Sixty-five pages and packed with information… Starting now, journalists can get the latest information on the most important trends and highlights at ITB Berlin directly from the Internet. The dailies can be downloaded at http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/Internet/Internet/www.itb-berlin/englisch/Media_Centre/Publications/index.html.
Among exhibitors on the first day of the fair, the unanimous mood was that “the crisis had opportunities in store.” The Italian State Tourism Board ENIT, for example, is launching a new Germany-wide promotional campaign in the spring. In the middle of the crisis, Croatia is forging ahead, too. “We are continuing to develop the infrastructure. Roads and motorways will make the journey here easier, particularly for German tourists,” said Croatia’s Minister of Tourism Damir Bajs at ITB Berlin. This year’s outlook for tourism in Mecklenburg-West Pomerania is bright, too. “Crisis or no crisis, we are confident enough to say that we will also see growth in 2009,” said Minister of Economics Jürgen Seidel at ITB Berlin.
On Wednesday at the ITB Berlin Convention, the focus was on “The Future of Travel.” “The best ideas are born out of a crisis, now is the time to innovate,” said Rohit Talwar, CEO, Fast Future Research, at the ITB Future Day surveying the possibilities ahead. “Overall the mood is positive, and demand will return. Airline profitability is a critical factor. New business models will develop, and sustainability will be an important issue.” Replying to the question “rising oil prices and leisure-time mobility – can we still afford to take holidays?” at the ITB Convention, Prof. Dr. Norbert Walter, chief economist of the Deutsche Bank Group said, “If everything works out well, that is to say, if the bailouts work, if there is international willingness to cooperate, and if countries refrain from protectionism for individual national companies, then the economy may stabilize itself.”
EVENTS, SHOWS, AND ACTION IN 26 HALLS
Visitors coming to ITB Berlin can experience the world in a single day. Travel destinations and regions from around the world are hosting folklore performances on stage and displaying local products at their stands. Burkina Faso from West Africa has a spectacular display for visitors to ITB Berlin, which includes traditional dancing and music performances. Poland’s message is “respect for bread.” Locals in traditional dress from the partner country of ITB Berlin in 2011 are showing how bread was baked 150 years ago, using the technical facilities of the day. Globetrotters can find out everything they want to know in Hall 4.1, where all the products they need are on display. Anyone brave enough can get a foretaste of the world of adventure on a climbing course, with water cascading from small rapids and men and women swinging from one platform to another, just like Tarzan. Breathtaking images of mountains, deserts, and glaciers flash up on specially-erected screens, and young and old can test their skills balancing on wobbly swings and planks, naturally while safely secured and using the right equipment.
A German and English editorial department will be producing the dailies. ITB Berlin is also giving young, up-and-coming journalists from the Thomas-Morus Academy in Benzberg the opportunity to report in the magazine section entitled “young press.” The dailies will provide information on the latest press conferences, the ITB Berlin Convention, and attractions for the general public.
ITB Berlin 2009 is taking place from Wednesday, March 11 to Sunday, March 15. On Saturday and Sunday, ITB Berlin is open to members of the public. More details can be found at www.itb-berlin.com. ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show. This year ITB Berlin is booked up again, with 11,098 exhibitors from 187 countries taking part.