From 27 to 29 November 2012, the GCB German Convention Bureau e.V. and the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) in conjunction with the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry (AUMA) will present Germany as a destination for business travel at EIBTM, the International Meetings and Events Exhibition in Barcelona. Visitors to the exhibition include decision-makers in the areas of meetings, incentives, conventions and events (MICE), travel managers and organisers of conferences and conventions as well as the major buyers in the Spanish market. German providers, appearing under the umbrella of the GNTB, GCB and AUMA can be found in the German Pavilion J 100/8.
The theme of "Green Meetings" – a trend that the German providers have already extensively adopted and implemented – will also play an important role at EIBTM. In addition, Germany can present itself at the trade fair as Europe’s number one destination for trade fairs and conferences.
Speakers Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB, and Ulrike Bohnet, Director of the GNTB Spain & Portugal, will offer their insights into the current state of the business travel market in Germany. Guest speaker Victor Noguer, General Manager of the Iberian Business Travel Association (IBTA) will give his presentation on the "The importance of innovative expertise in MICE destinations".
Germany – an important destination for Spanish business travellers
Germany and Spain have close economic relations in key sectors, including the automotive industry, the electrical industry, engineering, finance, health, and not least tourism. Thus Germany is not only one of Spain’s main trading partners, but also one of Spain’s most vital destinations for business travel and conventions. Business travel accounted for around 24 percent of all trips made from Spain to Germany in 2011. "Although the number of international business journeys made by Spanish citizens decreased in absolute terms by 0.8 million in 2011, the number of business trips to Germany increased from 295,000 to 350,000. Promotable business travel achieved a share of 76 percent. This is an impressive indication of the importance of Germany to Spanish business travellers as well as the potential for future growth," says Ulrike Bohnet of the GNTB Spain.
Germany – a leading international destination for business travellers
Sustainability in the German meetings and conventions industry
"According to the results of the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012, Germany finished 2011 with record results as a business travel destination. Approximately 338 million visitors were registered at a total of 2.72 million events all over Germany," says Matthias Schultze, Managing Director of the GCB. "This represents additional growth of 4.5 percent compared to 2010," he adds.
Germany leads Europe as a host of international association meetings. A study by the International Congress & Convention Association (ICCA) counted a total of 570 conferences of this type in Germany in 2011. For the eighth consecutive year, Germany is ranked number one in Europe as a destination for meetings and conventions. Worldwide, Germany takes second place.
Trade fairs also play a major role in the business travel segment. Every year, around 2.5 million foreign visitors from all over the world come to visit some 150 international trade fairs in Germany. 90,000 companies from abroad attend these events annually as exhibitors together with their staff. AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, therefore provides support for the focus on trade fairs in the relation to "business travel", which is the theme of the year being promoted jointly by the GNTB and GCB.
GCB Managing Director Matthias Schultze turns the spotlight onto one of the central themes of the event industry. "From the Meeting & Event Barometer 2012, we can see that sustainability plays an important role even during the planning phase. 86 percent of the business event planners that were interviewed in the study believe that the importance of "green meetings" will continue to grow in the future." The Director of the GNTB confirms this view. "The concept of sustainability in business travel is undoubtedly of great importance to decision-makers, event organisers and business travellers. Innovation and the adoption of current trends are further important factors. Germany is a leader in environmental technologies and is therefore ideally placed to make an important contribution to innovation in the area of green meetings."