to estimates by Messe Berlin, the volume of sales at the world’s leading travel trade show increased from around €6.5 billion in 2014 to €6.7 billion.
Trends at ITB Berlin 2015 included the massive rise in the use of mobile devices to book trips, a phenomenon that has now become the norm. Improved software means that travel websites are becoming more attractive and easier to use.
Hotels are also witnessing the impact of digital trends. Smartphone functions are increasingly taking over from room keys. Travel apps are developing rapidly and becoming evermore widespread with the use of latest-generation smartphones. It was good to see the Irish trade here in the person of Bev Fly from BookaBed and Barry Hammond from Sunway.
At the eTravel World numerous experts debated the latest developments in digital marketing, social media and mobile travel services. The 40% increase in papers and discussions held on the eTravel Stage and at the eTravel Lab showed how important these topics have become for the travel industry.