ITB Berlin News - Day 2



9 th MARCH





Matthias Fekl

Secretary of State for Foreign Trade,

the Promotion of Tourism and French

Nationals Abroad

“Our tourism ambition is national

and the country is mobilized

together behind one great goal:

receiving 100 million tourists per

year by 2020.” Read page 4


du Coudray Wiehe

T.O. & Product Director,

Voyage Privé Italia

ITB Berlin represents a

key occasion to meet with

many consolidated partners,

define and study business

opportunities.” Read page 8

Chris Cahill

CEO, Luxury Brands,


“AccorHotels will

integrate in its network

15 iconic hotels that

are ideally located in

premium resort markets”

Read page 17

Suman Billa

Joint Secretary, Ministry of

Tourism, Government of India

“we have taken

proactive steps to

ease travel to India

including with the new

e-visa policy”

Read page 29

Bringing Supply & Demand Together

ITB Berlin: the biggest annual travel “family reunion” fuels

business for the 12 months to come

Hall 17

Stand 109

Hall 9

Stand 314

Hall 4.1

Stand 105b

Over a period of five days, this is where trends

are being set for an industry which (with over 100

million employees) is one of the most important

growth sectors in the world. The presence at the

ITB Berlin opening ceremony of the President

of Botswana, this year’s partner country, HE Dr

Seretse Khama Ian Khama, and Germany’s new

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy,

Brigitte Zypries are proof of the huge impact and

impetus created by the World’s Leading Travel

Trade Show not only on tourism, but on national

economies across the globe.

Dr Christian Göke said it so well during the

opening ceremony: “As the world’s most

important gathering place for the tourism

industry, ITB Berlin does one thing above all: it

brings people together. Millions of face-to-face

meetings at ITB Berlin will build trust - trust on

which we increasingly depend in our business

dealings, in a digitalised and globalised world

that has become more and more difficult to


To do this, the ITB bow this year also takes on

another string with the addition of ITB China –

just around the corner – echoing the importance

of the Chinese outbound market (See also our

exclusive interview with Ctrip’s Martial Ma –

page 13).

Martial Ma

General Manager of International Partnership

for Accommodation Business, Ctrip Group



Royal Belum State Park, Malaysia

Tourism in the east continues

to prosper - stimulated by

Chinese outbound but also

new emerging outbound

markets such as India &

Indonesia. All international

organisations dealing with

tourism - UNWTO, WTTC

or PATA just to name a few

- agree on one fact when

looking at Asia: the continent

definitely drove international

tourism growth across the

globe in 2016 and it should

still be the driving force for

the tourism industry in 2017.

Find out more in our regional

spotlight – from page 21.

© Hasselkus PR




Richard Barnes


ITB Berlin News





9 th March


News ............................................. page 4

Trade Talk 8

ITB Berlin Convention ................ page 10

Exclusive Interview 13

Thank You, Mr Rifai

After 18 years as a faithful ITB Berlin participant, UNWTO Secretary-General

Taleb Rifai spoke for the last time in this position at this week’s official launch

ceremony, stating he shall miss this, and all the people here, very much.


Luxury Accommodation & Travel 15

Cruises 19

Medical Tourism 20


Asia 21


Maldives 33


North Rhine-Westphalia 36

WHERE TO GO IN BERLIN .... page 37


65 av. Jules Cantini - Tour Méditerranée, 13006 Marseille, France

• Tel: + 33 442 77 46 00 • Fax: + 33 442 77 46 01

• SARL capitalised at €155,750 • VAT FR 95413604471

• RCS Marseille 413 604 471

• •

During ITB Berlin: Press Center – Hall 6.3 – Room 403

• Tel: +49 (0)30 3038 81 209

• •

• Publisher: Gérard Lefebvre

• Managing Director: Jean-François Pieri

• Publishing Director: Jean-Guy Bienfait

• Project Manager: Bettina Badon

• Editor-in-Chief: Richard Barnes

• Editorial team: Stuart Braun, Luc Citrinot, Neil Cole

• Marketing Manager: Monia Tazamoucht

• Art Director: Hélène Beunat

• Design & Page Setting: Guillaume Kaercher, Guillaume Vinrich

• With the participation of: Bettina Badon, Nathalie Meissner

> To contact them :

first name.last

• Cover: © Ctrip Group

Registration of Copyright March 2017

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This is Taleb Rifai’s final year as UNWTO

Secretary-General, a position he has held for

almost seven years. In that time, the Secretary

General has been a champion for tourism as

a vector for peace and understanding, a force

for good, and particularly this year, a force for

sustainable development.

In his final speech before the most important

gathering this year of travel industry, trade,

political leaders and DMOs, Mr Rifai had

never been so adamant about underlining

the importance of tourism to its core values:

social progress, equality and prosperity, peace

and human rights. He told the attendees we

must together address three key priorities:



This does not mean stigmatising, oppressing

or excluding communities and minorities,

by building walls or banning people from

travelling, which is bending to what

terrorists want – to end a free world. It does

mean cooperating to address the security

challenges we face without compromising

people’s ability to travel. And it means giving

the tourism sector and its stakeholders a seat

at the table when security related to tourism

infrastructure is discussed.




Technology is rapidly changing consumers’

behaviour, business models and destination

management. We need to better understand

its impact on our sector and maximize the

new opportunities we have to improve

competitiveness, make travel safer and

easier, and manage our natural resources

more effectively.



Tourism in Botswana is carried out on

an ecologically sustainable basis: local

communities must benefit and wildlife

conservation is crucial. We all need to ensure,

like Botswana is, that as our sector grows

it contributes to the wellbeing of the world

and not to its peril. Tourism must fulfil its

responsibility to contribute to all 17 universal

Sustainable Development Goals.

The Secretary General said he had the

“utmost faith in our sector as a catalyst for

hope and positive change,” adding, “This faith

is matched only by my commitment to turn

this conviction into reality.”

In his last year at UNWTO, Mr Rifai said he

was very proud and grateful to be celebrating

the transformative potential of Sustainable

Tourism for Development, concluding, “Let

us make each of the 1.2 billion travellers

an ambassador for peace, tolerance and


This page is less of an editorial and more

of a tribute to the wisdom and vision of a

man who has given the industry so much.

His standing ovation at the ITB Berlin official

opening ceremony pays testimony to this.

Thank you, Mr Rifai.

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


France Remains

The Most Popular Tourist

Destination In The World

French Minister Matthias Fekl explains the

irrepressible appeal of this major European


M a t t h i a s F e k l ,

Secretary of State for

Foreign Trade, the

Promotion of Tourism

and French Nationals

Abroad, is wellplaced

to guide ITB

Berlin News through

the current state of

tourism in France:

With an estimated

82.5million tourist visitors

in 2016, France is the

world’s leading tourist

destination thanks to the

beauty and diversity of its

landscapes and its wealth

of cultural and gastronomic

heritage. Not to mention

the professionalism of its

tourism stakeholders who

ensure visitors receive a

great welcome. In France,

our tourism ambition is

national and the country is

mobilized together behind

one great goal: receiving

100 million tourists per

year by 2020.

What are you doing to help

achieve this ambitious


The arrival conditions for

visitors in France have been

facilitated and improved

considerably. In addition to

issuing tourist visas within

48 hours in most countries,

w e h a v e i m p r o v e d

information in our airports,

our public transport and

at tourist attractions

by designing simpler,

more easily-understood

multilingual signs. We

have also facilitated travel

between Paris and its

airports by establishing

affordable, fixed and preset

taxi prices both ways.

In France’s main tourism



Secretary of State for

Foreign Trade, the

Promotion of Tourism and

French Nationals Abroad

and shopping areas, shops

now open on Sundays and

over wider periods in the

evening. Indeed, shopping

is a factor that contributes

to tourists choosing to visit


Are you focusing on

any specific products or


“Destination contracts”

and “centres of tourism

e x c e l l e n c e ” s e e k t o

p r o m o t e t h e b e a u t y,

wealth and diversity of

our regions, and to give

tourists a desire to see new

places throughout France.

We have 42 UNESCO World

Heritage sites. A map of

our world-renowned chefs,

restaurants and bistros

offers a genuine travel plan

in itself; likewise the appeal

of our vineyards and wine

tourism. France’s tourism

offer also includes ecotourism,

which is taking

off, and the beauty of our

mountains and coastlines.

The available river and

sea cruises, for example,

have been developed

considerably, for we have

8,500 km of navigable rivers

and canals, and 5,500 km

of coast, in addition to

our overseas territories in

the Caribbean, the Indian

Ocean and the Pacific,

between New Caledonia

and Polynesia. That is the

second-largest maritime

area in the world.

Naturally, international

t r a v e l l e r s w i l l h a v e

security fears. How can

you reassure them?

We have also done a lot of

work to ensure the safety

of our visitors. Additional

police forces have been

d e p l o y e d a c r o s s t h e

country. The major tourist

sites and department stores

have also had their security


Hall 1.1 / Stand 201










YEAR BY 2020

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


AccorHotels Reinforce

Upscale Positioning

with New Joint Venture

AccorHotels and Rixos Hotels have

announced a strategic partnership

that goes in the direction of

AccorHotels’ expansion into the

upscale and luxury market, with

a primary focus on developing

the global resort segment. Under

a long-term joint venture, both

parties intend to collaborate,

develop and manage Rixos

branded resorts and hotels

worldwide. AccorHotels will own

a 50% interest in the joint venture

management company.

Through the partnership,

AccorHotels will integrate in its

network 15 iconic hotels that

are ideally located in premium

resort markets in Turkey, UAE,

Egypt, Russia and Europe and

that benefit from strong room rate


Rixos is one of only a handful of

iconic resort brands in the region

that caters to both high-end

transient and group customers.

It is recognised as one of the

leading luxury destination brands

in Turkey and the Middle East

due to its best-in-class facilities,

dining options and entertainment


Hall 9 / Stand 214

Travelzoo Proposes to

Certify Safety and Security

Travelzoo and Bournemouth

University will together forward

a proposal to implement a safety

and security Kitemark certification

system in the travel industry. The

certification will apply to airports,

hotels and popular tourist


The call comes following a joint

research report on global security

and the “fear factor” conducted

with 6,000 consumers in nine

countries. It found that, despite

safety and security being more

important than ever for tourists

when booking their holiday, the

majority remain ill-informed

about which destinations are safe

for travel.

The report found that a majority

of respondents (97%) said safety

and security is on their mind when

choosing where to holiday. Almost

three quarters (71%) say safety

and security is on their mind more

now than it was a few years ago.

Terrorism is the biggest safety

issue for most nations, while

Russians (83%) Indians (70%)

and the Japanese (67%) are the

most concerned about terrorism.

Meanwhile, Switzerland, Canada,

Austria, Australia and Spain are

perceived to be the safest travel


Hall 25 / Stand 149

© Shutterstock

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



World Travel Monitor

Reveals Global Upturn

IPK International uses ITB Berlin to present

forecast data



6% 6%







4 - 5%



Considered to be the world’s largest travel survey,

the ITB World Travel Monitor in co-operation

with global tourism marketing consultants

IPK International formed the basis of ITB Berlin

Convention’s essential Future Day presentation,

Wednesday March 8th. Delivered by Rolf Freitag,

CEO of IPK International, the findings usually form

the basis for decision-making across the entire

tourism industry.

Despite political unrest and

security fears impacting

a number of important

destination countries in the

last year, such as Turkey and

France, the survey found that

people around the world kept

travelling more than ever

before in 2016. Worldwide,

the number of outbound

trips increased by 4%,

reaching nearly 1.1 billion

international trips.

