ITB 2018 – Event Analysis from the Berlin Hotels’ Perspective
What did ITB bring to the Berlin hotels?
The Internationale Tourismusbörse Berlin, more popularly known by its acronym ITB, has been running for over half a century. An old fair, it started in 1960 with just five countries as part of an import fair and has now grown into one of the most important and largest tourism trade fairs highly regarded globally.
Access to the ITB has always been exclusive to trade visitors on the first three days of the fair; interested private individuals must wait until the weekend to find out about the international tourism offers of hotels and countries.
A look at the official visitor numbers of ITB 2018 (Source: Messe Berlin) shows that the Berliner travel fair has succeeded after the significant decline from last year (2017 vs. 2016 by -7%). This year, the ITB organizers reported a slight growth: a total of 170,000 visitors were counted – 110,000 trade visitors and 60,000 private visitors – representing a slight increase of 0.6% compared to the previous year.
ITB hotel figures in negative territory
But how did the Berlin hotel market perform during ITB 2018? Unfortunately, the answer is – not so good.
Looking at the absolute values of the three key hotel metrics, occupancy (Occ) average room rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPar), as well as the percentage changes in last year’s event comparison, they are grievous.
In fact, regardless of their star category, all Fairmas Benchmarking hotels in Berlin have reduced their room rates during ITB compared to the previous year. The largest price cuts were recorded by the 5-star hotels, closely followed by the 3-star hotels – which, at least because of growth in occupancy rates, were able to limit the decline in RevPar.
The percentage price markup on the ITB is getting bigger
Just over a month before the ITB 2018, Check24 published a press release in which the price comparison portal advised tourists not to travel to Berlin during the ITB, because overnight prices in the capital during this period would be 57 percent higher than at normal times.
The comparison of the average room rate in Berlin for the entire month versus the average room rate during the ITB fair period shows that this percentage increase has not been achieved, at least in the last five years.
The fact is, due to higher demand, the average room rate in Berlin during the ITB compared to the whole month was of course higher. In the past, the price difference was 26% in 2014, 25.5% in 2015, 31.4% in 2016 and 34.7% in 2017.
The final look at the hotel performance of the ITB 2018 separated by weekdays shows that in total the most powerful show day is March 7, ITB’s opening day with occupancy of 97%, ADR of € 168.7 and RevPar of € 164.1.