International Tourism Exchange kicks off in Berlin

Dr Christian Göke, COO of Messe Berlin/Photo: Messe Berlin
One of the most important events in the world tourism calendar kicks off in Berlin today with the traditional opening press conference at the Berlin exhibition grounds.

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Dubbed the world’s largest travel trade show, the International Tourism Exchange, (ITB), the 45th in the series, this year’s ITB is fully booked with over 11,000 exhibitors and organizations from 188 countries from all continents in the world.

Dr Christian Göke, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Messe Berlin, said that “once again the demand from exhibitors has exceeded the area available at ITB Berlin.”

He said the international travel industry was expecting record figures at this year’s event, adding that “the driving forces comes from emerging markets in Asia, Central America and Eastern Europe, whose exhibitors will be using ITB Berlin to draw attention to themselves.”

The ITB Berlin had developed into the largest travel trade show with diverse display featuring every aspect of the entire value-added chain in the world tourism industry.

An important aspect at this year’s ITB is the new eTravel World which focuses on technology and innovative processes.

This year’s partner country, Poland, will be featuring high points of EURO 2012 football tournament.

Poland will also use the opportunities offered by the ITB Berlin to “present its modern face” displaying the features of all regions of the country.

As partner country at ITB Berlin 2011, Poland is aiming to entertain visitors to the trade show with thrilling dance performances from the world-famous choreographer Augustin Egurrola, with hit music and a presentation of the best from the country’s range of spas and wellness attractions.

This year’s partner country has also line-up a range of attractions to attract the public to taste the beauty of the land. These include sports and music presentations, ethnic fashion shows and copper decoration as well as the baking of traditional, sweet croissants from Poznan, known as Saint Martin’s Croissant.

It emerged at the opening press conference that this year’s trade show places considerable emphasis on training and advanced training in the travel industry and implements corporate social responsibility as an integrated concept for the sustainable development of companies in the tourism industry.

In this connection, a number of activities devoted to education in the tourism industry have been lined-up at this year’s ITB Berlin. These include a day for newcomers to the hotel sector, a discussion on the importance of training for improving competitiveness of African tourism destinations to be held at this year’s Africa Forum. Participants at the Forum will be presenting some of the educational policy strategies being pursued by African countries.

By ANA Travel Correspondent, Berlin