Asia remains the number

one source market region

for growth in international

travel with an overall

increase of 9% compared to

the previous year, followed

by South America with 5%.

Outbound trips from North

America and Europe both

grew by 3%. But Europe

prevails as the number one

source market with more

than half of the outbound

travel volume worldwide.

When it comes to inbound

tourism, Spain outperformed

the US as the number one

travel destination in 2016

while Germany is still in third


Further revelations included

the fact that, despite terror

alerts, city trips are the

fastest-growing holiday

market segment, catching up

with sun and beach holidays

which are still the number

one. Touring holidays had

the third largest market share

in 2016.

For the third time, IPK

International conducted a

special survey on the ways

in which travel behaviour

is influenced by fear of

terrorism. The study revealed

that for 45% of international

travellers the recent instability

and terror warnings will

have an influence on their

travel plans for 2017. This

is a 6% increase compared

to February 2016. However,

the survey exhibits regional

differences between source

markets in Europe, Asia,

North and South America.

Regarding the question

what kind of influence the

current situation could have

on travel behaviour, 16%

of international travellers

indicated that they will not

travel abroad in 2017 or will

only go on domestic trips

within their own country. A

further 29% stated that they

will still be traveling abroad,

yet only to destinations they

perceive as “safe”.

For some destinations the

situation regarding safety

has actually deteriorated

compared to the previous

year. For example, while in

February last year 64% of

the respondents perceived

Turkey as “unsafe“, in

February 2017 this figure has

increased to 76%. Hence,

shifts from “unsafe“ to “safe“

destinations will further

continue in 2017.


Asia North America Europe South America

Source: World travel Monitor ® 1-8, 2016, IPK International

Translating the data into

a tourism forecast, IPK

International anticipates

global outbound trips to

increase by a robust 4% in

2017. Asian outbound travel

is once again expected to be

the main growth driver with

an increase of 5%, but North

America can also expect a

strong outbound travel year

while international travel

of Europeans and South

Americans is expected to

continuously show moderate

growth, potentially over 3%

for both








ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


Edouard du

Coudray Wiehe

T.O. & Product Director,

Voyage Privé Italia




Commercial & Contracting

Manager - Cities - for Traveltino

Italy’s Luxury

Travel Specialists



Voyage Privé Italia is the fast expanding Italian branch of Voyage

Privé Group, the European leader in private sales of travels

exclusively for its 20+ million members. Within Voyage Privé in

Italy, together with his team, Edouard du Coudray Wiehe is in

charge of business development and contracting for mid- and longhaul

destinations, including accommodation, ground services and

airlines. We asked him why he comes to ITB Berlin.

Fatima Fernandez Marina is Commercial &

Contracting Manager - Cities - for Traveltino

(Santa Cruz de Tenerife). We asked her to tell us a

little more about her organisation and what she’s

looking for at ITB Berlin.

ITB Berlin represents a key occasion

to meet with many consolidated

partners, define and study business

opportunities with potentials and

source new contacts and leads. ITB

is a strategic moment in each season:

being the largest travel exhibition in

Europe, it grants extensive scale and

a mine of opportunities. Meeting with

professionals from all over the world

is certainly a precious source of

inspiration. Especially for a company

that likes to define its sales model as

inspirational, among other things.

I understand you are particularly

interested in luxury travel. Why

do you think there is such strong

growth in this sector?

Luxury travel, generally speaking, is

one of the fastest growing segment

within the travel industry and the

drivers are mainly:

- the booming of investments in

capacity on the offering side (many

more destinations are targeting

this clientele and competing with

traditional spots)

- innovations with strong focus on

product and new concepts that fit

more closely to specific segments of

travellers within the luxury field

- besides, similarly as what can be

observed in the fashion industry,

players are developing offerings

labelled as “affordable luxury” and

obtain an expansion of potential


On the demand side, as Voyage

Privé’s double digit growth pace

demonstrates, in Italy customers

wish to distinguish themselves and













upgrade their experiences. When

it comes to travelling, they expect

flexibility, high level services and an

experience they can proudly share on

social networks. For us, it is essential

to make Voyage Privé’s customers

feel special when travelling with us

and thus to contract accordingly with

our suppliers

Traveltino is a Spanish

tour operator contracting

for the brands we have

in our group: Logitravel

(B2C), Traveltool (B2B) and

Smyrooms (International

B2B). Our contracting

team is attending the

fair and will organise

meetings with different

companies: International

hotel chains such as Hilton,

AccorHotels or Marriott,

local partners, DMCs and

incoming agencies, cruises

organisers, etc.

Which destinations are you

mainly interested in?

We are mainly interested in

Europe and the Americas,

but we need to increase

our portfolio in Asia, ME

and Africa. At ITB, some

colleagues from other

departments will attend as

well, to organise meetings

with DMCs and tour


What general trends are

you noting in terms of

consumer demand?

D e m a n d h a s b e e n

increasing over the past two

years, especially in Northern

European markets. Demand

data for Spain continues

to increase significantly

in recent months and the

summer season 2017 is

expected to be even better

than last year.

How important is ITB

Berlin as a source of

business and inspiration

for you, and why?

ITB Berlin is a great point for

the demand overview and

the forecast for the summer

and winter seasons. The

m o s t i m p o r t a n t t o u r

operators are attending the

fair and that gives me a

global view of the next year

business options








ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017





the Planet

Hakan Bakar

Managing Director

Anex Tour GmbH

Australia’s Flight Centre Travel Group

leverages ITB Berlin in the search for

exciting new product



Product Manager & Team

Leader - Global Product Flight

Centre Travel Group

Anex Tour


New Airline

at ITB Berlin

Natalie Gosselin, Product Manager & Team Leader, Global

Product, Flight Centre Travel Group, in Sydney, Australia, has

a responsibility for contracting hotels and ground handling

options for the group’s global wholesale leisure businesses. We

asked her to tell us what she’s looking for at ITB Berlin this year.

At ITB Berlin, I’m looking to discuss

opportunities with my existing

hotel contacts, but also source new,

exciting product to add into our

range. I’m also keen this year to

explore new destinations for us to


You are particularly interested in

luxury locations. Why do you think

the luxury market is growing as

quickly as it is?

The average customer these days

has higher and higher expectations

for their holiday getaways and as an

industry I think we’ve risen to the

challenge of providing them with

great product at better than ever

prices. People are willing to take

maybe one less trip a year but to go

that little bit extra in terms of price

to stay somewhere really cool and


What trends are you noting in

terms of demand?

I work specifically in the Asia space,

and we’re seeing increased interest

in “new” destinations that once were

seen as niche or simply too hard -

for example Sri Lanka, Myanmar,

Cambodia, Laos, Bhutan and more

recently India and Nepal are back on

a lot of people’s radar.

How important is ITB Berlin as a

source of business and inspiration

for you, and why?

I really enjoy ITB Berlin for many

reasons. It’s great to see so much

product under one roof, including

destinations I may never get to - as

a self-confessed travel junkie this is

not helping me reduce my bucket

list of go to destinations in any way.

Professionally however I find that the

suppliers are there to have serious

conversations and do business -

the time of year is great also as I’m

formulating my contracting and

destination plans. The atmosphere

of the event is also thrilling - there’s

a definite buzz in the halls and the

excitement is contagious

Anex Tour GmbH is a

new German package

tour operator, based in

Düsseldorf, which will be

starting operations with

its own airline - AZUR

Air - as of April 2017.

We asked Managing

Director Hakan Bakar to

tell us a little bit about

the background to the


Our Dutch holding company

has been successful in the

tourism industry in Russia,

Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Czech

Republic and Slovakia

for 20 years and is finally

coming to Germany with

this experience. Our aim

is that our guests get all

services from one single

source – starting with their

flight until the support at the


With our experience and

excellent contacts in many

d e s t i n a t i o n s , w e h a v e

established a very good

reputation as a reliable

business partner. For this, we

work with well know hotel

chains as Bahia Principe,

Barceló Hotels & Resorts,

Iberostar, Lopesan and


What are your key aims at

ITB Berlin this year?

The ITB 2017 will be the

perfect platform to present

our new company and our

great portfolio, including

the announcement of our

new winter destinations. We

will meet business partner

from around the world, but

even more important is to

present our to travel agents.

Of course we have also the

first opportunity to present

ourselves to our potential

clients which should plan

their holidays with Anex


W h a t a r e y o u r k e y

differentiating factors?

The most important USP is

that our guests will receive all

services from a single source

- starting with the flight with

our own airline through the

transfers to the hotel and the

airport to the on-site support

by our own tour guides.

Apart from this, we are

100 % in favour of travel

agency sales because we

strongly believe in that sales

channel, which includes

advice and service

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


Yan Han

WTCF Deputy Secretary-General

Pr Wilhelm Bauer

Director, Fraunhofer Institute

for Industrial Engineering IAO



Category: ITB Future Day






Category: ITB Destination Day 2

Date: March 9, 2017

Time: 10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m.

Location: Hall 7.1a, Auditorium

New York 1

WTCF Founder Yan Han

Advocates ‘Better City Life

Through Tourism’

Addressing the ITB Berlin Convention

opening day, the WTCF Deputy Secretary-

General presented valuable tourism data

As co-host of ITB Berlin 2017, the World Tourism

Cities Federation (WTCF) has a significant presence

this year, not least the involvement of Yan Han, Deputy

Secretary-General, WTCF, as a key speaker on March

8. Yan explained to ITB Berlin News the origins and

objectives of WTCF.

Destination Safety

and Security

Professor Wilhelm Bauer’s scientific approach

to making tourism as safe as possible

Delivering a keynote session entitled ‘Destination Safety &

Security: Status Quo And The Future Of Security Policy And

Technology’ at ITB Berlin, Thursday, Prof. Wilhelm Bauer (Director,

Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering and Organisation

IAO) addresses the strategies and technical measures required

to ensure safe travel. Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Prof. Bauer

explained what is being done technically to reduce risks for


WTCF is an international tourism

organization formed by wellknown

tourism cities and related

institutions around the world

under the initiative of Beijing,

where it is also based. WTCF

offers its 181 members services

including exhibition activities,

publicity, themed discussions,

consulting, industry training,

tourism programme investment

and financing. Among WTCF’s

120 city members, 43 of them

are located in Europe; so ITB

Berlin is an important platform.

You bring extensive research

to ITB Berlin 2017 – can you

give us a summary of your


The reports show that in 2016,

global tourism has become a

vital drive for global economy.

For the first time, global tourist

arrivals in 2016 passed the 10

billion mark, reaching a total

10.5 billion up by 4.8 % over last

year. Global tourism revenue

reached $5.17trillion which

amounts to 7.0% of the global

GDP - a 3.6% rise since last year.

Several key findings include:

that global tourism economy

grew faster than the global

economy; that tourism played

a significant role in rebalancing

the global economy; and that

cities became the pivots of the

world tourism economy.

As well as full detail on your

comprehensive research,

what else did attendees learn

from your presentation?

With a focus on Chinese

o u t b o u n d t o u r i s m , w e

demonstrated how WTCF

provides We-media service to

members through its WeChat,

official Weibo, official website,

magazine, newsletter, and

APP. Combined, these have

the potential to reach about

2 million tourists and most

of fundamental services are

offered by free

New technologies and organizational

concepts in security will increase

in tourism. Prevention of damage

against tourists and tourist

infrastructures by observation and

access systems will increase. High

efforts will be spent on IT-security,

and private security companies with

competent and qualified staff are in

high demand. Ultimately it is crucial

to balance out the use of technologies

and organizational concepts with the

behaviour of individuals on holidays

and the necessary implementation

of efforts by tourist installations.

