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August 25 2017Exhibition industry

Trade fairs in Germany in 2016: More than 3 million foreign visitors for the first time

​​​​​​​​​​Around 3.2 million people travelled from other countries to Germany in 2016 to acquire information and set up new business opportunities at trade fairs. This is the highest number of foreign visitors at German trade fairs ever recorded (previous high: 2.65 million in 2013). They made up slightly over 30% of all visitors for the first time. A major reason for this development was the unusually strong exhibition programme in 2016. It featured a high conjunction of fairs on two-, three- or four-year cycles that focus on investment goods. But even in comparison to the predecessors of the 2016 exhibitions, the number of foreign visitors rose by around 5%. This is a result of calculations now completed by AUMA, the Association of the German Trade Fair Industry.

The spectrum of foreign visitors is by no means limited to Europe. Around 740,000 people, or 23% of all foreign visitors, came from countries outside Europe. Some 90,000 alone came from the People’s Republic of China, followed by the USA (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).

The EU and other European countries continue to account for the majority of foreign visitors to German trade fairs. Visitors from these countries also attend the major consumer fairs in Germany, whereas nearly all those from overseas focus on exhibitions for trade visitors. Almost exactly 2 million people from the EU came to German exhibitions in 2016, along with 445,000 from other European countries.

The largest number of 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).

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Drupa 2016 © Messe Düsseldorf/ctillmann

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