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November 8 2021Media Release

German trade fairs need the option to admit tested participants

  • Industry calls for a maximum of planning reliability instead of new restrictions

  • Vaccine-only admission excludes many foreign trade fair visitors

  • AUMA calls on German government to recognize WHO vaccines

Berlin, November 8, 2021 | In view of a recent increase of COVID-19 restrictions, the German trade fair industry is demanding maximum planning reliability for the industry from policymakers at the federal and state level. In addition to those who have been vaccinated and those who have recovered, exhibitors and visitors tested negative must continue to be able to participate in trade fairs. Especially in Germany, which organizes two-thirds of all leading international trade fairs, this approach is crucial. Vaccines such as Sinovac and Sinopharm have not been approved yet in Germany. People vaccinated with these are considered to be unvaccinated in Germany.

  • Jörn Holtmeier, Managing Director of the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry AUMA: “The United States show us the way: they recognize almost every vaccine that is available and thus the WHO list. The trade fair industry in Germany is calling on the German Government to also quickly recognize the WHO list of COVID-19 vaccines. The success of many trade fairs in Germany depends on visitors and exhibitors from abroad who are protected by vaccinations, which are not acknowledged in Germany. Trade fairs for vaccinated participants only would be a disservice to Germany as a trade fair location, which has so far been the world leader due to its internationality.”

Trade fairs under strict hygiene concepts have only been possible again in all 16 German states since September. Until then, the industry was forced to come to an almost continuous standstill since March 2020. This has caused an overall economic loss of more than 42 billion euros so far in the trade fair industry itself, but also in the hotel, hospitality and transport industries associated with trade fairs.

Until the end of the year, some forty trade fairs are scheduled. For September and October, the trade fairs in Germany have recorded high numbers of international participants. Outstanding were Anuga in Cologne, the trade fair for the international food industry, which listed visitors from roughly 170 countries; Frankfurter Buchmesse, book fair in Frankfurt, with visitors from more than 100 states; The Smarter E in Munich, a trade fair for the energy industry, which counted visitors from over 90 countries. In 2018 and 2019 most of the international visitors (100,000) and exhibitors (17,000) came from China to Germany.

  • Jörn Holtmeier: “The trade fair industry needs planning reliability and also the admission of tested participants, in order to get steadily through this fall and winter. Even better are regulations, which leave the choice between admitting only vaccinated or also tested participants to the professional organisers. It is vaccinated people, who are visiting trade fairs primarily. Their share is considerably above the average in Germany. What do not need discussions that impede the restart of trade fairs and that unsettle the whole industry. Trade fairs are the meeting point to drive the economic recovery.”

Usually about 350 trade fairs are held in Germany each year generating more than 28 billion euros. The German trade fair industry accounts for over 230,000 jobs..

AUMA is the association of the German trade fair industry: nationally and internationally, it represents the interests of 72 members. These include all large and medium-sized trade fair companies in Germany as well as associations representing exhibitors, service companies and visitors. 

Picture material

Trade fairs are the meeting point to drive the economic recovery. - Picture: HINTE Messe und Ausstellungs GmbH / Nico Herzog

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