With overnight stays up by 9.9%, the UK again convincingly leads the field of the markets abroad. This development is crucially fuelled by Berlin’s strong positive presence in the British media and new air routes to the city.
As is evident from just the one word ‘Brexit’, the UK had a bumpy ride politically in 2016. Nonetheless, not only did the UK retain its top ranking among international markets, but its numbers of overnight stays in Berlin also rose significantly. This positive development also harbours its own challenge for visitBerlin with the UK market needing more ‘reasons for travel’ to inspire visitors to the city to return.
Our activities here included, for example, promoting Going Local in a new event format exclusively designed for bloggers. Instead of holding a classic PowerPoint presentation, we arranged for a bloggers’ breakfast with storytelling to create a narrative of events in Berlin’s twelve boroughs.
In February, the GTS Germany Travel Show in London addressed an audience of around 150 media and travel industry representatives. A press workshop and an evening press event promoted Berlin’s presence in the British media. In Berlin itself, we supported a total of 69 press trips from the UK – more than from any other country – generating comprehensive media coverage in such leading media as the Sunday Times and Telegraph, as well as on the BBC and in the TV show ‘Rick Stein’s Long Weekends’. The press trips also included numerous blogger trips.
In June, we also met media and travel industry representatives in Manchester and Birmingham. To round off our marketing activities in the UK, we also held numerous editorial interviews and meetings with journalists across the country.
Promoting Meetings and Congresses in Berlin
BERLIN 365/24 – The Berlin Forum: Berlin welcomed customers for a workshop and fam trip
In cooperation with Haymarket Media Group, one of the leading international media companies in the UK, 17 selected customers from UK congress and event agencies and associations were invited to take part in the Forum with lectures and workshops. The Forum admirably succeeded in its aim of enabling customers to familiarise themselves with Berlin and network with partners in the meetings sector, and the event was very positively evaluated by both sides. After the workshop with content sessions and meetings with suppliers, the participants spent two days exploring the city, gaining an overview of the partner network and Berlin as a tourism destination.
C&IT Agency Forum in London – considerable interest in the ‘Berlin Area’
Together with seven other Berlin partners from the hotel sector and one agency, we again attended the C&IT Agency Forum from 2–5 August. The workshops with pre-arranged face-to-face meetings as well as many networking and teambuilding activities provided an optimal framework for direct contact to customers and suppliers.
In 2016, it would have been hard to miss the destination of Berlin at this flagship event. With the Agency Forum’s main networking and catering area branded with the visitBerlin logo and our claim BERLIN 365/24, it was transformed into the ‘Berlin Area’. Seating groups at the heart of the ‘Berlin Area’ together with separate meeting areas for each individual Berlin partner provided the perfect basis for a successful event.
Award events optimal for networking with UK market customers
In 2016, the Berlin Convention Office together with the London Representative Office took the opportunity of visiting various industry award events to acquire new customers and maintain contacts in existing networks. In 2016, with award presentations in the UK serving particularly as important networking platforms, Berlin was present, for example, at the M & IT Awards in London on 26 February and at the EVCOM Award on 18 November 2016.