The 47th Berlin International Tourism Fair (ITB), the world's leading travel trade show, opened here on Tuesday to showcase the international tourism industry's new trends, latest travel products and attractive niche markets.
Some 10,086 companies from 188 countries will present their products and services on a display area covering 160,000 square meters at the leading B2B platform, organizers said, adding that the event will attract more than 170,000 visitors, among them 113,000 trade visitors.
"At ITB Berlin exhibitors and trade visitors can gain a representative and up-to-the-minute overview of the travel industry's entire value chain,"said Christian Goeke, chief operating officer of Messe Berlin (Trade Fair Berlin). "They will find growth and niche markets, find information on exploring new markets and ideas for innovative sales strategies."
Known for its focus on travel technology products over the years, this year's ITB gathers around 150 companies from 25 countries that exhibit their IT-related services and product innovations in the travel industry.
One of the key topics at ITB Berlin 2013, which lasts from March 6 to March 10, is how to capitalize on technological innovations and transfer investment in social-mobile technology into long-term growth.
Exhibitors representing social media networks and mobile and analysis services are attending in large numbers, and experts will discuss industry topics such as "The opportunities and risks of the social web for the travel industry" and "More efficient travel using eTravel, navigation and mobile travel guides".
International tourism shrugged off economic volatility around the globe last year and maintained steady growth, the latest report issued by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) showed.
International tourist arrivals grew by 4 percent in 2012 to reach 1.035 billion, according to the latest UNWTO World Tourism Barometer. Growth of 3 percent to 4 percent is expected in 2013.
The highest growth rate in expenditure abroad in 2012 came from China with a 42-percent hike, the report said.
As this year's ITB official partner country, Indonesia, presented a colorful display of traditional music and dance at Tuesday night's opening ceremony, which was attended by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
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