WTCF Co-hosts ITB Berlin 2023

Publish Time:2023-03-15 16:24:34Source:WTCF

【Introduction】:ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade fair, took place on March 7-9, 2023, in Berlin, with the theme "Open for Change". The 2023 fair was the first live version of the event since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Government officials, tourism destination managers, experts, scholars, senior tourism company executives, media outlets, and heads of international organizations from more than 180 countries and regions attended the event. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) participated for the seventh consecutive time as a co-host.

ITB Berlin, the world's leading travel trade show, took place on March 7-9, 2023, in Berlin, with the theme "Open for Change". The 2023 fair was the first offline session of the event since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) participated for the seventh consecutive time as a co-host. Government officials, tourism destination managers, experts, scholars, senior tourism company executives, media outlets, and heads of international organizations from more than 180 countries and regions attended the event.

WTCF Co-Hosts ITB Berlin 2023

WTCF Secretary-General Yang Shuo speaks at the ITB Berlin 2023 opening ceremony.

On March 7, Yang Shuo, WTCF's Secretary-General, spoke at the opening ceremony of the fair, sharing his foresight on the development trends of global tourism by focusing on the theme of the fair and reiterating the importance of tourism to the world economy. Touching on global tourism development trends which are related to the theme of the fair, he expressed full confidence in the Chinese market's ability to contribute to the prosperity of the global tourism economy following the gradual opening of the inbound and outbound tourism markets in China.

WTCF Co-Hosts ITB Berlin 2023

Esencan Terzibasoglu, Special Advisor to WTCF's Secretary-General, presents the Report on World Tourism Economy Trends (2023).

During the fair, Esencan Terzibasoglu, Special Advisor to WTCF's Secretary-General, presented the results of research carried out by the WTCF in the Report on World Tourism Economy Trends (2023). The report predicted a 2023 recovery in total global tourism revenue to 86.2 percent of the pre-pandemic level in 2019, 6.6 percentage points higher than that of 2022.

WTCF Co-Hosts ITB Berlin 2023

WTCF's thematic forum "Outlook for the Chinese Tourism Market in 2023"

On March 9, WTCF organized a thematic forum themed "Outlook for the Chinese Tourism Market in 2023". More than 300 professionals, including representatives of the members of the WTCF, attended the thematic forum. 

During this section, as a representative of Berlin, one of WTCF's city members, Ralf Ostendorf, Director of Market Management at Visit Berlin, said that Visit Berlin has been keeping a good watch on the Chinese market and engaging with partners in China, and has never stopped marketing in China even during the COVID-19 pandemic. As China is adjusting its exit-entry restrictions, continuously-improved air connections and better visa facilitation for Chinese tourists are needed for their trips to Berlin. Mr. Ostendorf showed his appreciation for WTCF for having been playing a vital role in helping Berlin learn about and study the Chinese market. He also thanked WTCF for organizing sessions of the Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit as an international platform where representatives from Berlin can meet tourism industry leaders and experts, enhance "people-to-people" communication with those from other cities, and have more opportunities in terms of international cooperation. Lastly, he called for other cities that are not members of WTCF to join WTCF for better understanding the Chinese tourism market as well as tourism industry counterparts from all over the world, to jointly build a broader development platform for international tourism.

At the thematic forum, Ainura Zhumatayeva, Head of MICE Department, Kazakh National Company JSC., highly praised WTCF. She hoped to use the opportunity arising from China's loosened exit-entry restrictions to promote Kazakhstan to Chinese tourists. In her opinion, for many years, WTCF has been a very useful platform in facilitating international communication and enhancing other countries' understanding of the Chinese tourism market. She hoped that cities in Kazakhstan can more actively partake in the Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit and other regional conferences, and strengthen their partnership with WTCF, to make a perfect start in tapping into the Chinese market. Aino Mellais, Senior Advisor of Travel Trade, Helsinki Partners, commented in her conversation with Richard Matuzevich, Senior Manager of the Liaison Department of WTCF, that the World Tourism Cities Federation Fragrant Hills Tourism Summit 2019 in Helsinki has contributed to the exchanges between Helsinki and China's tourism industry, benefiting both sides in long term.

Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, FRGS, FRAS, WTCF Expert and CEO of COTRI (China Outbound Tourism Research Institute), Simeon Shi, Chief Strategy Officer and Head of Corporate Development at Fliggy, and other guests also participated in the section and discussed the development trend of China's tourism market in 2023 and its positive impact on global tourism development. 

As the world's largest travel trade fair, ITB Berlin, sparking in-depth exchanges and discussions, serves as the guiding force in the global tourism industry, with a considerable number of attendees and widespread influence around the world. By co-hosting the fair for seven consecutive years, WTCF has indeed enhanced its influence in the global tourism industry thanks to this international fair, a platform well-recognized within the industry, and has further demonstrated its role as a key model and leader in promoting the internationalized development of tourism as a China-based international tourism organization. "As the grass and woods start to grow again, the mountains will surely be coated in lovely green." In this season of reawakening, WTCF looks forward to working with friends in the global tourism industry heartfeltly to contribute to the recovery of the world's tourism industry!