GTM ’17 inspires innovative itineraries

Germany Travel Mart (GTM) witnessed about 19,000 B2B meetings between 329 suppliers from Germany showcasing products to over 500 hosted international buyers from 50 countries.

KANCHAN NATH  from NUREMBERG, GERMANY

The 43rd Germany Travel Mart (GTM) took place from May 7-9, 2017, in Nuremberg, Bavaria and was hosted by Bavaria Tourism, the official marketing agency, and the Nuremberg Convention and Tourist Office. Around 350 suppliers – representing the hotel business, inbound tourism, the entertainment sector, holiday & city break tourism, the transport industry and tourism organisations – showcased their entire range of products related to Destination Germany.

Petra Hedorfer, CEO, German National Tourism Board (GNTB), says, “We are living in turbulent times. It is not an easy time for leisure and corporates. Together we will be able to pave the way forward. In 2016 the number of overnight stays by foreign visitors to Germany topped 80 million for the first time – the seventh record-breaking year in a row. “Between January and December, a total of 80.8 million overnight stays by foreign visitors were seen showing a year-on-year increase of 1.1 million or 1.4 per cent in 2017. The beginning of 2017 has seen this upward trend continue, 9.7 million overnight stays were made by international guests in the first two months of the year – a further year-onyear increase, this time by 3.2 per cent.”

In 2016, 59.6 million tourists (+1.9%) came from Europe and Overseas numbers were at 19.6 million (-0.3 per cent). From India, 56,000 tourists visited Germany in 2016, showing a growth of 8.1 per cent, Hedorfer noted. About market dynamics she says, “Brexit and financial crises in high-volume source markets, and security concerns, such as the fear of terrorist attacks, temporarily dampened the appetite for travel in some source markets. Due to economic reasons and uncertainty, there was a loss in the purchase power. Many markets lost 50 per cent of visitors. France suffered because of terror attacks.

“In Q1 2017, 9.7 million overnight stays were made by international guests in the first two months of the year – a 3.2 per cent increase YoY” –Petra Hedorfer CEO, German National Tourism Board (GNTB)

For business travel as well it was a difficult year. Sharing economy saw the biggest growth.” Hedorfer observes that for many travellers, Germany has become a mono-destination. “This is a long-term progression with more than 50 per cent of regular customers. This is a quality promise. Germany offers great value for money. The highest investment in the hotel business in Europe is in Germany. Per trip guests spend more, means they stay longer. There is also an increase in luxury shoppers from new markets. By 2030, we will expect 50 million international tourists. In 2018, we will be focusing on culinary tourism.”

Speaking about BRIC countries she claims that Destination Germany is a strong brand in the international market. Hedorfer says, “The current rate of growth in the high-potential markets in Asia and South America is particularly encouraging: inbound volumes are back on track for all BRIC countries. In the top ten source markets for inbound tourism to Germany, the Netherlands consolidated their number one ranking with a 5 per cent increase. Poland (up by 8.5 per cent) and Spain (up by 4.3 per cent) also grew at a faster rate than the market as a whole.”

Giving a forecast for 2017, she concludes, “The GNTB produces an overall forecast for the current year of between 0 and 2 per cent based on analysis of the available UNWTO and World Travel Monitor forecasts and on projections drawn from Federal Statistical Office data.”

Romit Theophilus, Director-India, GNTO, says, “The Indian delegation to GTM consisted of 21 people out of which 15 are tour operators. We’ve got in 13 new agents and two repeats, and are inspiring them to come up with innovative itineraries so that India has been growing quite consistently year-on-year. Last year we did 8.1 per cent which roughly means 750,000 overnights. Before that, we were growing anywhere between 4-7 per cent every year. This year till February, we have already done 12.6 per cent. We hope to close the year between 8 to 10 per cent.” He adds, “So far everybody has appreciated the GTM, they liked the format. They thought it was a great opportunity for networking not only with German suppliers but meeting people who come from across the world.”

“The Indian delegation consisted of 21 people out of which 15 are tour operators. We’ve got in 13 new agents and two repeats”- Romit Theophilus Director-India GNTO

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