The International Tourism Fair is considered the biggest tourism events in the world. It takes place from 6 to 10 March, but only the last 2 days are officially open to the public, the majority of the time being dedicated to discussions and networking between tour operators and other stakeholders from the industry.
This year, 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 lands are getting ready to present their offer, apps, and interesting classes. The overall area occupied by the exhibition is of 160,000sqm.
The official app of the fair is offered by GIATA and TOURIAS, and it will be very useful for the busy visitor in the week-end.
Till I will go to pay a visit myself, a couple of words about the map of the fair. As there are many tourist agencies represented, many will offer significant discounts to the trips booked on the place.
In Halle 2.2, there will be a presentation of the Lisboa Story Centre, an interactive project aimed to help the visitor go through the history and present of the Portuguese capital city. Halle 2.1 is dedicated to the LGBT sector - Pink Pavilion, an area that according to officials present at the press conference yesterday is developing permanently. There could be find out more about the OUT NYC, the trend resort in NY opened in 2012 as an island of restaurants, bars and other lifestyle temptations.
Halle 3.1 is dedicated to South-America with special attention dedicated to Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Panama. In Halle 3.2, you can visit Albania, Armenia, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, Turkey and Georgia. In Halle 4.2, Irak - who has a bigger pavilion compared with the previous year - is neighbouring Spain and various tourist companies. In Halle 1.2. you can see not only the ITB Kino, but also Malta - where I am invited tomorrow - Montenegro, Moldova, Kosovo, Croatia, Italy and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Halle 23 is hosting Egypt - who registered a 17% decrease of tourists following the 'revolution', Bahrain, Israel, Jordan and Lebanon.
Halle 4.1b will be dedicated to the challenges of responsible tourism, including Corporate Social Responsibility and many discussions will take place in the next days about the ways in which tourism can contribute to the sustainability of the local communities. Another interesting things to see at Halle 4.1: economy accommodation, youth travel, adventure tourism.
Those interested about the German Laender, can have a look at what is offered and displayed at Halle 6.2. Many of the natural treasures of Germany will be presented at large. In Halle 8.2 Germany will be presented again with an offer to discover Saarland, on bike. Other places where one can find out more about the offer of German tourism are: Halle 11.2 for Sachsen, Thueringen, Sachsen-Anhalt; Halle 12 for Berlin and Brandenburg, and Halle 13, 14.1 - for hotels.
Halle 20 and 21 are dedicated to Africa, with South Sudan the newest guest. Libya and Yemen - a country where many Germans are visiting, despite the complicated security situation - are back in the business after a year of break.
Halle 10.2 - that I will visit in a couple of hours - is hosting the Culture Lounge, where the visitor can find out about the cultural capitals of Europe, but also about the cultural offer of the world cities. Worth to mention and to find out more about: Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, Art and Design Museum Basel, the opening of the first world ABBA Museum in Stockholm.
In Halle 20, the visitor can see the art of South Africa, and in Halle 26, China will show its different faces, with many cultural happenings offered to the public during the week-end.
Indonesia, the official partner of the ITB, whose pavilion will be officially inaugurated today, promise to keep the visitors entertained and tempted to book the first flight to Jakarta. The Pavilion will have the shape of an old boat, traditionally used by fishermen.
The tickets can be purchased from the BVG kiosks at a better price - 12 Euro - than if bought from the fair. This purchase can be made till the 8th of March. The tickets can also be booked online. Between 2 and 4pm, on Sunday, there it is a special price of 8 Euro. Each ticket is qualified to enter a Tombola for a trip around the world. ITB will be open to the public from 10am to 6pm, Saturday and Sunday.