The largest travel trade fair in the world, ITB in Berlin, kicks off today (Wednesday March 7). Tourism Minister Shane Ross joins Tourism Ireland and 30 tourism companies from Ireland at the fair, in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of the German travel market.
Germany is the third-largest market for tourism to Ireland and in 2017 the country welcomed around 660,000 German visitors. Tourism Ireland recently launched a new strategy to boost tourism from Germany, setting out targets which will seeIreland welcome 800,000 German visitors per year by 2021, representing growth of 20%, as well as seeing revenue generated by holiday visitors increase by 27% to €375 million per year.
ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) is attracts over 160,000 visitors from 180 countries across the world. Of these, about 109,000 are trade visitors – including leading tour operators, travel agents, airlines, travel media and bloggers – not just from Germany, but from all over the world. The five-day event provides a valuable opportunity to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts with the influential international tour operators and travel agents in attendance.
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Speaking at ITB Berlin, Niall Gibbons, CEO of Tourism Ireland, said, “The large representation of our tourism partners from Ireland at ITB this year is extremely welcome – and essential in the highly competitive global marketplace. Germans who are interested in taking a holiday which involves sightseeing and local culture remain our core audience; we are also targeting people who engage in outdoor activities while on holidays. ITB provides an excellent opportunity to spread the word about the many great things to see and do right around the island of Ireland.”