So, the major challenge in the

tourism sector is to identify the right

security solutions, bring them in

accordance to their customers’ needs

and implement the solution in an

appropriate and manageable way.

Please tell us a little bit about your

work in this field.

A key challenge for Fraunhofer

Institute for Industrial Engineering

in this context is to shape the

interaction between humans,

technology and organization in

tourism and security. So branchoriented

activities like ‘future hotel’

as well as security solutions in

tourism like IT-security for hotels,

competences, skills and qualifications

for security management are some

of the activities driven by our

institute. Together with ITB Berlin

and the University Of Worms, we

help companies and institutions to

recognize and use the potential of

new technologies and organizational

concepts to make their business a


What should destinations be doing

to improve security?

Today, security issues are a core

challenge for tourism destinations

striving to maintain a positive

experience for visitors. New

technologies to prevent cyberattacks,

technology-based situational

awareness and position detection as

well as skills and competences to use

these technologies in order to prevent

security issues are key challenges for

destinations nowadays

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



Dr Lászlò Puszko

Director of Industry Intelligence,

Resources of Leisure Assets

Lynn Curry

CMC, President & Co-Owner, RLA







Category: ITB Experts Forum


Date: March 9, 2017

Time: 10:40 a.m. - 11:10 a.m.

Location: Hall 7.3a, Auditorium

Berlin 1





Category: ITB Experts Forum


Date: March 9, 2017

Time: 1:15 p.m. - 1:55 p.m.

Location: H all 7.3a, Auditorium

Berlin 1

Wellness & Spa

Travel: Sprechen Sie


Designing Wellbeing

Spas For Competitive


At this year’s ITB Berlin Convention, Dr Lászlò Puszko,

Director of Industry Intelligence, Resources for Leisure

Assets, takes a closer look at just what it takes to attract

German speaking clientele to spa and wellness resorts. We

asked him to tell us more about this market.

The current German speaking

market is rather developed and

mature. For them, looking after

one’s health is not new, but is

more like the expected lifestyle

choice for several segments.

Therefore, these people look for

similar (healthy or vital) services

during their travel as well. When

wellness or spa services and

treatments are rooted deeply in

the lifestyle and leisure habits,

there is no surprise that they

are attracted to themed facilities

(thermal baths etc), destinations

(specialised for medical services

or for wellness), either in the

mountains or by the sea or lakes.

How do German guests differ

from those of other countries

when they go to spas?

Typically, German speaking

travellers looking for spa and/

or wellness services during

their international travels can

represent different demands.

Being experienced in a wide

variety of services, they seek

similar or better quality and

variety. Aufgüsse (pouring water

over heated rocks) may not

be available in many foreign

destinations, and especially not

the FKK (nude bathing) provision.

IWSTM 2017 shows that German

travellers are more “mid” than

upmarket, and data also indicate

that German travellers are

younger than average. Services

based on local and natural assets

and resources are more important

to German wellness travellers

than others.

What should those managing

hotel/spas around the world do

to better welcome guests from

this country?

Operators have to understand that

they are serving a market who are

experienced wellness travellers

and spa users. They should not

forget that German wellness

guests can spend around 190% of

the average spend, which comes

with expectations in variety and

quality of services

Spas and wellbeing facilities are growing in popularity, but

ensuring their ROI is another matter. At the ITB Convention

this week, Lynn Curry, CMC, President & Co-Owner, RLA

USA LLC, will be covering some of the key factors that

need to be taken into account. We asked her to tell us a

little more.

Any spa or wellbeing facility must

consider its location, market mix

and competition. In many cases,

especially at mature markets,

the initial concept and the

value transaction to guests may

precede any other consideration.

Building the spa, the right size for

the location, will require a proper

feasibility study that identifies

guest use calculations, volume,

average check, and components

for competitive advantage.

Proper study will also provide

the information on whether to

have a spa in the first place, or

to replace with other wellbeing

opportunities on the property for

TrevPar, not just RevPar.

Do you have any case examples?

A spa facility in an urban hotel

has a different type of guest use

than a wellbeing facility in a

resort. Urban hotels may attract

a wellbeing guest who is on a

business trip with limited time to

rejuvenate, thus design is with

less space in both availability and

need. A spa in a resort, especially

if the resort is within an area that

could attract the local spa goer,

may draw guests who stay for

a day, which results in TrevPar

for the property, even without

guest room revenue, because

of the additional F&B and retail


These facilities also entice

day users to bring friends

for a social programming, if

additional relaxation space

exists. For example, we are

currently developing The Four

Seasons Napa Valley, with a

spa garden and thermal pool,

and we designed Island Spa

Catalina, open since 2014) with

an oversized relaxation deck

overlooking Avalon Harbor and

the Pacific. Both with high end

F&B, retail, and gift certificate

sales opportunities

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



Martial Ma

General Manager,

International Partnership

for Accommodation Business, Ctrip Group

Martial Ma Represents Chinese

Travel Giant at ITB Berlin

An essential insider’s perspective on the tourism industry in China

Speaking exclusively to ITB Berlin News, Martial Ma, General Manager of International

Partnership for Accommodation Business, Ctrip Group, explained how the company will

leverage its presence at ITB Berlin 2017 to further expansion:

My team is in charge of globally

collaborating with third-party

partners outside of China to bring

in Ctrip Group accommodation

resources worldwide. Currently, we

have established solid partnerships

with thousands of suppliers all over

the world via XML connectivity and

the Ctrip Extranet System. Total

production from them remains

on a rapid three digit year on year

growth ratio. From beginning of

2017, monthly production is nearly

20 times more than those of 2015.

By attending ITB Berlin, we are

aiming to let the world know Ctrip

better. While discussing further

cooperative possibilities with

current partners, we also looking

for new suppliers to join our “ecosystem”.

As the largest tourism trade

fair, ITB Berlin offers a great

interactive platform for diverse

international attendees to gather

together, exchange insights and

latest information about this fastchanging

industry. It is also a very

good opportunity to present your

company or business in any travel

field you are interested in, and to

build those potential partners a

best place for convenient face-toface


China has become arguably

everybody’s most interesting

source market. What do you see

as being the key trends in terms

of the way your customers are

buying travel?

Chinese outbound travellers are

more mature and experienced

indicated by following trends:

- Compared with Group travellers,

there is a larger year on year growth

ratio of FIT travellers among our


- The so-called “Frequent Traveller”

is increasingly a fitting description

of Chinese FIT outbound travellers,

which means they will probably

travel more than once a year to

Seoul, for example, if they hold an

interest in this city.

- Mobilization is another huge

trend as over 50% of Ctrip overseas

hotels bookings are generated from

mobile app, and on-day bookings

can account for 25% of production

for suppliers with last minute


Actually, we now regard Ctrip more

like a MTP (Mobile Travel Platform)

than an OTA (Online Travel


What trends are you noting in

terms of destination demand?

Distance, expenses, transportation

accessibility and visa regulations

all impact on destination demand.

There are two basic trends we

recognise from our customers

from the perspective of destination


• Choices made by Chinese

Outbound FIT travels for their

holidays are not limited to

familiar short-haul destinations

such as Seoul and Bangkok. The

percentage of bookings for longhaul

destinations is under fasterpaced

growth such as North

America, Europe, Australia and

New Zealand.

• For traditionally popular

destinations like Japan, footprints

of Chinese travellers appear in cities

other than Tokyo, Osaka and Kyoto.

For instance, cities like Kyushu or

Karuizawa are more aware among

Chinese travellers now, which

means Chinese travellers are not

only fans of shopping but are ready

to experience more via in-depth










FOR 25% OF






May 10-12, Shanghai, will see

the first ever ITB China – the new

travel trade show exclusively

focused on the Chinese Trade

Market. ITB China partner, Ctrip

is not only China’s biggest travel

company, but one of the world’s

largest online travel firms.

Listed on the NASDAQ with a

market cap over $20billion, the

company now provides a range

of travel services including

accommodation reservation,

transportation ticketing,

packaged tours and corporate

travel management, and is

acquiring businesses both within

China and beyond. Ctrip’s hotel

reservation network includes

around 1 million hotels in 200

countries and territories around

the world, with air ticketing

products covering over 5,000

cities on six continents

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




Hilton’s Luxury Portfolio

Strengthens and Grows

Exclusive interview: John T.A Vanderslice,

Global Head of Luxury & Lifestyle Brands – Hilton

What’s “hot” in terms of news from Hilton

Group’s luxury portfolios? We put the question

to the man “in the know” - John T.A Vanderslice,

Global Head of the company’s Luxury & Lifestyle


Our luxury brands continue

to strengthen and grow

across the world and our

26 Waldorf Astoria Hotels

& Resorts and 29 Conrad

Hotels & Resorts are a

testament to that.

We are gearing up for the

opening of Waldorf Astoria

Beverly Hills in May this

year, one of the most highly

anticipated developments

within the portfolio. The 12

story, 170-room property

is located adjacent to

The Beverly Hilton on the

corner of Wilshire and

Santa Monica Boulevards

in Beverly Hills and will

be the brand’s first new

build on the West Coast.

The hotel will offer worldclass

design and exclusive

services with every detail

developed to create an

unforgettable hospitality


Turning to the Conrad

Hotels & Resorts portfolio,

we are delighted to be

opening Conrad Bora Bora

Nui in April 2017. This

115-key resort, formerly

known as Hilton Bora Bora

Nui Resort & Spa, will

be reopening following

a m u l t i m i l l i o n - d o l l a r

refurbishment. Offering

panoramic ocean views,

access to sea sports, coral

reef dive sites and hiking

trails, the beachfront

resort will feature 29

tropical garden and beach

villas and 86 overwater

bungalows, including the

destination’s only doublestory

Presidential Suites.

Last year was a particularly

strong year of growth for

the Conrad brand and we

have seen some fantastic

properties come on board

including Conrad Manila,

Conrad Makkah, Conrad








Pune and Conrad Chicago

appealing to today’s smart

luxury traveller.

How is the new Canopy

brand progressing?

Canopy by Hilton has

seen great success since

the launch of the brand

over two years ago, and

last July saw the opening

of its first hotel – Canopy

Reykjavik City Centre. The

hotel has been hugely

well-received, and its

opening was very timely

given the recent growing

popularity of Iceland as

a destination. This year

will see the expansion of

the brand portfolio with

the launch of the first of

many US properties - two

new hotels will open in

the Washington, D.C. area

later this year, as well as

one in Portland and one in

Dallas. Looking beyond to

2018 and 2019, additions

will include Minneapolis,

O k l a h o m a , A t l a n t a ,

Chicago and Toronto, as

well as another European

opening in London. We’re

thrilled with the success

we’ve seen for the Canopy

brand so far, and are

excited for what’s to come!

You’ve been introducing

some interesting concepts

as “value add” in your

Wa l d o r f A s t o r i a a n d

Conrad hotels… Please

tell us a little more.

We know that today’s

luxury traveller is looking

for more than exceptional

s e r v i c e a n d a g r e a t

product. They are focused

on unique experiences

and unparalleled access,

and are looking to our

hotels to provide that

g a t e w a y f o r a t r u l y

unforgettable stay. Across

both Waldorf Astoria and

Conrad properties, we

continue to collaborate

with some of the world’s

most iconic brands to

provide our guests with

bespoke adventures. For

Waldorf Astoria, we have

entered the second year

of our partnership with

Lamborghini to offer the

exclusive Waldorf Astoria

Driving Experiences across

a number of properties

w o r l d w i d e . D u r i n g

selective weekends, guests

of Waldorf Astoria Hotel

& Resorts in California,

Chicago, Versailles, Rome,

Edinburgh, Boca Raton and

Dubai will have the unique

opportunity to get behind

the wheel of Lamborghini’s

latest line-up of cutting

edge super sports cars

in a 30-minute session

l e d b y L a m b o r g h i n i ’s



Global Head of Luxury &

Lifestyle Brands - Hilton

p r o f e s s i o n a l d r i v i n g

instructors. Within each

destination, a customised

driving route will be

created to allow guests to

accelerate down the most

notable roadways while

zipping by favourite sights

and places.

