Making The World A Little Better

The 43rd annual Germany Travel Mart officially kicked-off last night (May 7) with an opening ceremony highlighting Nuremberg, Bavaria and destination Germany at the Nuremberg Opera House, reports Press Today’s assistant editor, Ann Ruppenstein who’s attending this year’s GTM.

More than 500 travel professionals and buyers from 53 countries, including a Canadian contingency, are on hand for the B2B event, which runs until May 9, marking the biggest number of participating countries to date.

“Let me make some remarks to the current situation, the tourist situation. Dear guests, a lot has happened around the world since the last GTM, not all of it went good, unfortunately. I would like to take the opportunity to say a brief word about our industry. We in Germany stand for openness and tolerance and we welcome people of all nations with great respect from the bottom of our hearts,” says Petra Hedorfer, CEO, German National Tourist Board (GNTB), addressing the international crowd gathered.

Hedorfer continued: “Tourism can build bridges among people, among nations. That’s our industry so let us do everything we can to ensure that we continue to bring together cultures, peoples, nations, all around the world to wherever it is in Germany. The tourism industry, if I may say, can make the world a little bit better.”

Despite the ongoing challenges facing the global tourism industry, Klaus Laepple, president of the GNTB board of directors, said last year was another record year Germany’s tourism industry.

“We registered more than 80 million overnight stays by visitors from abroad,” he says. “Despite [the challenges], Destination Germany is in top form. I’m delighted that buyers from more than 50 countries have travelled to the GTM today, also another new record… My appeal to you: send us your travellers. You won’t regret it.”

GTM is the largest business-to-business workshop for Germany’s inbound tourism industry to discover the latest trends, travel products and what’s on offer in the destination.

Along with an international press conference, the main focus of the GTM is two days of sales and networking sessions for buyers to meet with regional tourism organizations from across the country and exhibitors within the hotel and transportation industries, as well as embark on day trips to explore Nuremberg and nearby sights and attractions.

Referencing the Blaue Nacht — the 18th Blue Night, Nuremberg’s Long Night of Art and Culture— which took place in the city the previous night and featured colourful images projected onto the city’s castle, Hedorfer also stressed the ongoing importance of art and culture in the industry.

“It was brilliant because this is the new tourism, to stay with the locals, the sharing of the emotional and the feeling local people can prepare,” she says.

More to come in the next edition of Canadian Travel Press.