German Federal Chancellor Merkel to open ITB Berlin 2018

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A festive opening gala on 6 March 2018 with leading figures from politics and tourism – A spectacular programme of shows by Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partner region of ITB Berlin, will kick off the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show®

Numerous celebrities will be attending the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show®, with Federal Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel due to hold a speech that will mark her opening of ITB Berlin. On 6 March 2018, on the eve of the show, ITB Berlin and this year’s partner region Mecklenburg-Vorpommern will be extending an invitation to the opening ceremony in Hall B at the CityCube Berlin. For the first time the event, which is by special invitation only, will leave a zero carbon footprint. The following will welcome the guests with speeches: Governing Mayor of Berlin Michael Müller, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) Dr. Michael Frenzel, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili, and Minister President of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Manuela Schwesig. Dr. Christian Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH will represent ITB Berlin. The evening’s hosts will be the well-known TV presenter Judith Rakersand Tobias Woitendorf, deputy managing director and marketing and communications director of the tourism association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Taking as its slogan ’The Spirit of Nature’, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the official partner region of ITB Berlin, will be fascinating guests with an impressive programme of shows, where tradition will inspire modernity and vice versa. 80 performing artists from Mecklenburg-Vorpommern who are directly associated with the federal state that is Germany’s most popular holiday destination will be taking part. In the ‘Modern Beach Life’ show a historical beach armchair, surfboards and a beach volleyball will meet each other. ’The Sound of Silence’ will highlight the unique landscape of the Mecklenburg Lakeland region to the musical accompaniment of the Baltic Sea Philharmonic Ensemble. In ’Fascinating Palaces and Gardens – The Special MV Edition’, models and the ballerina Lia will fascinate the audience with fashion collections from Designschule Schwerin. In ’Modern Tradition’, Breitling and The Blowboys will take part in an imaginative singing contest between two shanty choirs. Appearing directly from Shanghai via a Skype video link, Kristjan Järvi will direct ’Groovin‘ Boat Engines’, a special percussion performance by the Baltic Sea Philharmonic Ensemble, and at the show’s grand finale the world-renowned DJ and music producer Felix Jaehn (“Cheerleader”) will be conjuring a party atmosphere on stage. His songs have topped the charts in around 70 countries and he has just released his first record.

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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.