Coming off a successful

launch in 2015, Conrad

Hotels & Resorts’ Stay

Inspired initiative has

e x p a n d e d t o i n c l u d e

many more destinations

across the world. The Stay

Inspired initiative makes it

easy for guests to explore

their surroundings from a

true local’s point of view.

From harvesting oysters

on the Algarve coast in

Portugal to making soba

noodles taught by a soba

master in Tokyo, the

Conrad 1/3/5 itineraries

urge guests to immerse

themselves in a destination

w i t h h y p e r - a u t h e n t i c

activities tailored to their

personal interests and

time available.

Hall 9 / Stand 314

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




Oh, What a Year!

AccorHotels look back at an exceptional 2016

and plot the course for a dazzling future

After last year’s integration of ‘FRHI” brands into the AccorHotels group, at this

year’s ITB Berlin, we caught up with Chris Cahill, CEO of AccorHotels Luxe group,

and Markus Keller, Senior Vice President, Global Sales. We asked Mr Cahill what

he sees as being the key advantages of the new “bigger and better” organisation.

Chris Cahill: Two or three

things. It gives AccorHotels

heavier weight in the upperupscale

luxury tier, where

in the “luxury” category, we

are the second largest after

“Marwood”, in terms of the

number of luxury properties

we have. The second thing

is that we have really strong

dominance in Asia-Pacific,

we are the largest operator

of hotels in Europe, generally

we are the largest operator of

hotels in South America, we

are one or two in MEA. So being

able to build these brands on

top of the brands AccorHotels

already has in all those areas

gives us tremendous growth

opportunities. We are already

seeing it. We signed more

letters of intent for new hotel

contracts for the “former FRHI”

brands in the six months after

the transaction closed in July

than in the best year that

FRHI ever had. I think that is

a reflection of our scale and

the distribution and the fact

we now have those brands

available for partners of

AccorHotels where there were

good partnerships but perhaps

we didn’t have the right brands

for some of their development,

we now do have.

How are you helping hoteliers

in your group get “out there” at

ITB Berlin, and how important

is this?

Markus Keller: ITB Berlin is one

of the most important events

for us in the international

calendar. We have a strong

contingent. On our global stand,

we will have seventy people

representing 22 countries. But

there is a number of individual

hotels that also participate in

their destination booths. And

for any hotel that is looking to

position itself in the traditional

leisure market, with tour

operators and wholesalers, but

also in the connected travel

market, through the OTAs as

well as the connected tour

operators, this show remains

critical. We have seen the

show evolve over the past few

years, with a lot more of the

connected distributors making

their presence know, some of

the technology players that are

servicing the hotel business

taking up bigger and bigger

stakes in order to be more

visible for those traditional TOs

who were looking to move into

the connectivity environment.

GTA were early in that piece,

but they have since been

followed by many others.

You’ve just announced a

partnership with Rixos…

Please tell us more.

CC: We just had a press briefing

in Berlin to announce that on

the closing, we will have a

50% stake in the JV company.

Through this joint venture,

AccorHotels will integrate in its

network 15 iconic hotels that

are ideally located in premium

resort markets in Turkey, UAE,

Egypt, Russia and Europe and

which benefit from strong

room rate performance. As

part of this transaction, Rixos

plans to reflag five city-centre

hotels to AccorHotels brands

which will also be managed by


What are AccorHotels’ key

USPs in terms of distribution?

MK: Firstly, in terms of brand

depth, there wouldn’t be an

international competitor of

the calibre of AccorHotels

that has everything from

Luxury through to Budget.

Secondly, if we put aside

North America, AccorHotels

is the largest player in every

major market in the world…

certainly across Europe, the

Middle East, most countries

in Asia, the Pacific Region,

South America. And thanks, in

part, to the acquisition of FRHI

last year, we have become a

reasonably significant player

in North America – certainly

in the luxury space. So size

matters, and depth of brand

coverage matters. Thirdly, like

a number of our American

competitors, we were early

into the connectivity business,

both with the OTAs but also

with the connected tour

operators. We do consider it

one of our strategic strengths

– our capacity to connect with

third parties and to be able to

extend our distribution – not

only with the large ones, but

also with a number of the

niche distributors who might

be specific to certain segments,

or specific to types of hotels,

who can help us to extend our


Hall 9 / Stand 214

Chris Cahill

CEO, Luxury Brands, AccorHotels

Markus Keller

Senior Vice President,

Global Sales Organization, AccorHotels







ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017






A Moroccan

Thoroughbred Hotel

Stylish five-star luxury in

Marrakech with its own stable

of pedigree horses

Regularly ranked as one

of the top luxury hotels

in Morocco, Selman

Marrakech stands out

from its competitors

in a number of ways;

not least the red-brick

exterior and opulent

i n t e r i o r c o m b i n i n g

classic Moorish style with

Parisian flair courtesy

of renowned French

architect Jacques Garcia.

It has an equestrian

theme authenticated by

the presence of a dozen

thoroughbred horses

in the hotel’s onsite

paddock, which owner

A b d e s l a m B e n n a n i

Smires – a former

member of the Moroccan

national show-jumping

team – explains: “I

wanted to create a unique

hotel project that offered

the traveller a strong

portrayal of our culture”

he said. “The horse,

profoundly linked to our

history, seemed to me to

perfectly encapsulate the

spirit. I’ve had a chance

to visit the most beautiful

stables in the world,

and each time it was an

incredible experience.

I wanted to be able to

offer people the chance

to gain access to and

share in this otherwise

closed equestrian world.

Through doing so, the

guest experiences a sense

of sharing which is a

principle so dear to the

Moroccan people.”

Yet an interest in horses

is not required; Selman

Marrakech has plenty

to offer visitors with no

equestrian inclination.

T h e h o t e l b o a s t s

swimming pool which,

at 80m, is the longest in

Marrakech, plus a spa

experience unique within

the Moroccan city – its

in-house Henri Chenotendorsed



The Bennani Smires

family have striven

to make the luxury

accommodation “feel

like home” which is

certainly aspirational,

considering the lavishly

decorated interiors

garnished liberally with

objets d’art: surroundings

fit for fashion royalty like

Christian Louboutin who

joined Monica Belluci

there for a Dior event

during the Marrakech

International Film Festival


Glamour and horses

notwithstanding, Selman

Marrakech does offer

an intimate respite,

at the foothills of the

Atlas mountains and

10 minutes away from

the famously frantic

Marrakech medina to

ensure tranquillity

Hall 21.b / Stand 222

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




The European Cruise Market

Key figures from IPK’s World Travel Monitor

In recent years, cruises have become a boom segment of the

travel industry, with a volume of around 22 million cruises

worldwide last year. Behind North America, the undisputed

leader with a market share of 59%, is Europe, on 32%.

Cruises to European destinations

account for 78% of the European

market, with Spain being the most

popular destination. The Caribbean

occupies second place and is the

only destination among the top five

destinations of European cruise

tourists that is outside Europe. The

third most popular cruise destination

among Europeans is Italy.





Few other types of holidays

offer similar opportunities for

relaxation as well as for making

new experiences, either on board

or on local excursions. When on

cruises, Europeans especially

enjoy relaxing, sightseeing as well

as exploring foreign countries

and cultures. Ultimately, it is also

important to them to enjoy “the sea,

water and nature”.

There are many opportunities for

tourists to spend extra money

while being on a cruise – be it on

an excursion, while shopping or

enjoying an on-board spa. Even

if cruises are said to no longer be

as exclusive or expensive as they

used to be, spending in this holiday

segment is significantly higher than

in others. While Europeans on

average spent 107 euros per night

on all holiday trips, cruise tourists







0% 5% 10% 15% 20%

doubled that figure with an average

of 218 euros.






At 60%, the internet is also the

preferred booking channel of

Source: IPK International - World Travel Monitor

Europeans when it comes to cruises.

However, travel agencies continue

to account for an above-average

number of cruise bookings. On

average, 25% of European holiday

makers book via travel agencies,

whereas among European cruise

tourists this figure is 42% and hence

much higher than in any other

holiday segment.

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



ITB Berlin : Taking

The Pulse of

Medical Tourism

While medical tourism products

have regularly appeared at ITB

Berlin previously, the sector

has not warranted its own

dedicated space until now. The

establishment of the Medical

Tourism Pavilion in Hall 3.2

demonstrates how quickly

the market has grown, and

its significance to the global

tourism industry. Travelling

abroad for medical reasons is

no longer simply a question of

South Korea’s Medical

Tourism Swells

According to a recent report by

Research And Markets, the South

Korean medical tourism market is

likely to reach nearly $2billion by the

end of 2022 growing at an annual

rate of around 15% from 2017.

Market growth can be attributed

to factors such as technologically

advanced treatments and medical

procedures, pioneering work in

cosmetic surgery and dentistry,

excellent medical practitioners,

seeking treatments based on

geographical availability; it has

become a highly-competitive

sector in its own right, with

everything from cosmetic

surgery and dentistry to dialysis

and fertility treatment catered

for within bespoke travel

packages. ITB Berlin 2017 is

the beating heart of this global


Medical Pavilion - Hall 3.2a

medical facilities, affordable

m e d i c a l c o s t s a n d s t r o n g

government support and initiatives.

Chinese medical tourists play a

significant role, contributing more

than 35% share in 2016 revenue to

the South Korean economy, while

Japan, Russia, Kazakhstan and UAE

also provide the country’s medical

tourism a healthy income

The Global

Surgery Is Open

Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Thomas Bömkes, Managing

Director, Diversity Tourism GmbH, explained why the

Medical Tourism sector is becoming so important.

Medical Tourism helps people

from around the world enjoy

cost-effective world-class quality

medical care anywhere in the

world. Over recent decades many

destinations have emerged as

medical and healthcare tourism

leaders. Some factors contributing

to the growth of Medical Tourism

are higher costs, long waiting

lists, restrictive medical insurance

policies, healthcare infrastructure

and political regulations.

In your role as ITB Berlin’s

Medical Consultant, what is on

offer for 2017?

For our first edition of the Medical

Tourism Pavilion in hall 3.2a,

we are lucky to have some great

exhibitors from different countries

with us like Turkey, Poland,

Belarus and the UAE. We have

workshops on Wednesday during

the ITB Leisure-Trend-Forum in

hall 4.1. And on Thursday in the

Medical Tourism Pavilion, we have

presentations with our partners

from Portugal, Croatia and our

exhibitors, plus educationals and

networking opportunities.

What are the future projections

for the sector?

Thomas Bömkes

Managing Director

Diversity Tourism GmbH

The current turnover of the world’s

medical tourism industry is around

$439billion. Over the next ten

years overall growth is forecast

to reach up to 25%. During the

same period, it is predicted that

up to 4% of the world’s population

will undertake trips motivated

by offers of medical treatment.

