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Germany Sees Uptick in Exhibition Industry Foreign Visitors As 3.2 Million Set Record

According to a report released by the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry, approximately 3.2 million people traveled from other countries to Germany in 2016 to either attend or exhibit at trade fairs. Officials say it is the highest number of foreign visitors at German trade fairs ever recorded, with the previous high logged at 2.65 million in 2013. Foreign visitors made up slightly over 30 percent of all visitors for the first time. (Pictured right, The Congress and Convention Center Messe Frankfurt, Germany) 

In the report, researchers say they believe a major reason for this development was an unusually strong exhibition program in 2016. It featured a high confluence of fairs on two-, three- or four-year cycles that focus on investment goods. But analysts say that even in comparison to the predecessors of the 2016 exhibitions, the number of foreign visitors rose by around 5 percent in Germany.

While Germany has long been a staple exhibition destination in Europe, the report shows that many visitors are arriving from countries around the world. Approximately 740,000 people, or 23 percent of all foreign visitors, came from countries outside Europe, researchers say. An estimated 90,000 came from the People’s Republic of China, followed by the United States (80,000), India (75,000) and Japan (35,000). The region most highly represented consisted of South, East, and Central Asia (330,000 visitors), followed by the Middle East (115,000), North America (100,000), Latin America (90,000), and Africa (75,000).

However, people from the European Union and other European countries continue to account for the majority of foreign visitors to German trade shows. Visitors from these countries also attend the major consumer fairs in Germany, while the vast majority of those coming from overseas focus on exhibitions for trade visitors only. Nearly 2 million people from the EU came to German exhibitions in 2016, along with 445,000 from other European countries.

The largest number of European visitors in 2016 came from the Netherlands (250,000), followed by Italy (225,000), Austria (220,000), France (185,000), Switzerland (180,000), the United Kingdom (155,000), Belgium (150,000), and Poland (110,000).

The full report is available at http://www.auma.de.

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