Donnerstag, 6. März 2014

First day at the ITB Berlin

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If you only visit ITB, there are tons of interesting things to do. If you go the ITB for work, there are even more things to do and a lot of interesting people to meet. If one day ago, the location of the fair was work in process, in less than 24 hours, everything got a new lift, and the entire place was miraculously transformed in a journey around the world. I spent a lot of time yesterday networking at the German section, presenting my project '100 Places to See in Germany' and finding more hidden gems of German tourism.
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A 'golden' discovery: Phorzheim, an interesting city that offers insights about the local traditions of gold in the Southern area. Another area that was presented yesterday in detail, was Teutoburger Wald, which includes Bielefeld, a city celebrating in 2014 800 years of history, and Nieheim, that this year will held a famous cheese festival.
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The next stop: a presentation of the spa and wellness trends, based on an inquiry among German speaking customers. Some of the main headlines: there is a rising demand for hotels to improve the ambiance and the quality of rooms, but also the standards of the customer services. Thus, a lot of changes to be done. 
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Changing the continent and the weather, made a short trip to the Israel section where, as usual, a team of highly skilled experts in the hotel and tourism industry are offering a variety of packages for German tourists and companies. Hard work in process.
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Compared to the last years, Ethiopia is entering the travel arena, with a big pavilion and many travel companies. Good signs for the local tourism and economy, I hope!
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The last year was not the best for the Egyptian tourism. This time, the things seem to look better and there is a higher presence at the fair. With many cultural attractions as well. 
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Turkey remains an important tourism partner for Germany, and the offer this year includes leisure, wellness, luxury, but also culture and history.
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Just in time for lunch, I went to watch a cooking exercise offered by Taste Portugal. A good opportunity to discover a Portuguese restaurant in Berlin. 
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Asia is always occupying a very big section and once you enter there you feel the business pace in the air. Everyone is busy and the offer is, as usual, impressive. Sometimes, a little traditional incentive will make you curious to know more. How many of us are familiar with the Taiwanese traditions? It is the right place and moment to find out more!
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Another new entry on the world tourism market, Burma/Myanmar is ready to help Europeans and especially German to discover the country and contribute to the well being of its economy. 
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Mongolia is not well known, but is trying to offer more travel opportunities, as this new and apparently convenient connection from Frankfurt. 
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Many countries are offering the visitors the opportunity to taste and smell the flavours and incenses of their culture. An invitation to chocolate is always open at the Ivory Coast. Not many can resist such a temptation.
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At the end of the first day at the ITB,  I attended the press conference of Slovenia where a new branding campaign 'I feel Slovenia' was introduced. The campaign is aimed to present this country to the German and European market in general. The focus is on emotional stories and images, the European history - the capital city of Ljubljana, the former Roman city of Emona, is celebrating its old roots - and high-quality services.
Now, is time for a new full day at the ITB! To be continued... 

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