ITB Berlin aims to highlight this

growth market and all its aspects

and provide buyers and providers

this new platform on a global


DXH Initiative Boosts

Medical Tourism In


The medical tourism sector

in Dubai has undergone rapid

recent growth as the city has

adopted and implemented

the latest technologies in the

healthcare sector ensuring

world-class medical service. An

integrated programme called

Dubai Health Experience (DXH)

was launched in April 2016 by

His Highness Sheikh Hamdan

bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al

Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai,

as a continuation of the ‘Dubai, a

Global Destination for Medical

Tourism’ project. It targets half

a million international patients

by 2020.

As one of the four most-visited

cities in the world, DXH works

to cross-promote Dubai’s

existing tourism infrastructure

and attractions with its 35,000

health specialists at 3,000

private health facilities ranging

from hospitals and clinics to day

surgery centres. Among its many

award-winning innovations, the

pioneering DXH mobile app

has been designed to allow

medical tourists quick access to

information about hospitals and

clinics, doctors and DXH medical

packages at their convenience






Asia Continues to Power

World Tourism Growth

Tourism in the east continues to prosper - stimulated

by Chinese outbound but also new emerging outbound

markets such as India & Indonesia



All international organisations dealing with tourism - UNWTO, WTTC or PATA just

to name a few - agree on one fact when looking at Asia. The continent definitely

drove international tourism growth across the globe in 2016 and it should still be

the driving force for the tourism industry in 2017. According to PATA (Pacific Asia

Travel Association) forecasts released in early March, Asia recorded 433.3 million

international arrivals last year, a growth of 3.2%.

C o u n t r i e s i n t h e P a c i f i c

added another 24.2 million

international arrivals, up by

6.8% compared to 2015. First

estimates from the UNWTO put

the increase in tourist arrivals

for Asia-Pacific at 8% last year

with an estimated total of 303

million. However, UNWTO

figures count separately

arrivals to the Middle East -

which are geographically part

of the Asian continent.

PATA indicates that 82.6%

of all travellers in Asia came

from within the continent, the

equivalent of 357.7 million

arrivals. Europe continues to

be the second largest source

market towards Asia, which

PATA estimates at 9.8% of

all arrivals, or 42.3 million

travellers. The Americas

arrived in third position, with

a volume of 16.4 million

travellers, or a market share of




Asia’s tourism “leap” is due

above all to the extraordinary

push of Chinese tourism.

Between 2010 and 2016,

Chinese outbound trips almost

doubled from 70 million six

years ago to an estimated 130

million travellers last year.

Asia has naturally been the first

to benefit from China’s travel

fever. In many Asian countries,

Chinese tourists are number 1

– or at least in the top three.

By example, last year saw

8.5 million Chinese travellers

visiting Thailand, representing

a total market share of 25%.

Chinese were also number one

in South Korea (8.06 million

tourists or a market share of

55%), in the Maldives (0.32

million or a share of 25.2%).

Chinese are number two in

Singapore with 2.86 million

arrivals in 2016, up by 36%. The

Chinese figure was only 30,000

visitors short of Indonesia,

still Singapore’s number one

market with 2.89 million

arrivals. Expect however

that China could become

Singapore’s largest source of

visitors in 2017.

Asia’s tourism boom is unlikely

to stop anytime soon. Not

only China is a driving engine

to growth on the continent.

India but also Indonesia and

now Vietnam are perceived

as strong emerging outbound

markets with a ripple effect on

their neighbours.

PATA forecasts until 2021 an

average annual growth rate

of 5.8%. It will then bring total

foreign arrivals in Asia to 573.4

million by 2021


BHUTAN HALL 26.C / 308


CHINA HALL 26C / 311

GEORGIA HALL 3.1 / 331



HALL 5.2B / 205, 205A

INDONESIA HALL 26A / 116, 123

IRAN HALL 7.2A / 100

JAPAN HALL 26A / 129



HALL 26A / 135

LAOS HALL 26A / 109





NEPAL HALL 5.2A / 116


134, 136, 138


SRI LANKA HALL 5.2A / 111, 112, 114





ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017






Minister of Tourism Development,

Sri Lanka

Sri Lankan Stability

Underscores Another Bumper Year

With a wide pool of source markets and infrastructure upgrades,

Sri Lanka welcomes more and more visitors

After another year of double digit growth in the Sri Lankan market, ITB

Berlin News talks with Sri Lanka’s Minister of Tourism Development,

Lands and Christian Religious Affairs, John Amaratunga, about recent

results and the roll out of future strategies at this year’s show.

I n 2 0 1 6 , S r i L a n k a

w e l c o m e d 2 , 0 5 0 , 8 3 2

tourists, which is a 14%

increase over the previous

year. The key trend that

we have observed is

the growth in regional

tourism. We had 356,729

arrivals from India (12.8%

growth year on year)

followed by China with

271,577 arrivals (26.4%

growth YoY). Europe also

remains a key market for

Sri Lanka, and is second

only to Asia. UK records

the highest number of

tourist arrivals followed by

Germany and France. In

addition, we have seen an

increase in arrivals from

the US, Middle East and

Australasia as well.

P l e a s e t e l l u s a b o u t

some important tourism

infrastructure upgrades.

O u r i n f r a s t r u c t u r e

development is ongoing.

We are currently

implementing sea port

and airport development

in Hambantota, which

is becoming a popular

destination with the

addition of many upmarket

properties including the

new Shangri-La Hotel.






M e a n w h i l e, C o l o m b o

Financial City is a joint

project of the Sri Lankan

and Chinese Governments

in which a new city will

be built on land reclaimed

from the sea. The city

will include skyscrapers

housing corporate offices,

luxury hotels, shopping

malls and a marina which

will change the economic

and geopolitical landscape

of Sri Lanka. Work is

already in progress.

T h e c o u n t r y ’s m a i n

international gateway

is the Bandaranaike

International Airport

in Katunayake, and the

airport runway is currently

being resurfaced and

expanded to handle the

biggest aircraft in service

today including the Airbus

A380. Work started in

January and is expected to

be completed by 7th April


There are approximately

185 flights that operate

daily and airlines have

re-scheduled their flights

so as to both facilitate

the work in progress and

minimise inconvenience

to passengers.

With 2 million arrivals

last year, the airport is

running at 150% capacity.

In order to ease passenger

traffic two new terminals

including a domestic

terminal are to be added

in the near future. Phase

2 of the airport expansion

project will be the addition

of a second runway. Work

is to begin in September or

October 2017.

You have linked Sri Lanka’s

tourism development to

the United Nations year

of sustainable tourism

development. What is

being done to assure best

practices in this respect?

Sri Lanka Tourism actively

s u p p o r t s s u s t a i n a b l e

tourism development and

some of our initiatives

include the development

of the necessary skills

and awareness among

boat operators involved

in whale and dolphin

watching excursions so

that they protect marine

habitats. Meanwhile, we

have increased the number

of forest reserves by

promoting environmental

p r o t e c t i o n a n d t r e e

planning programs; and

actively promote energy

c o n s e r v a t i o n , g r e e n

certification and use of

renewable energy through

hotel registration process.

In addition, we have

established standards

for tourism-related land

use where all tourism

projects have to undergo

a c o m p r e h e n s i v e

Environmental Impact

Assessment (EIA) prior

to approval for any

development purpose.

What is new from Sri

Lanka at ITB Berlin this

year and what do you

hope to achieve?

We have created more

visibility through a welld

e s i g n e d , a t t r a c t i v e

pavilion that visually

conveys the attractions

on offer in this paradise


Today, Sri Lanka is a

safe haven for tourists.

We have a rich heritage

depicted in six World

Heritage Sites, a food

culture based on exotic

spices, one of world’s

oldest healing methods –

Ayurveda - diverse wildlife,

golden beaches and many

adventure activities. ITB

Berlin is a good platform

to communicate this

message to the world

Hall 5.2a / Stand 114

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




Yuthasak Supasorn

Governor of the Tourism Authority of Thailand

Since 2015, Yuthasak Supasorn has been leading the Tourism Authority of

Thailand. The Governor was previously executive vice president and chief

financial officer of Thailand’s MCOT, a state broadcaster, bringing fresh marketing

ideas that he highlights for ITB Berlin News. We asked him how tourism has

been recovering in Thailand after the events of recent years.

In 2016, international tourist

arrivals to Thailand totalled

32.58 million, up 8.91% over

2015. International tourism

revenue also exceeded the

target to 43.9 billion up by

13%. This number shows that

despite various incidents,

Thailand’s tourism is always

bouncing back rapidly.

This year, we are targeting

48.2 billion in international

tourism income.

D e s t i n a t i o n ” . We t h e n

develop a wide range of

tailor-made quality products

emphasising “Unique Thai

Local Experiences”. They fit

travellers’ particular interest

of travellers and niche

markets, especially high-end

tourists. We now promote

Thailand in many European

secondary cities and create

new opportunities to intensify

work with the travel industry.

Promoting Thailand

as a Quality Leisure


in order to enhance the

linkages with our neighbours.

This will be followed by the

ASEAN Tourism Forum 2018

to be held also in Chiang Mai

in January 2018.

How do airlines integrate

your marketing efforts?

We work closely with airlines.

We signed a landmark

agreement with Etihad

Airways to promote Thailand

in priority markets including

the UAE, the UK, France,

Germany, Italy, Egypt and

Kuwait. With Taiwan-based

Eva Airways, we formalised

a MoU for joint promotion

towards the USA and Canada.

We also collaborate with

Bangkok Airways as it serves

many secondary destinations

such as Chiang Rai, Lampang,

Sukhothai or Trat.











How are your source markets


China is now our leading

source market with 8.87

million visitors in 2016, up

8.72%. Other top markets

include Malaysia (3.53

million visitors, +3.11%),

South Korea (1.47 million

visitors, +7.46%) and Japan

(1.43 million visitors, +4.14%).

Cross border arrivals are also

up, with double-digit growth

from Lao PDR, Cambodia

and Myanmar. Overall, Asia-

Pacific is now our biggest and

fastest growing market. This

will have major implications

for the way we do marketing.

In Europe, Russia recovered

strongly with arrivals of 1.06

million in 2016, up 19.8%.

Please tell us more about

your marketing efforts and

how you work with the travel


TAT is positioning Thailand

a s a “ Q u a l i t y L e i s u r e

To introduce visitors to

our “Unique Thai Local

Experiences”, we recently set

up the “LINK Project”, which

mainly looks at strengthening

l o c a l c o m m u n i t i e s ’

c a p a b i l i t i e s t o a t t r a c t

international travellers. TAT’s

overseas and domestic offices

work together on promoting

and expanding local tourism.

Thailand will attract many

international events in

2017. Among them are the

World Travel and Tourism

Global Summit 2017 on 26-

27 April, 2017 in Bangkok

or the Destination Wedding

Planners Congress held on

2-4 May, 2017 in Phuket.

We also work on marketing

initiatives with ASEAN

countries. Thailand Travel

Mart Plus (TTM+) between

14-16 June, 2017, in Chiang

Mai will integrate Greater

Mekong Subregion countries

How important is ITB Berlin

as a platform for Thailand

on the international tourism


We are participating in

ITB Berlin to enhance the

awareness of Thailand as

a “Preferred destination”,

aiming to offer quality

products together with

“ U n i q u e T h a i L o c a l

Experiences”. We are here

to update the trade with our

theme “Discover Amazing

Stories in Amazing Thailand”

and help them to understand

what makes us unique. The

European market remains

very important to us because

it has the highest length of

stay, more than twice the

overall average. This explains

why Thailand has been

exhibiting at ITB Berlin in the

last 43 years

Hall 26.b / Stand 221

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




Targeting Malaysia’s

2020 Vision

Malaysia is seeing a rebound in tourism after some rocky times in 2015,

and appears to be back on track for the nation’s announced goals for

the year 2020. We asked YB Dato’ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Abdul Aziz

- Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia to tell us more about his

targets, and how he hopes to achieve them.

