The 50th Germany Travel Mart kicks off in Chemnitz

The 50th Germany Travel Mart officially got underway in Chemnitz last night with an opening celebration held at the Kraftverkehr Chemnitz. Over 400 international tour operators and media from around the world are on location to meet with 235 key travel industry partners from Germany for B2B meetings as well as networking sessions.

“Top representatives of the international travel industry and media landscape from 36 countries are attending the 50th Germany Travel Mart where they will find out about the latest trends, developments and tourism products in Germany, get to know the region and negotiate business deals for the coming year,” Anja Brokjans, director of the German National Tourist Office in Canada, tells PressToday. “The 50th GTM marks a milestone in showcasing tourism opportunities. It’s vital for industry growth and networking.”

The Canadian tour operator delegation includes Michael Holden, EF Educational Tours; Marie-Eve Derouin, EXOTIK; Vincent Veerasuntharam, Connaissance Travel and Tours and Harry Goetschi, Tours Chanteclerc Inc.

Now in its 50th year, the GTM is the most important sales event for incoming tourism in Germany.

“This GTM is special in a number of ways. It’s the 50th time that we, the German National Tourist Board, welcome the international travel trade community to Destination Germany to inform you about the latest tourism trends and offerings, provide a platform for successful networking and to give you the opportunity to experience Destination Germany for yourself — personal experience is the best you can get,” shared Petra Hedorfer, CEO of the GNTB. “This year also marks another significant anniversary. Thirty-five years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Upheaval that not only paved the path of German reunification but also shaped inbound tourism to Germany as we know it today.”

With Chemnitz being named the European Capital of Culture for 2025, the evening was filled with cultural acts — including a cycling group who rode stationary bikes on stage to fuel an introductory video — as well as a glimpse at the art installations and experiences that await travellers next year.

“We are all proud and very much looking forward to being the Capital of Culture together with Chemnitz and to be able to welcome guests from Europe and all over the world in 2025,” shared Barbara Klepsch, Federal Government Coordinator for Culture and Tourism. “With Chemnitz, an entire cultural region with 38 municipalities has been named European Capital of Culture 2025 — from Zwickau to the Ore Mountains.”

Around 100 projects and around 1,000 events are set to be part of the experience. Under the motto “C the unseen,” Chemnitz is making previously unseen places and people visible. One of the main projects is a series of art along the Purple Path, an art and sculpture trail in the city and the surrounding region by artists such as Tony Cragg and Carl Emanuel Wol.

“The flagship project Purple Path directly relates to the notion expressed in these words, building a bridge between the roots of the local people with their centuries-old heritage of mining and modern, creative art,” said Klepsch. “All the sculptures, works of art and projects that are part of the Purple Path showcase that the region can draw on a wealth of cultural resources.”

Notably, Dieter Janecek, Federal Government Coordinator for Tourism, pointed out that in January 2024, commercial accommodation establishments counted 25.3 million overnight stays from domestic and foreign visitors.

“This is the highest figure since January 2020, just before the pandemic, when there was 26.9,” he shared. “Tourism is back and that’s a good sign.”

Janecek also challenged those in the industry to work towards a greener and more sustainable industry.

Prior to the conference, participants took part in pre convention tours to gain a deeper understanding of the destination and what it has to offer.

“Experiencing the destination firsthand adds depth and authenticity, enhancing the overall impression,” notes Brokjans. “It provides firsthand access to the latest trends, products and insight in the German tourism market. It allows them to forge valuable partnerships, discover new destinations and experiences, and gain a competitive edge in offering unique and appealing travel options to Canadian travellers.”