Visitors watch the exhibition at German Bavaria's booth during the ITB Berlin travel trade show in Berlin, capital of Germany, on March 6, 2019. The ITB Berlin travel trade show kicked off here on Wednesday, drawing around 10,000 exhibitors worldwide. Starting Wednesday, the first three days of the fair are reserved for trade visitors while private individuals can visit the ITB on Saturday and Sunday. (Xinhua/Shan Yuqi)
BERLIN, March 6 (Xinhua) -- Around 10,000 exhibitors worldwide are represented here at the ITB Berlin travel trade show.
Starting Wednesday, the first three days of the fair are reserved for trade visitors while private individuals can visit the ITB on Saturday and Sunday.
For the first time, a separate area of the trade show is dedicated to virtual reality in tourism, ITB Berlin organizer announced on Tuesday.
According to ITB, virtual reality and augmented reality allow consumers to get an "almost lifelike picture" of travelling destinations and locations before starting the holiday and enable virtual inspections of hotel rooms or cruise ships.
"The client needs visual confirmation. A simple vocal communication is not enough to decide on booking a trip," said Nico Wohlgemuth of the German Association for the Digital Economy (BVDW) in a speech on Wednesday.
German economy Minister Peter Altmaier officially opened the ITB and praised the travel industries role in offering "great opportunities" for growth and prosperity but also pointed out that sustainability must be considered.
In the run up to fair, Michael Frenzel, president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) told the newspaper Welt that the German government should focus more on tourism. "Other countries have a tourism minister. We would need that too," Frenzel said.
Organizer also announced that ITB will expand to India.
"From a global and regional perspective, India is a vast source market for the travel industry with a huge growth potential. We are delighted that ITB India will in future complement the trio of ITB Berlin, ITB Asia and ITB China," said Christian Goeke, CEO of Messe Berlin.