The GTM Focuses on Mainz, Future of Tourism to Germany

Despite lower attendance levels from volcano, annual trade show succeeds in spotlighting Germany as a major travel destination

By: By Deanna Ting

Mainz Congress Centre // © 2010 Mainz Congress Centre

Mainz Congress Centre //
© 2010 Mainz Congress Centre

While the recent volcanic eruption in Iceland hampered the travel plans of at least a third of the intended attendees for this year’s 36th GTM Germany Travel Mart (GTM) held in Mainz, Germany, the annual travel and tourism trade show succeeded in spotlighting Mainz as an international travel destination, as well as Germany as a whole.

The conference included two days of workshops in Mainz’s Rheingoldhalle convention center with a total of 347 exhibitors, as well as intensive and immersive activities for media representatives, allowing them to explore more of the Rhine-Main region, as well as nearby Frankfurt and Wiesbaden. Post-convention tours throughout Germany commenced following the close of the GTM on April 20.

The GTM also put a spotlight on the current state of inbound tourism to Germany from the U.S. In a presentation given by German National Tourist Board (GNTB) CEO Petra Hedorfer, Hedorfer cited research that pointed to the U.S. as Europe’s most important overseas source market, with a market share of 41.5 percent. Her research also indicated that almost 80 percent of U.S. travel to Europe is designated for the U.K., Italy, France and Germany; of the nearly 12.3 million European trips taken by travelers from the U.S., 1.9 million are bound for Germany.

While Hedorfer noted that 2009 was a challenging year for Germany and other European destinations due to the financial crisis, she also pointed out that 2010 would be characterized as a “bumpy road to recovery,” projecting a growth of 1 to 3 percent in international tourist traffic to Germany.

This year, the GNTB is highlighting the diversity of the country as a travel destination. Current marketing activities are geared toward Ruhr, Germany as the “European Capital of Culture,” as well as on themes of creativity in the arts and creative industries. Other key themes for the GNTB include the “41st Oberammergau Passion Plays” and “200 Years of Oktoberfest.”

Looking ahead toward 2011, the GNTB will focus its efforts on promoting Germany as a prime health-and-wellness destination, in conjunction with the upcoming FIFA Women’s World Cup 2011, which will be held in a total of nine different German cities from June 26 to July 17, 2011.

For more information on travel to Germany, agents are encouraged to visit the GNTB website at Germany.Travel.

German National Tourist Board

GTM German Travel Mart 2010