The ITB has opened in Berlin | DW Travel | DW | 09.03.2016
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The ITB has opened in Berlin

The world's largest travel trade fair is celebrating its fiftieth anniversary this year. Some 10,000 exhibitors from 187 countries and regions will be in the German capital until Sunday.

The international tourist industry hopes to gain new impetus from the ITB following the negative impact of terror attacks in popular tourist destinations.

Bookings in Turkey, Egypt and Tunisia, for example, had dropped by 40% or more at the start of 2016. The ITB will also focus on the effects of the refugee crisis on tourism. Travel trends for the future are on the agenda this year, including a humanoid robot hostess and three-dimensional tours using virtual reality glasses.

The partner nation this year is the Maldives, one of the most attractive tourist destinations worldwide, with 1.2 million visitors last year. There has been much criticism about the choice of partner nation for this year's ITB, following the introduction of Sharia law in the Maldives and government suppression of both political opponents and freedom of speech by the media.

The ITB began in 1966 with just nine exhibitors from five countries. Now the world’s number one travel trade show, it expects to welcome some 170,000 visitors.

at / pw (dpa)