Climate change key theme at travel fair

26th February 2007, Comments 0 comments

26 February 2007, Berlin (dpa) - The world's biggest tourist fair opens its doors next month against the backdrop of signs of the impact of global warming on the international travel business. A record 11,000 companies from 180 countries are expected to turn up for the 2007 travel fair (ITB) in Berlin, which will this year focus on India as a travel destination. "As a principal destination for business travellers and tourists India has now established a firm place in world tourism, in particular it is also

26 February 2007

Berlin (dpa) - The world's biggest tourist fair opens its doors next month against the backdrop of signs of the impact of global warming on the international travel business.

A record 11,000 companies from 180 countries are expected to turn up for the 2007 travel fair (ITB) in Berlin, which will this year focus on India as a travel destination.

"As a principal destination for business travellers and tourists India has now established a firm place in world tourism, in particular it is also becoming more and more important as a source for Europe's incoming market", said Berlin trade fair chief Christian Goeke.

One complete hall has been set aside for India to showcase its booming tourism industry and to host a range of activities, organizers said.

Among the large number of ministers and officials expected in Berlin for the ITB are South African Minister for Environment and Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk who will be visiting the fair as part of his nation's build-up to its staging of the World Cup football championships in 2010.

Likewise, the hosts of the 2008 European football championships - Austria and Swiss - are also expecting to a storm of visitors at the ITB.

But with ski resorts struggling with a lack of snow and islands threatened by rising sea levels, climate change is also to be a major theme at the Berlin tourist trade fair with organizers have asked a number of experts to visit the ITB and to talk about the future of travel.

However, somewhat ironically, while tourist operators are concerned about a contraction in travel opportunities to some destinations, new worlds are opening up for travellers with space tourism also on the agenda at this year's ITB.

In addition, the ITB is proposing to target young travellers by arranging a special forum on the types of travel sought by young people what they expect from their holidays.

The ITB's growing importance to travel operators means that trade representatives will be given more time to make their way across the vast 150,000 square metres allocated to fair's exhibitors and less days for the public.

Indeed, underscoring the Berlin's travel fair's business strength, the ITB is planning to stage its first specialist exhibition and convention in Asia in Singapore in 2008.

This year's ITB will also again mark the rise of wellness tourism as a key branch of the travel trade with the chance to book trips at the fair.

DPA

Subject: German news

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