ITB Berlin closes with cautious optimism

Egypt and Tunisia optimistic, Paris and Germany break new records

Billed as the world’s leading travel trade event, ITB Berlin ended yesterday, while the parallel convention in which industry leaders discuss key issues and trends ended on the 11th. One of the main conclusions, given the catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan on Friday, was that the industry will continue to face severe challenges in 2011. However, the newly appointed ministers of tourism for Egypt and Tunisia expressed optimism for the future. Indeed, Egypt was announced as the partner country of ITB Berlin 2012. A new campaign slogan has been adopted by Egypt: “Welcome to the country of the peaceful revolution”, emphasising a peaceful new beginning.
Many incoming destinations did exceptionally well in 2010, such as Paris, which achieved a new record as hotels recorded 35.9 million overnights, up 5.4% on 2009. Germany is also breaking new records, with 11% more tourists last year, the equivalent of 26.9 million arrivals, while overnights topped the 60 million mark for the first time ever, up 10%. Countries in South America are also doing well, particularly Brazil, which is investing heavily in tourism and transport infrastructure ahead of the 2014 World Cup. International tourist arrivals are rising fast in Thailand too, up 11% to around 15.7 million in 2010. The Tourism Authority of Thailand has shifted to a marketing strategy built around emotions and experiences, implementing a new tagline, “Amazing Thailand always amazes you”. In West Africa, meanwhile, travel is being eased through a new single visa that can now be obtained for seamless travel to Bénin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea Bissau, Niger, Mali, Senegal and Togo.
[pictured: Scandic Hotels at ITB]