Despite security concerns and changing travel trends, the United States remains Berlin’s most important and strongest overseas market. Berlin was again the top destination for Americans visiting Germany in 2016, a year when the strengthening dollar fuelled outbound tourism from the United States.
In May, we presented Berlin as a travel destination at the German National Tourist Board (GNTB) Destination Germany Roadshow in Montreal, Canada, and in the three US cities of Teaneck, Tysons Corner and Tampa. At these locations, we held a total of 400 face-to-face meetings with travel industry representatives. In July, our focus at the Outfest Los Angeles LGBT Film Festival was clearly on promoting queer Berlin. The following month, we participated in the Student & Youth Travel Association (SYTA) Annual Conference in Orlando, Florida. The SYTA, one of the leading trade shows for the student and youth travel industry, attracted nearly 1500 travel professionals from a wide range of branches.
As the year ended, we joined the USTOA Annual Conference & Marketplace. This event brought together approximately 700 travel industry professionals, all members of the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), to exchange knowledge and gain new insights into the North American travel market.
Over the course of 2016, visitBerlin supported 65 press trips from the United States, including more trips for bloggers than from any other country. In 2016, blogs including, for example, Divergent Travelers each reached approximately 148,000 fans and followers through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and attracted a total of around half a million visitors to their websites.
Promoting Meetings and Congresses in Berlin
The Berlin Convention Office with its own stand at IMEX America in Las Vegas
From 18 – 20 October, building on the success of previous years, we again attended IMEX America in Las Vegas with our own Berlin stand, together with ten Berlin partners from hotels and agencies as well as a catering provider. Just as over the last years, a stele made from a piece of the Berlin Wall proved a highlight at the stand, providing a very popular photo opportunity. At IMEX America, one of the biggest meeting markets in the world, the presentation format for partners in a branded design complete with dedicated bar area generated considerable interest. IMEX America has shown strong continual growth in recent years and is one of the key marketing platforms for customers from North and South America. The fair attracted a total of 3,216 hosted buyers from the United States and countries around the world.
Comprehensive CRM through sales calls in ten US Federal States
Working together with our Representative Office in the United States, we organised two series of sales calls in February and July to ensure our existing clients benefit from our proactive and effective customer relationship management. We reached 43 customers and generated concrete interest in congresses and conventions in the coming years.