The world's biggest high-tech fair, the CeBIT, welcomed more visitors than last year, organisers said Sunday, despite the crisis wracking the economy and the IT industry.

Over the five days of the fair, in the northern German city of Hanover, a total of 334,000 people visited the stands showcasing the latest gadgets and technology.

Compared to the first five days of last year's fair, which ran for a total of six days, this represented a 3.7-percent rise, said Hartwig von Sass, a CeBIT spokesman.

With the IT sector recovering gingerly from a disastrous 2009, where sales dropped by 4.3 percent, exhibitor numbers dipped to just below the 4,200 mark.

This was around half the number of firms at the CeBIT during the dot-com boom around the turn of the century.