Twenty-two tourism enterprises from across the island of Ireland joined Tourism Ireland for this year’s ITB travel show in Berlin, the largest travel fair in the world, in a bid to grow Ireland’s share of the German tourism market – the world’s second largest outbound travel market.
Now in its 47th year, ITB (Internationale Tourismus-Börse) Berlin attracts about 170,000 visitors each year – of whom 113,000 are trade visitors – and 11,000 exhibitors from 180 countries across the world. Attendees at the show included leading travel writers, tour operators and travel agents, not just from Germany but from all over the world, as well as many thousands of German holidaymakers looking for ideas and suggestions for their next short break or holiday destination.
The five-day event provided a valuable opportunity for the participating Irish tourism companies to network, negotiate and exchange vital contracts with influential German tour operators and travel agents. The Gathering Ireland, Derry~Londonderry UK City of Culture and the many festivals and events taking place here this year, were a major focus on the Tourism Ireland stand at this year’s ITB.
With about 180 countries all competing for business at ITB, Tourism Ireland’s aim was to stand out from the crowd and capture the attention of the influential global media and travel trade in attendance. Zoë Redmond, Tourism Ireland’s manager for Central Europe, said: “Germany is the second-largest outbound travel market in the world, with over 70 million trips abroad taken each year. Tourism Ireland has a very busy programme of promotional activity under way in Germany for 2013, highlighting all the exciting things happening this year, including The Gathering Ireland. We are working closely with our tourism partners to highlight the distinctiveness of a holiday on the island of Ireland, the great value available and the variety of things to do and see. Our message for German holidaymakers is that there has never been a better time to visit.”
Over 11 million potential German holidaymakers are seeing Tourism Ireland’s €2 million spring TV campaign, which is airing across the country right now on primetime slots on top German stations, to coincide with the important holiday decision-making period in Germany. The campaign also incorporates online advertising – with video footage and ads running on a mix of travel and news websites like Lonely Planet.