The ITB tourism event is widely recognised as the world’s biggest trade fair of its kind. This year there are 10,096 exhibitors from 186 countries signing deals and networking.
So far, the event, which concludes on Sunday, has brought good news for Andalucía, according to estimates by tour operators and airlines.
This is despite a return to form by Egypt and Greece, which once again are challenging Spain to attract the lucrative German tourist market. Both have aggressive campaigns, with Egypt offering low prices and Greece hoping to attract a total 25 million visitors come the end of the year.
Regional tourism chief, Luciano Alonso, has been at the ITB in Berlin this week and is convinced of the growth of the German market in Spain.
He said how 90 per cent of German tourists who visit Spain come to Catalonia, Andalucía or the islands. “But we don’t want to settle for just maintaining this position, because we believe that there is still room for growth,” he said.
Alonso revealed that 8.8 per cent of German tourists chose to visit Andalucía. “Germany can be a great help to us reaching our target of increasing international tourist levels by five per cent this year.”
The tourism chief’s plans to attract new tourists included a new 63,000-euro golf campaign. Germany has over 650,000 registered golfers, of which over half travel abroad once per year to practise the sport. Alonso highlighted the climate and range of golf courses on offer in southern Spain.
The new plan will advertise Andalucía in a range of German golfing publications as well as a tournament that will have an attendance of over 100,000 fans and has a potential television audience of over 608 million households.
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