The most important international tourism fair in the world, the ITB, got underway in Berlin on Tuesday 7 March after a hiatus of three years due to the pandemic.
More than a hundred Andalusian and Malaga business people met with their German counterparts to help rebuild this vital sector. Both operators and airlines and the ITB organisers have talked with optimism and confidence that in 2023 the arrivals of German tourists to the Costa del Sol will return to the record numbers seen in 2019.
Among the attendees at the Messe Berlin exhibition centre were the Junta's regional minister of Tourism, Arturo Bernal; President of Turismo Costa del Sol , Francisco Salado; and the director of Turespaña, Miguel Sanz. They stressed that the biggest challenge to restoring the German visitor market, which is the second most important for the Andalusian and Malaga tourism industry in terms of airport arrivals, is the improvement of air connectivity.
"Expanding connections and improving frequencies is the great challenge," Bernal said. He pointed out that 90 per cent of the Germans that the region receives arrive by plane, with 70 per cent of these arrivals coming via Malaga Airport, mainly from Frankfurt, Dusseldorf, Munich, Berlin and Cologne.
“To expand the offer of routes to the destination, we are going to have meetings with companies such as Condor, which will offer flights between Almeria and Dusseldorf from May to October,” Bernal said.
The minister added that Generation Z tourists would be targeted as these travellers “promote quality and help deseasonalise the sector. Working in this population niche is a winning strategy to attract the generation that will be the future of tourism".
Speaking at the Tursimo Costa del Sol stand at ITB, Francisco Salado announced a 300,000 euro promotional campaign that will run over two weeks in the main German cities of Dusseldorf, Munich, Cologne and Frankfurt on large video screens. This is expected to reach an audience of 20 million, showcasing the destination.
ITB Berlin is also being attended by mayors from the Costa del Sol including Torremolinos, Mijas, Torrox, Nerja and Rincón de la Victoria.
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