Optimism at ITB Berlin fair as tourism from Germany is expected to rise

The Andalucía stand on the opening day of ITB Berlin.
The Andalucía stand on the opening day of ITB Berlin. / Salvador Salas
  • More than 300 tourism professionals from Andalucía have been attending the ITB tourism trade fair which runs until 12 March in Berlin

Tourism companies and professionals from Andalucía have been showcasing the region's qualities as a tourist destination at the 51st edition of the world's leading tourism trade fair, ITB, in Berlin.

The president of Andalucía Susana Díaz was also present in the German capital on Thursday and made a visit to the stand representing Andalucía, where more than 300 tourism professionals have set up for the five-day event.

Tourism companies have already made early predictions about an increase in tourism from Germany to Andalucía. Airlines are expected to increase seat availability on their flights by 14 per cent, which could see over 900,000 German visitors travelling to the Costa del Sol.

There are already excellent connections between Malaga and German airports, with nine different airline companies offering direct flights into the province at 16 different airports in the country.

German tourism professionals are equally as confident of Andalucía profiting from tourism from Germany this year as they see tourism increasing in the region by two per cent.

This is despite the fact that Germany are simultaneously strengthening their ties with Greece and Egypt, two countries that suffered hugely from a lack of tourism last year due to the political instability in both.

However, the Costa del Sol tourism office is not worried about a resurgence from their competitors due to a deal struck with Infox, a marketing channel which will promote Andalucía as a priority destination through 3,000 agencies.

Moreover, the senior vice-president of the provincial government in Malaga, Francisco Salado, is hoping to see the figure increase from two per cent to six per cent.

He also added that he is not concerned by the competition from countries such as Greece, Egypt and Tunisia either, given that he wants to attract tourists "that come to get an experience of the destination rather than for the low prices".

The vice-president's comments were mirrored by the director of Tourism in Malaga, Javier Hernández, who stated that the city offers "urban and cultural, not vocational ,tourism.

For that reason, Salado announced that the provincial government have increased investment in tourism promotion by 16 per cent.

The city has also managed to reach a deal with tour operator TUI, which will include the city as a tourist destination for the first time in each of the 450,000 copies of its catalogue.

Nevertheless, despite the many advantages that these deals will offer to tourists and companies alike, the minister for energy and tourism, Álvaro Nadal, warned that prices could increase in the region due to the increase in demand, and therefore it was imperative that the industry establishes a competitive strategy for the medium and long-term.