This year, our target is to

reach 31.8 million tourist

arrivals and RM118 billion

in tourist receipts. Our

long-term target is to

achieve 36 million tourist

arrivals and RM168 billion

(Euro 37.1 billion) in

receipts by the year 2020,

based on the Malaysia

Tourism Transformation


This year being designated

the “International Year of

Sustainable Tourism for

Development” by UNWTO,

Tourism Malaysia will be

laying special emphasis

on promoting our UNESCO

h e r i t a g e s i t e s a n d

homestay programmes.

Kinabalu National Park

in Sabah, Gunung Mulu

National Park in Sarawak,

M e l a k a a n d G e o r g e

Town cities and the

archaeological heritage

of the Lenggong Valley

are four of the UNESCO

designated World Heritage

sites in Malaysia.

In addition, 2017 is the

Visit Perak, Visit Pahang

and Visit Terengganu

y e a r . T h e s e t h r e e

states in Malaysia are

s p e c i a l b e c a u s e o f

their combination of

culture, heritage, nature,

adventure, hill resorts,

islands, rivers and lakes,

which I believe will be of

interest to this market.

The year 2017 has also

been designated as the

Visit ASEAN Year which

commemorates the

50th anniversary of the

founding of the South East

Asian nations’ association.

As part of the celebrations,

the ASEAN community,

which includes Malaysia,

has worked together to

promote the entire region

for intra-regional and

inter-regional travel. Many

m u l t i p l e - d e s t i n a t i o n s

packages have been

developed and promoted

to encourage tourists to

explore the ASEAN region

through nature, shopping,

adventure packages and





You have spoken about

the importance of culture

and nature. What is being

done to preserve these


The Malaysian Homestay

Experience Programme,

which won the Ulysses

Award for Innovation

in Public Policy and

Governance by the UNWTO

in 2012, is a classic

example of a rural ecotourism

program, which

helps to preserve our

cultural and natural assets.

The Homestay program

underlines the importance

o f c o n s e r v a t i o n

a n d e n v i r o n m e n t a l

management. The Tree

Planting Program at

Homestays is a good

example, where visitors

are given the opportunity

to plant their own tree to

mark their visit to that

p a r t i c u l a r H o m e s t a y.

It also supports the

idea of preserving the

environment and further

beautifying the landscape

of the Homestays. To date,

more than 16,733 trees

have been planted by the

homestay visitors.

How about the flight

connections to Malaysia?

Would you say that

you are getting better

c o n n e c t e d w i t h a l l

E u r o p e a n c o u n t r i e s ?

Are you planning to

extend the direct flight

connections? If yes, with

which countries?

Malaysia is well-connected

via air operations from

almost all international

airlines serving main cities

in European countries.

Some of the international

airlines that connect

Europe with Malaysia

are: Singapore Airlines,

Emirates, Qatar Airways,

Etihad, Thai Airways,

Vietnam Airlines, Oman

Air, as well as Malaysian

Airlines from London.

YB Dato’ Seri

Mohamed Nazri bin

Abdul Aziz

Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia

We also have a special

partnership agreement

with Singapore Airlines,

which was launched

during the last ITB. The

goal of this collaboration is

to run a joint promotional

campaign for 2 years

to promote flights and

packages to Malaysia.

As for Malaysia Airlines’

direct flights, we are

confident that the airline

will resume flying to

Europe markets when they

are ready.

What is your message to

the world’s TOs and TAs

present at ITB Berlin?

We are happy to represent

Malaysia in such a huge

travel fair. We hope that

our presence here will

show that Malaysia is a

beautiful and culturally

diverse country with

many fascinating tourist


We are a peaceful nation

and we welcome tourists

from all over the world to

enjoy an affordable and

value-for-money holiday

in Malaysia

Hall 26a / Stand 121

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




© FVA China

© FVA China

© FVA China

Guilin Great wall of China

The Forbidden City entrance

China Rides High on Increased

Tourism Investment

From theme parks to high speed rail development, China is improving

and diversifying its tourism offering to great effect

As a growing contingent of Chinese hotel groups, travel companies and tour operators

descend on ITB Berlin, Shi Xiang, Director of the China National Tourism Association (CNTA)

Frankfurt Office, spoke to ITB Berlin News about the latest progress in the Chinese market.

The Chinese tourism market has

been growing rapidly in recent

years. The growing middle class

in China is increasingly seeking

travel experiences and leisure

activities both within China and

abroad. Therefore, Chinese travel

companies, tour operators, hotel

groups and theme parks have

recorded impressive financial

gains in the last years.

What are some of the key trends

that are driving the Chinese

tourism market forward?

Among the biggest trends are

theme parks including the Disney

theme parks or the Wanda theme

parks, which each encompass huge

areas that include entertainment,

food and accommodation all in one

place. Another growing trend is

cruise holidays. Luxury and middle

class trips on rivers in China and

overseas, including Southeast Asia

and various western countries, are

highly requested at the moment.

Chinese companies are massively

investing in European tourism

infrastructure. How does this help

bolster Chinese outbound tourist

figures towards Europe?

By investing in the tourism

infrastructure in Europe, Chinese

companies are aiming to improve

and simplify the conditions and

experience for Chinese outbound

tourists. In the future, this could

also include paying and booking

methods that could be more

adjusted to Chinese needs. This

would also help attract more

tourists from China.

Speaking of infrastructure, in

China we have seen the recent

opening of your major east-west

high speed rail link. What will

this change for tourism in the

less developed south-west of the


Infrastructure is a very important

factor for the economy and

especially for the tourism industry.

Lately China has invested very

strongly into the infrastructure of

the country, especially to support

and connect the less economically

developed provinces in the

western part of China with the

prosperous east coast. Numerous

high speed railways and highways

have been opened in recent years,

making the transport connections

for tourists faster and easier.

Your government has recently

announced a move to increase

spending on tourism infrastructure

by 20% per year by 2020 - when

investment will total 2 trillion

Yuan. What are the key goals of

this increased investment?

The demand for tourism products

in China has grown significantly.

As a result, the tourism industry

has huge market potential and is

now a strong engine for economic

growth. To fulfill this potential,

infrastructure and public services

require continued improvement.

As the tourism industry has a

very high demand for employees,

supporting the industry will also

contribute to an increase in

Chinese GDP. Therefore, these

investments will not only improve

tourism products but create

new jobs, improve the overall

infrastructure, and support the

broader economy.

How important is ITB Berlin as a

global platform for your DMO and

individual exhibitors?

The ITB is a very important

opportunity for networking and

connecting with international

tour operators, touristic service

providers and of course with the

end consumer. In the international

tourism market, ITB Berlin is a very

highly valued and well-known

event. That’s why we participate

in the trade show every year and

encourage individual Chinese

exhibitors to take part in it as well

Shi Xiang

Director, China National Tourism

Association (CNTA) Frankfurt Office

Hall 26c / Stand 311

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



China Southern

Airlines is

Skytrax “Most

Loved Airline”

in China


China Southern Airlines

Vice President Marketing

Helen Liu unveils the

carrier’s new destinations

for Spring 2017 and tells

why China Southern is the

favourite airline in China.

We currently operate 2,000 daily

flights to 208 destinations in 40

countries and regions across the

world. Thanks to our cooperation

with SkyTeam, our network

spans 1,062 destinations in 177

countries and regions.

At the end of last year, we

launched new services to

Adelaide and Toronto and

are now ready for our new


City service on April 10. It will be

the longest international service

of China Southern Airlines so

far, operated three times weekly

by a Boeing Dreamliner B787. It

will become our first destination

in Latin America. We also launch

Beijing-Hanoi and Shenzhen-

Phnom Penh flights.

What makes your airline


We are the largest airline in

China PRC with over 700 aircraft

and a passenger volume of 115

million last year. We also have

the biggest network of any

airline in China. Our extensive

network serves our four hubs

in Guangzhou, Beijing, Urumqi

and Chongqing, covering

all of China but also Asia,

Europe, America, Oceania &

Africa. We build up the “Canton

Route”, making Guangzhou an

international air hub, especially

between China, Australasia and

South Asia.

Skytrax, the world’s most

prestigious airline performance

e v a l u a t i o n o r g a n i s a t i o n ,

attributed the four-star status

to China Southern Airlines.

Our airline is 13th among “The

Most Loved Airlines” by Skytrax,

ranking first among all Chinese


How will the rollout of your

new A320neo aircraft be taking


C h i n a S o u t h e r n A i r l i n e s

received its first A320neo last

December and will take delivery

of 73 more A320neos over the

next four years. In all, China

Southern Airlines operates more

than 700 passenger and cargo

aircraft with a fleet of Boeing

B787, B777, B757 & B737 and

Airbus A380, A330, A321, A320

and A319s.

Hall 25 / Stand 128

Helen Liu

Vice President Marketing,

China Southern Airlines


Myanmar During

the Green Season

The “Green Season” is an excellent

time to visit Myanmar. “Going

green” is a popular topic in tourism

with Myanmar Tourism Marketing

now literally reinventing the topic.

At ITB Berlin 2017, the country is

unveiling its newest campaign: “10

reasons to visit Myanmar during

the green season”. Contrary to

many beliefs, rain generally comes

at the end of the day, colouring

landscapes into a variety of rich,

green shades.

“Green season”, which falls from

May till September can actually

be a perfect period to visit the

destination. Statistics show that it

rains only during 25% of all days

during the “green season” in wellknown

tourist attractions such as

Bagan, Mandalay, the Northern

Shan State, Kalaw and Inle Lake.

And even if it rains, it is usually


MTM has identified 10 advantages

to lure tourists to the country from

May till September:

• 50 shades of green (from paddy

fields to forest)

• Not too hot in the dry zone – not

too cold in the mountains

• More sustainable as it provides

an income all-year around

• More hours of daylight for

sightseeing (early sunrise, late


• No dust

• Stunning landscapes









• Fruit, vegetables and other food

at its best

• No queues (or other tourists

photo-bombing your selfie)

• Greater availability of hotels,

and choice of rooms or guides

• Good promotions, excellent

value for money

To encourage even more tourists

to visit Myanmar during the green

season, MTM members offer

additional benefits such as a free

lunch to every guest IF it happens

to rain for more than 1 hour during

a tour. Other promotions include

“stay 3 – pay 2” at hotels or “free

number of luggage” on domestic


During ITB Berlin, Myanmar

Tourism Marketing is organising

a competition to win a free trip to

Myanmar. Information available at

the Myanmar stand. The winner

will be announced on www. on

April 1, 2017

Hall 26b / Stand 201

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




Suman Billa

Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism,

Government of India

With a plethora of exhibitors representing India at ITB Berlin 2017, the strength-in-numbers

reflects the overall vigour of India’s tourism industry. Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Suman

Billa, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India who is leading the country’s

delegation, explained how international tourism has evolved in recent years:

Foreign Tourist Arrivals to India are

continuing their upward trend with

arrivals in 2016 (8.89million, based

on provisional figures) showing a

10.7% increase over the previous

year, 8.03million in 2015. This

makes India one of the fastest

growing tourism economies in the

world. Foreign Exchange earnings

also increased by 15% last year.

Germany continues to be in the

top ten of the tourism generating

countries for India.

More than 50% of your spending

is on the development of tourism

infrastructure. What are the most

important recent developments in

this respect?

