There are hundreds upon hundreds of travel trade shows kept around the world each year. A lot of them are open to the public as the goal of the shows is to introduce tourist destinations just not to people within the industry but directly to travellers as well. Tourist destinations want to be featured at these events in order to increase the visibility of their destination. Some of the travel industry trade shows are global while others are local in scope. The largest travel trade show in the world is the annual ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) in Berlin, a travel trade show with a yearly turnover of 5 billion euros. Other large and well know travel trade shows include World Travel Market (WTM), ASEAN Tourism Forum (also known as ATF) and PATA Travel Mart.
The ITB (International Tourismus-Börse) trade show was created in 1966 by Manfred Busche. The first year it had a mere 10 exhibitors from 5 different countries. In 2010, the show had grown to encompass 12,000 exhibitors spread out over 160,000 m² of the showroom floor. It was visited by 160,000 visitors of whom 100,000 were active professionals in the field. Nowadays, professionals can take advantage of the ITB Berlin Congress, a place filled with various aids that makes it easier to conduct business at the trade show. The trade show is initially open just for industry people but the public is welcome during the weekend before it closes.
Interesting facts about the ITB
ITB Berlin is not just the largest travel trade show in the world but also one of the largest trade shows in the world, all categories included.
The ITB Berlin Book Award is given by an independent jury to the best work in travel and tourism.
The German Postal system has honoured the ITB Berlin with a specially made ITB stamp.
Since 2008, the ITB has had an Asian spin-off, ITB Asia which is held once a year. The first-ever ITB Asia was arranged in Singapore and was considered a great success.
World Travel Market
The second-largest travel trade show in the world is the World Travel Market (WTM) (http://www.wtmlondon.com/) held annually in London. The event is considerably smaller than the one in Berlin, although still the second largest in the world, and attracts roughly 46,000 industry representatives each year. The organizers of WTM also hold Arabian Travel Market and Luxury Travel Market, and the Arabian Travel Market, in particular, is considered a must for many within the industry.
The World Travel Market is usually held in November and gives people in the tourist industry an opportunity to make new business deals and pick up on new trends and destinations. The event is invite-only on the first day, while the following days allow exhibitors and people from within the industry to attend and the final days are open to students as well. This travel trade show is never open to the general public. If you want to attend you should pre-register well in advance. It is possible to register at the door but you will then be charged an extra fee (295 GBP in 2011).