ITB Berlin 2017 – around the world in a day (109)
In the middle of the second week of March, with a kind help of Swiss based fund “La Foundation pour la Formation Hoteliere” 32 students and lectures were fortunate to visit one of the most vibrant cities in Europe - Berlin and witness the world’s leading travel trade show - "ITB Berlin 2017". Altogether, the organizers welcomed as many as 10’096 exhibitors from 186 countries, estimated 175’000 visitors during 5 very busy days between 4th and 8th of March. The enormous area of 26 halls located in the western part of Berlin offers a perfect place for tourism professionals as well as private visitors to unite. The whole world of tourism comes together as participants involve the entire range of travel industry: countries themselves, destinations, tour operators, booking systems, transport, hotels, and schools. Tourism is known for its constant transformation, innovation as well as rapidly growing economical importance worldwide. That all was to experience on every square meter of the trade show! Additionally, “ITB Berlin” offers an absolutely amazing opportunity to attend various seminars, interviews, and debates where only the very greats of the industry were on the stage. Every day it was a bit of an inner challenge, wishing one was able to be in several places at a time, as it was almost impossible to decide, what to see and which country’s or business’s stand to visit since the offer was more than great.
Whichever choice was made, everything was represented in the very best way and often made one’s jaw drop. Weather it was a colorful and interacting stand of a country, like Botswana and Slovenia which were this year’s official, main countries, or technology section with the newest inventions – robot Pepper and Mario, nobody was left unimpressed. There were numerous well known professionals in the Convention halls, among them - Kenny Jacobs (Chief Marketing Officer of the Ryaneer), Richard Singer (President of Travelzoo Europe), Andreas Nau, (Managing Director of Expedia) who made interesting and significant conversations about topics like safety, destinations, trends, sustainability and many, many more.
In my believe “ITB” not only gave a great look into very exciting and dynamic world of tourism, but made each and every participant and visitor think “outside the box”, by creating a powerful platform to dream and make plans, to realize the importance of innovation and moving forward in this industry, as well as in life in general and last but not least – served as the inspiration to always strive to be better, smarter and more successful! Among so many positive things, this trip gave a chance to meet other students and lectures of the university. Very professional yet relaxed atmosphere ensured everyone to feel comfortable and welcomed to be a part of “Turiba University Team” in Berlin! A huge “thank you” to our University and everyone who made this trip possible! In conclusion, some more experiences:
Patriks, Latvia, 2nd year Bachelor student of tourism management: “I enjoyed the variety of so many different cultures together in one place, the opportunity to see what each country has to offer to attract people. Seminars gave the insight into some interesting topical issues and trends, which for me, gave deeper understanding of how some parts of tourism industry work.”
Maryia, Belarus, 2nd year Bachelor student of tourism management: “The “ITB” was an interesting and useful event for me as a hospitality student - I have learned a lot about promotion of destinations, also I have visited seminars with professionals in tourism industry, where heard experts' opinions and actual tourism trends. The most exciting part of the fair is people from different countries. It is just amazing, that in one hall you meet someone from California, but in two meters there is a small group from Belarus. The ITB is all about uniting the world and that is what I liked the most”.
Laura Pole, Latvia, 4th year Bachelor student of tourism management: “ITB, in my opinion, is a “must have” for every student who is studying tourism. Only being there is the way to feel the real size of tourism industry on a global scale and versus Latvia. Lot of conventions happened during ITB about current trends and problems in tourism industry like sustainability, trends, safety and others. Participating global leaders, such as John Kester, Director of tourism market trends program, UNWTO. I want to say thanks to “Turiba” for opportunity to be there, as well as to A.Doniņa and E.Lingebērziņš for getting us home successfully”.
If you didn’t make it to “ITB”, but have interest in it – there is quite a lot of information online as well as videos on YouTube and presentations on their homage www.itb-berlin.de