Focusing on the development of

tourist infrastructure, the ‘Swadesh

Darshan’ - Integrated Development

of Theme-Based Tourist Circuits

Scheme - was launched in 2014-

15. Thirteen thematic circuits

have been identified for Integrated

development under this scheme

(for example the Himalaya Circuit,

the Desert Circuit, the Buddhist

Circuit etc.) Recognising the fact

that Pilgrimage Tourism is one of

the major drivers of India’s domestic

tourism sector, the ‘National

Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation

and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’

(PRASAD) was launched by the

Ministry of Tourism in January

2015 for integrated development

of pilgrimage tourist destinations.

51 projects worth INR.42.67billion

have been sanctioned under the

‘Swadesh Darshan’ Scheme.

H o w i s t h e e - t o u r i s t v i s a

programme coming along, and

what have been its results so far?

India enabled the e-tourist visa

system in November 2014 with a

few countries and now the facility

is available to citizens of 161

countries. Also, the scope of the

visa has been expanded to include

visits for business, medical and

cruise purposes, with the validity of

the e-visas extended to 60 days and

for two entries. The fact that more

and more tourists are preferring

to make use of the e-visa scheme

means that more than one million

visitors availed themselves of the

e-visa in 2016.

India’s Tourism

Economy Prospers

Infrastructure and thematic circuits are key to

continued growth

What actions are you taking this

year to help the travel trade better

sell your destination?

The policies of the Government of

India under the leadership of Shri

Narendra Modi, the Honourable

Prime Minister, are designed to

make it easier to do business with

India and in India. The Ministry

of Tourism is also committed to

following this policy. Accordingly,

we have taken proactive steps

to ease travel to India including

with the new e-visa policy and

also steps like the Incredible

India Infoline which is a toll-free

number (from within India) to help

with information and also to help

travellers visiting the country.

What new things can we see at

your stand at ITB Berlin?

The large participation under the

Incredible India booth will have

variety of products to offer. The India

Pavilion showcases the varied and

beautiful architectural traditions of

India. The visitors can also have a

unique Virtual Reality experience of

travel to India. A colourful cultural

programme is planned to take place

and the popular Navratri and Holi

festivals will be celebrated at the

India pavilion. A highlight of the

programme on the public days will

be Indian singing stars Lovely and

Monty performing their song “Wenn

Du” for the first time to the public in

a new Incredible India version. The

show, which will also showcase

Bollywood dance, can be seen on

Saturday at 2pm.

What is your message to the

world’s travel agents and tour

operators present at ITB Berlin?

Our message to all the travel

industry friends is that in India

we embrace the principles of

‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ (The

World is one Family) and the ‘Atithi

Devo Bhava’ (Guest is God) – both

from the ancient Sanskrit - and that

we are ready to welcome all visitors

with open arms

Hall 5.2b / Stands 205, 205a













ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017




HE Mr Ohn Maung

Union Minister for Hotels and Tourism

of Myanmar

Myanmar Comes Of Age

Tourism infrastructure under development – and

new ideas for TOs and TAs

Expansion Plans

for Bangkok

Airways in 2017

The past year has been an historical

o n e f o r M y a n m a r w i t h m a j o r

infrastructure improvements. We

asked HE Mr Ohn Maung, Union

Minister for Hotels and Tourism of

Myanmar what have been the key

elements of this evolution.

A brand new domestic airport and a new

terminal at the international airport in

Yangon have been opened. Across the

country, tourists can enjoy reliable, fast

and cheap mobile internet thanks to huge

improvement in the infrastructure and I do

think the mobile internet in Myanmar is

amongst the best in SE Asia. More hotels

have been opened nationwide, meaning

better service and lower rates - and a better

choice for tourists. Hundreds or tourists

guides and hotel & travel agency staff have

been trained, and community-based tourism

projects have been successfully opened

around the country.

We are also working hard to improve

infrastructure in Kaw Thaung and the

Mergui Archipelago. Myanmar as a tourist

destination has many different experiences

to offer - from ancient temple sites in Bagan

and Mrauk U to trekking in the mountains in

Chin state or enjoying the nature and remote

islands and beaches in Mergui.

What is your message to the world’s TOs

and TAs present at ITB Berlin?

Do encourage your clients to come and visit

Myanmar, to get to know the county and the

people and maybe most of all: explain to your

clients that Myanmar is an all-year-round

destination and there are plenty of good

reasons to visit during the green season.

In the past many TOs and TAs had the wrong

perception that it was only possible to visit

Myanmar from Oct to March and as a result

many people working in tourism were not

able to earn enough income during the rest

of the year and hotels were empty. MOHT

wants to correct this wrong perception right

and invite people to visit Myanmar all year


We want to encourage TO’s and TA’s to

convince their clients to visit more of the

Myanmar countryside and not just limit their

experiences to the well-known attractions

like Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake

Hall 26b / Stand 201

Strong tourism and economic growth in Asia

helped lifting Bangkok Airways results in

2016. The last year carrier carried 5.6 million

passengers, up by 9.5% over 2015 while its net

profit reached US$52 million.

And according to Puttipong Prasarttong-Osoth,

Bangkok Airways President, perspectives look

excellent for 2017. The carrier projects a growth

in passengers of over 12% while the airline load

factor could reach 72%: three percentage points

higher than in 2016.

The airline will add five Airbus A319 and ATR72s

to its fleet and further grow its network from its

three main hubs of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi,

Samui and Chiang Mai.

According to Prasarttong-Osoth, new non-stop

services should this year start from Chiang

Mai to Vientiane (Lao PDR) and to Bagan

(Myanmar) while Bangkok will be linked to

Nakhon Ratchasima (Thailand) and Phu Quoc

(Vietnam). In January, the airline also launched

a route between Samui and Guangzhou (China.)

Bangkok Airways has agreements and codeshare

with 22 airlines around the world

Hall 26b / Stand 231

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



MMPRC Launches “Story of Maldives”

Campaign 2017/2018

The Maldives Marketing & Public Relations

Corporation (MMPRC) arrives at ITB Berlin

brandishing its newest campaign, “Story of

Maldives”. The campaign will run for a twoyear

period covering 2017 and 2018.

The “Story of Maldives” is a sponsored

integrated marketing campaign with the aim

of having visitors discovering activities which

received so far little exposure. The campaign

wants to generate a powerful emotional

connection and love towards the Maldivian

culture and people. The experience must

be unique to the Maldives with no direct

or indirect competitor able to claim to

offer similar products according to MMPRC

campaign requirements.

Elements of this campaign that will be

integrated and interlinked are intended

to highlight popular cultural stories of the

Maldives, of its people, traditional activities,

music, traditional games and the Islands’

natural assets.

Online media will play an important role

through various social media channels

as well as online video series. Interested

participants can contact the MMPRC on the

Maldives booth at ITB Berlin

Hall 5.2a / Stand 107

© Outrigger Konota Maldives



1.3 Million Tourist

Arrivals in 2016

The Maldives archipelago enjoyed an excellent year

in 2016 – with total foreign arrivals progressing by

4.2% to reach a total of 1.29 million. Asia-Pacific and

Europe are standing side by side in terms of total

arrivals. While Asian total arrivals declined slightly

by 0.3% from 600,000 to 598,000 arrivals, European

total arrivals were up by 7.3% to break the 575,000


Looking at individual markets, arrivals from China

show a surprising decline of almost 10% although

the country remains the Maldives largest source

of travellers. With 324,000 visitors in 2016, China

alone generates 25% of all arrivals.

China slowdown was however compensated by

the surge in Indian arrivals: +27.9%, the equivalent

of 68,000 travellers. Malaysia, the Philippines, Sri

Lanka, Pakistan and Australia also showed doubledigit

growth figures.

Germany continues to dominate arrivals from

Europe, representing 106,000 visitors, equivalent

to a market share of 8.1%. It is tightly tracked by

the UK, up by almost 10% with 102,000 arrivals

last year

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


(Desti)nation Kandima:

More than Just a Resort

New island destination pitches itself as first “lifestyle” resort

in the Maldives

Based on the values of the umbrella Pulse Hotels and Resorts brand - smart,

playful, rooted, responsible, human - the new Kandima Maldives is making

a splash. Mohamed Khaleel, managing director of Kandima Maldives, tells

ITB News Berlin about the island resort’s points of difference in a crowded

Maldives market, in addition to its successful first year of operation.

Kandima is a vibrant and

very large resort. So big

in fact that we don’t call

it a resort, we call it an

island (desti)nation. With

273 studios and villas,

ten restaurants and bars,

a watersports centre, a

unique Kids Club, our

huge Beach Club, a Marine

Biology Centre and even an

art and photography studio,

it was always going to be a

big, challenging project. But

we’ve now finally opened

the doors to the world, and

I’m extremely happy with

the market reaction so far.

It’s been an exciting journey

to bring this concept to

life, and as promised,

our guests are getting an


Kandima experience as we


How have you differentiated

by making the island a

“lifestyle” destination?

Kandima is about “keeping

it real”. Our aim is that the

Kandima experience will

mirror how our guests

would really like to live

at home, including what

truly matters to them.

We don’t focus on being

lavish or exclusive, but

welcome everyone.

Its #YourKindOfPlace.

Kandima is revolutionary,

it’s the first real lifestyle

resort in the country and

it’s shaking things up

over here – it’s the NEW


Why was it important to

create a place like this?

Consumers are driving a

change in the hotel and

resort industry. There’s a

new breed of guest whose

needs are different to those

of previous generations.

T h e i m p a c t o f r i s i n g

affluence, globalisation

and technology has led

to modern guests valuing

experiences and the feeling

of ‘being connected’ over

traditional hotel luxuries

– and the Maldives isn’t

excluded from this.

That’s why we’ve created

this four-star lifestyle

resort. Guests want to visit

these beautiful islands and

experience the tranquility,

the underwater world

surrounding us, and the

weather. But they now

demand more. They also

want adventure, action and

wider choice. People want to

grow personally and we’ve

built a resort where guests

can escape the ordinary.

They can forget normal, the

mundane. Here at Kandima

they are entering a place

where (almost) everything

is possible and boredom

simply doesn’t exist.

What are your key source

markets so far and how

are they evolving?

As this is our first year of

operation, it’s crucial for

us to position the resort in

the established Maldives

Mohamed Khaleel

Managing Director, Kandima Maldives

markets. That means that

much of our efforts in terms

of marketing and PR will go

towards key markets such

as China, Europe, the UK,

Middle East and Russia.

But these markets are

evolving and Kandima,

as a new, fresh, vibrant

and resort has a sales,

marketing and PR team

that is fully aware of what

they need to do to keep

up with the changing

markets, changing trends

and changing needs and

d e m a n d s o f t h e n e w

traveller. Video and social

media is king and our team

will be focusing their efforts

on these means to attract

our key source markets

and the guests that want to

seek an experience rather

than a basic beach holiday.

Which connections will

you be pursuing at ITB?

There has long been a

gap in the market for a

contemporary, vibrant,

4-star resort in the Maldives,

but now it has arrived.

ITB Berlin gives us the

opportunity to meet with

our contracted partners, to

update them on Kandima

and discuss how we can

best work together in the

future to bring Kandima to

their clients.

It also gives us the chance

to meet with new partners

to explain the concept

o f K a n d i m a a n d t h e


holiday that guests will

experience. Many tour

operators are looking for a

resort that represents the

NEW Maldives and that’s

Kandima. We’ll be waving

our flag and sharing our

passion and excitement

for Kandima to existing

and new tour operators,

journalists and media


Hall 5.2a / Stand 107

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017



Mohamed Riyaz

CEO & founder, Lets Go Maldives

Maldives: 2016 Partner Country

Builds on Success

Mohamed Riyaz, CEO and founder of

Lets Go Maldives, talks to ITB Berlin

News about the Maldives’ efforts to

consolidate gains made in the wake of

its successful stint as 2016 ITB Berlin

partner country. He starts by talking

about the importance of ITB Berlin.

