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Germany prepares to host Berlin's travel show after record tourism year

A confident Germany will host tourism officials and travelers from all over the world next week at ITB Berlin

travel Updated: Feb 29, 2012 16:43 IST

A confident Germany will host tourism officials and travelers from all over the world next week at ITB Berlin (March 7-11), a show which promises the possibility of 'discover[ing] the whole world within a few hours.' 

The event comes just weeks after Destination Germany announced record tourism figures for 2011, with 63.8 million overnight stays by foreign visitors, up six percent on the year before.

That puts Germany considerably ahead of the world average tourism growth of 4.4 percent and on par with the wider European region, which averaged six percent growth, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

German tourist officials note that growth in emerging markets, notably China, India and Brazil, saw double-digit growth, although a strong showing from Europe helped Germany establish itself as the second most popular destination among Europeans, after Spain.

Further information on international arrivals trends, compiled by German tourism analyst IPK International, will be unveiled at the event in Berlin next Wednesday, although figures from the UNWTO suggest the world is already in for a record year.

International tourism is set to reach one billion in 2012, the body predicts, with Asia/Pacific and Africa leading the way, followed by the US and Europe.

That's good news for the 180 countries heading to exhibit at ITB Berlin, which opens to the general public March 10, especially those looking to get back on their feet, such as Egypt, the event's headline sponsor.

The country has rented some 2,000 square meters of space to showcase its tourism offerings and plans to install a bazaar to sell traditional Egyptian products, host live music from national performers, offer food prepared by Egyptian chefs, and sponsor a colorful daily parade through the event and a series of 20 statues by Egyptian sculptors placed around Berlin.

First Published: Feb 29, 2012 16:43 IST