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Messe München: Third Runway at Munich Airport Secures Success of Trade-Fair and Congress Business

April 18, 2012

• Exhibitors and visitors travel to Messe München from 180 countries

• CEO Klaus Dittrich: Stronger focus on the wider benefits of an infrastructure geared to the future

More than two million visitors and employees from over 30,000 exhibiting companies take part each year in the events held in the trade-fair and congress location of Munich. These attendees travel to Munich from over 180 different countries around the world. At the large-scale leading international trade fairs – events like ISPO MUNICH, bauma, IFAT ENTSORGA, electronica and drinktec – the proportion of exhibitors and visitors from outside Germany can be well over 50 percent (see table below). This shows quite clearly how important good international transport links are for the success of Messe München. The central hub for these transport links is of course Munich Airport, which has flights to over 200 destinations worldwide.

The success of Munich as a trade-fair location and the resulting benefit for the entire region goes hand in hand with the airport´s ability to adapt to future needs. For this reason Messe München supports the plan to build a third runway. Klaus Dittrich, Chairman & CEO of Messe München, explained: "A forward-looking and modern infrastructure is an essential requirement for the positive development of any region. Decision-makers in politics, business and society must not ignore this economic dimension in sustainability."

Dittrich illustrated this connection by quoting the example of the move of Munich´s exhibition center from the inner city to the suburb of Riem in 1998: "Once Munich´s new airport had been built out towards Erding, the site of the old airport in Riem offered up a historic opportunity. And the City of Munich and the Free State of Bavaria took the courageous decision to use this site for a new exhibition center, capable of further expansion. This decision was the basis for a success story from which all are now benefiting," said Dittrich.

In 2008 the ifo Institute for Economic Research identified the economic impact of trade fairs and events at Messe München. The key findings were:

• The trade fairs and events organized by Messe München generate sales of 2.17 billion euros each year in the country as a whole.

• Direct expenditure by visitors and exhibitors in an average events years is 1.53 billion euros.

• As an annual average, the events of Messe München provide employment for almost 22,000 people.

• The events of Messe München generate a tax income of 363 million euros for Munich, the Free State of Bavaria and the German Central Government.

Local booth-construction companies, tradesmen, hotels, restaurants, taxi businesses and the local public transport operators all benefit from the success of Munich as a trade-fair location. The retail sector, too, profits from the significant spending power of the visitors, in particular that of the many delegates attending the large-scale scientific and medical congresses. CEO Dittrich is convinced: "If the exhibition center had not moved to Riem, Munich as a trade-fair location would have lost out dramatically in the German and worldwide competition for events. For this reason, when it comes to major local or regional infrastructure projects such as the third runway, it is important to focus more strongly on the benefits to the community as a whole."

Among the major German and European trade-fair and congress venues there is strong competition to attract guest events with large number of participants. One example of this was the race to host the mobile communications event, the "Mobile World Congress" last year. Organizers look not only at the quality of the events space, but also, increasingly, at other locational factors such as the availability of large contingents of hotel rooms, the tourist attractions of a city, the general security situation and also at how easy it is to get to, including as regards international transport connections. Dittrich again: "Munich has to remain as best connected with the world as it possibly can, if we wish to continue to play a strong role in future in the international trade-fair and congress business. Munich Airport, too, needs a growth perspective, so that it can continue to write its success story."