Though Maldives is one of the most

exotic and unique travel destinations of

the world, that alone is not enough. We

need a good partner like ITB to promote

our country for the correct audience.

We have had more arrivals and more

inquiries [since last year], and overall it

is getting better and we are recovering

after the problems of 2015. We expect

these results to continue in 2017.

What new promotions are you bringing

to ITB?

Having discovered that the Maldives

is sometimes perceived as a very

expensive destination, we are moving

towards a new milestone of affordable

tourism. With the introduction of new

guesthouses, resort choices and hotel

offers, we are trying to bring more

affordable choices to the Maldives

Hall 5.2a / Stand 107

New Gan Airport

Brings Maldive

Resorts Closer

The opening of international flights to

Gan airport, adjacent to Addu township

in the south of the Maldives, has opened

a new era for the region – providing an

alternative transportation offering that

can save travelers valuable vacation


Airlines sea plane service between Gan

and our luxurious hideaway to meet

the new service and provide additional

convenience to our guests,” said John

Allanson, general manager of Outrigger

Konotta Maldives Resort.

Allanson said Gan is “virtually on the

doorstep” of the Outrigger and all the

resorts in the southern atolls

Hall 5.2a / Stand 107

SriLankan Airlines started flying from

Colombo to the upgraded Gan airport

in December and resorts in the south

have responded favorably. “Outrigger

Konotta Maldives Resort has added an

on-demand 30-minute Trans Maldivian

Trans Maldivian

Airways Services

New Resorts

A number of new Maldivian resorts

opened in recent months after the

Maldives government decided to extend

the number of island leases available to

Hotel companies. The tourism hotspot is

in the midst of a new hotel construction

boom, with 11 new resorts opening in

the last year.

Five of these resorts are serviced by

Trans Maldivian Airways, including St.

Regis Vommuli Maldives in Dhaalu Atoll;

Milaidhoo in Baa Atoll; Cocoon Maldives

in Lhaviyani Atoll; Soneva Jani in Noonu

Atoll; and Hurawalhi Island in Lhaviyani

Atoll with the world’s largest underwater


With the addition of these new resorts

and many more launches planned for

2017, the year looks promising in terms

of tourist arrival growth in the Maldives

Hall 5.2a / Stand 107

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017


Hall 8.2 / stand 102a-c

© Foto Oliver Franke, Tourismus NRW e.V.








North Rhine-Westphalia is the third most

popular travel destination in Germany

after Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg.

In 2016, 22.1 million guests visited North

Rhine-Westphalia generating 49.6 million

overnight stays. Visitors particularly enjoy

the events and shopping opportunities in

cities such as Cologne and Düsseldorf.

Both destinations are among the twenty

most visited German cities.

North Rhine-Westphalia offers top-quality

cultural events. Over 900 museums and

130 stages make the state one the most

extensive cultural regions in Europe,

alongside Paris and London.

The NRW region also offers visitors six

UNESCO World Heritage sites: Cologne

Cathedral, Aachen Cathedral, the

“Zeche Zollverein” coal mine complex in

Essen, Augustusburg Palace, and Castle

Falkenlust hunting lodge in Brühl - and

since 2014, Corvey Castle in Höxter.

North Rhine-Westphalia offers unique

opportunities for active holidaymakers.

The State has over 14,000 kilometres

of cycle paths, over 50,000 kilometres

of hiking routes and the largest ski

area north of the Alps in the Sauerland

region. Guests can travel to North Rhine-

Westphalia via six international airports,

2,200 kilometres of motorways and an

extensive rail network

Hohenzollernbrücke in Köln-NRW

North Rhine Westphalia Promotes

Design and Creativity

Dr. Heike Döll-König, CEO of Tourism

NRW, the North Rhine-Westphalia

tourism arm, highlights the region’s

inspired new travel products and


In 2017 our focus is on our new project,

#urbanana (“Discover the urban jungle of West

Germany”). Tourism NRW is working with

creative scenes in Cologne, Düsseldorf and the

Ruhr to attract design enthusiasts to the region,

while our new “Guide to the West” particularly

targets design aficionados.

What are the key strategies for NRW foreign


We want to increase North Rhine-Westphalia

brand awareness and concentrate marketing

activities on the Netherlands, Belgium and

Britain. Our aim is to allow our guests to venture

into North Rhine-Westphalia and discover all

our regions and cities through topical subbrands.

The Dutch, our top foreign inbound market,

are very interested in active holidays. As they

know our region well, we highlight new spots





The 81 st IIHF Ice Hockey

Wo r l d C h a m p i o n s h i p

will be hosted jointly by

Germany and France from

May 5 to 21, 2017.

Ice hockey nations will get

ready to play in both Paris

and Cologne with 34 of the

64 matches being hosted

in the Lanxess Arena in

Cologne. With a capacity

of 18,500 viewers, it is the

largest multi-functional

venue for ice hockey in


T h e E u r o p e a n

C o m m i s s i o n n a m e d

Essen ‘European Green

Capital 2017’. Throughout

the year, 3,000 events

and civic projects will

take place, including a

sports activity day on

July 2 with the inner city

ring road being closed for

cars, and the opening of

a public bath area in the

Ruhr river. The City is

making admirable efforts

to establish itself as a

‘City in transformation’

that is overcoming a

challenging industrial

history to reinvent itself as

a Green City and a leading

example for others.

off the beaten track. Meanwhile, for Belgians

who favour culinary pleasures we offer 40

Michelin-star restaurants and our undiscovered

regional cuisine. “Going local” is also a trend for

all markets and we will provide more than ever

insider tips for shops, cafés or exhibitions.

Do you have any new sub-exhibitors this


For the first time, the regional section of the

ADAC (German Automobile Club) will be present

next to regional tourism boards, airports and

“Mehr! Entertainment”, a company producing


© Rupert Oberhaeuse




Dr Heike


CEO of Tourism NRW





Once in a decade, Münster

turns into one of Europe’s

most important locations

for contemporary art.

“ S k u l p t u r P r o j e k t e ”

(sculpture projects) will

turn the entire city into

a huge exhibition space

from June 10 to October 1,

with 30 art works ranging

from classic sculpture

to performance art on

display. For example, a

bridge will be created just

below the water surface,

which will connect the two

banks of Münster Port

© Ralf Emmerich

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017

© Thomas Keller







Berlin: Open for Adventure

All Day, Every Day

Berlin is setting the stage for travel success at ITB this year, the city remaining one

of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in Europe. Burkhard Kieker, CEO of

visitBerlin, the city’s travel marketing agency, tells us what makes Berlin a 365/24

city, and how this energy attracts so many visitors from all over.

Burkhard Kieker,

CEO of visitBerlin

Berlin has developed a special magnetism in

recent years. Freedom, creativity and culture

attract people from all over the world. There is

always something going on at any time of the

day, every day of the year. Berlin is 365/24.

Whether you want to attend a concert at noon

or spend nights at the museum, in Berlin there is

always the right option. For more information,

please see visitBerlin’s new site, www.365-24.


With spring about to start, is this a special time

to visit Berlin?

When the café chairs are again put out on

the street, spring begins in Berlin. Particularly

recommended at this time are the numerous parks

and gardens of the city. The green highlight this

year will be the International Garden Exhibition

in Marzahn, which opens on April 13.

Are there any current exhibitions or events that

visitors to ITB Berlin should attend?

In March the new concert hall, named after

the composer and musician Pierre Boulez, will

be opened at the Barenboim Said Academy.

Berlin’s newest classical music highlight is

impressive, not only due to the outstanding

acoustics, but also the extraordinary architecture

of Frank Gehry.

How does visitBerlin help visitors find out more

information about the city?

On our website we have

extensive information about the exciting events

that ITB visitors in Berlin should absolutely not

miss. Numerous events can also be booked

directly via the site. Through our social media

channels, we also broadcast the latest news

and give the latest tips.

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017








Passing through the massive swing doors of

Reinhard’s you will find yourself in the world

of the Golden Twenties. The atmosphere is

underlined by the flair of Parisian cafés. The

restaurant is lovingly decorated with pictures

of celebrated theatre and movie stars and

famous expressionist and naturalist paintings.

The international kitchen with French finesse

presents day and evening menus that change

each week. One of their specialities “The secret

of the Kaiserhof” is a dish that the kitchen of

the Kaiserhof hotel once created for the artist

Max Liebermann. The recipe of the sauce is still

a secret. The philosophy of Reinhard’s is that

you can eat and drink everything from croissant

and coffee to an exclusive menu with vintage


Restaurant Reinhard’s

im Nikolaiviertel – Poststr. 28 – 10178 Berlin

Tel : +49 (0)30 242 52 95 /

Metro: S & U Alexanderplatz: U5, U2, U8, S5,

S7, S75



Taste the Beat

Whether you want to enjoy one of the most

beautiful views of the Spree River from the

spectacular nhow hotel or celebrate the night

away at one of the hotel’s “Music Nights” with

Berlin’s music scene, you’re always welcome at

the Envy Bar!

The drink concept is based on cocktails as well

as an extraordinary selection of spirits and is as

unconventional and colourful as the Envy Bar

design itself.

The music is fresh, new and surprising. From

Thursdays to Saturdays, a DJ’s will take the mood

even to a higher level.

Open till 2am.

Envy Bar

Stralauer Allee 3, Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)30 290 299 0

Metro: S+U Warschauer Str. S5, S7, S75, U1

Tram: M10



Right in the city centre at the Potsdamer Platz

you will find the Adagio with a modern lounge

design placed in a setting of impressive baroque

arches under a sky filled with angels. During

the modernisation in 2014, great emphasis was

placed on the improvement of the technical

equipment. More than 1,000 guests celebrate in

front of one of the largest LED screens in Europe

to the best of dance music and classics mixed by

the best DJs in the world. A-listers in the past have

included stars like Rihanna, George Clooney and

Michael Jackson. Come and celebrate in one of

the most beautiful clubs in town.


Marlene-Dietrich-Platz 1

10785 Berlin

Tel: +49 30 25 89 890 /

Metro: S & U Potsdamer Platz U2 S1 S2 S25

Museums & Exhibitions



Art Laboratory Berlin is world-renowned for

showcasing science-art crossovers and digital

experiments. Expect to find the enthralling as

well as the educational. This is the first exhibition

in Berlin for the Australian “experiential” artist,

Alinta Krauth. Visitors will experience Interactive

audience-controlled digital art, video art,

computer-generated animation and Science/art

about animal senses.

“I believe art should be equal parts technical

difficulty, visual delight, and active comment

on the important issues facing our world.

‘Under-Mine’ attempts to incorporate all three.

This exhibition has experimental interactive

elements that encourage play for grown-ups,

it’s both ‘video’ and ‘game’,” says Krauth, who

is visibly thrilled to have her works exhibited

in the German capital. “It’s so rare for a rural

Australian like me to have their art showing in

such a prominent gallery – Art Laboratory Berlin

is one of the best places in the world to see how

art and science come together.”

Exhibtion runs until 2 April, 2017

Opening hours: Friday, Saturday, Sunday

or by appointment

Art Laboratory Berlin

Prinzenallee 34, 13359 Berlin

Tel: +49 (0)173 621 63 47

Metro: U Pankstr U8, Osloerstr U8 U9

S Bornholmerstr S1 S2 S8 S25

ITB BERLIN NEWS • Thursday 9 th March 2017

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