Germany Travel Mart Gets Underway In Dresden

The 44th annual Germany Travel Mart (GTM) — the largest business-to-business workshop for Germany’s inbound tourism industry — officially got underway in Dresden last night (May 5).

“We, Germany, stand for openness and tolerance, and we welcome people of all nations with great respect and I’m saying this from the bottom of my heart,” Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) said during her opening address. “Let us do everything we can to ensure that we continue to bring cultures and nations together all around the world, that’s our industry, that’s what we’re working for everyday.”

Despite disruptions ranging from the platform economy to artificial intelligence, Hedorfer said the “tourism industry is more than ever a people’s business.”

With buyers and media from 51 countries in attendance, the opening ceremony included a performance by the internationally renowned boys’ choir The Dresdner Kreuzchor, and the German pop band Woods of Birnam.

According to Brigitte Goertz-Meissner, chair woman of the advisory board for the GNTB, 2017 was another positive year for the destination with nearly 84 million arrivals, representing an increase for the 8th consecutive year.

“In a competitive environment, we’ve together managed to inspire even more travellers of the world to take a trip to Germany,” she says.

Over the next two days, international buyers will meet with regional tourism organizations and exhibitors within the hotel and transportation industries from across the country for one-on-one sales and networking sessions, as well as discover some of the highlights of the host city.

Since the last time the destination played host to the conference in 1998, Hedorfer says Dresden continues to evolve.

“What an amazing development of this beautiful, outstanding city and high professional tourism destination,” she says. “Dresden ever was, still is and is getting more beautiful every day as well.”