Where to go on holiday that’s safe? That is the question overshadowing this year’s ITB, the travel and tourism trade fair in Berlin.
A recent global survey by website Travelzoo found fear of terrorism was a top concern.
In association with ITB Berlin, the company polled travelers in major markets – Europe, Japan, South Africa, India and North America.
Travelzoo CEO Richard Singer said that in response to customers’ concerns that tour operators should provide information to travellers not just prior to booking, but after they have made their reservations as well.
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Travelzoo</a>'s Richard Singer at <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ITBBerlin?src=hash">#ITBBerlin</a> Talks <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Travel?src=hash">#Travel</a> Safety <a href="https://t.co/zK6woGBgjE">https://t.co/zK6woGBgjE</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Travel?src=hash">#Travel</a> Weekly # article via <a href="https://twitter.com/travelweekly">travelweekly
At ITB, the Latin American country of Colombia is working hard at promoting itself as a safe destination following the end of its decades-long civil war.
It registered a record 3.5 million tourists in 2016, a rise of 15 percent from 2015.
Julián Guerrero Orozco, Vice-President of ProColombia, told Euronews: “There are huge transformations taking place right now in Columbia in a positive sense. We are growing very highly in the number of visitors we are receiving; almost three times the average of international tourism.”
Sebastian Saam, our correspondent at the world largest tourism trade fair, said: “Uncertainty and political instability are major themes at events like ITB. And while they are costing some countries a lot of revenue, the organisers of this event still estimate that around seven billion euros worth of deals will be done here this year. That shows the important of the travel market, even as some countries have yet to develop their full tourist potential.”
Lesser known destinations, like Kazakhstan in Central Asia, are invested heavily to attract visitors with events like Expo 2017 in Astana.
The country is expecting five million visitors to the Expo, dwarfing previous tourism totals.
BIE (@bieparis) February 22, 2017
Rosa Assanbayeva, from the Expo 2017 Promotion Department, told us: “It’s a pity that many tourists haven’t discovered the country yet. But on the other hand it’s a unique opportunity for tourists from all around the world to discover Kazakhstan, a completely new destination.”
Emerging destinations hope to take advantage of the impact of security fears on countries like Turkey, which used to welcome 35 million visitors each year, but which last year saw those numbers fall by 10 million.