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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

  • Text
  • Berlin
  • Tourism
  • Luxury
  • Malaysia
  • Destination
  • Messe
  • Buyers
  • Cultural
  • Germany
  • Airlines

22 Alberto Maffizzoli

22 Alberto Maffizzoli Planning Department, I Viaggi del Turchese Kathrin Prockl Managing Director, ARS Incoming Facilities Give Buyers a Boost at ITB Buyers Circle Alberto Maffizzoli works in the Planning Department of I Viaggi del Turchese. We caught up with him to ask him about the ITB Buyers Circle. The ITB Buyers Circle has been perfect this year. I like it because first of all, I get great service with a reserved area. I have also a shuttle from the hotel and inside the grounds of the Messe with the limousine service. What in particular has caught your eye at ITB Berlin? I want to meet with my contacts at hotels around the world and I also wanted to discover some new destinations and improve my business contacts. I was looking at Asia, for example. At the moment, I only have hotels in Malaysia, but I want to try China and Japan. What are your thoughts on ITB Berlin? I participate at many fairs across the globe, but at ITB Berlin you can find everything and everybody Lutz Köpke Customer Support, Groups and Clubs, Ubben Reisen Coach Travel Firm Looks to Increase Destinations Company Delighted to See Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Promoted at ITB Berlin Established in 1997, ARS Incoming is an inbound tour operator for groups in Germany and bordering countries. We speak to Kathrin Prockl, Managing Director of ARS Incoming… I was particularly struck that Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was the partner region. I specialise in the German market, and until now it has sometimes been difficult to convince clients to go to Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – people outside Germany didn’t know of the region. The majority of our clients come from the United States and the UK. What are the current trends among what clients want? One big trend is health, especially active. Our clients are getting younger and want to be more active. So activities like biking and hiking are proving popular. What are your thougts about the ITB Buyers Circle.? The ITB Buyers Circle is very good because it’s pretty relaxed and to get away from the stress – for all my meetings, I reserved meeting rooms and it was good to be able to talk in a calm, relaxed atmosphere Joanna Biernacka Managing Director, Czajka Travel Lutz Köpke is Customer Support, Groups and Clubs at German coach travel firm Ubben Reisen… We have six buses for long distance travel and I have been looking for new destinations all over Europe. Our clients come from Germany and we tend to offer sightseeing tours. Currently, our main destinations are within Germany, Italy and France. What are your thoughts on ITB Berlin? ITB Berlin has been very good. I’ve been coming to ITB Berlin for 12 years and being in the Buyers Circle is a good place to be, as it’s so calm, unlike the busy halls. Did you take part in the speed dating event? I took part in the speed dating event for the second year running. This year I saw 12 people pitching to me and I was impressed with six or seven of those. I took part in the speed dating in 2017 and it was just as successful for my business last year as it was this year Diversifying Into New Markets Joanna Biernacka is Managing Director, Czajka Travel, a Poland-based tour operator and a first time member of the ITB Buyers Circle. We asked her about her experiences. This has been a very good debut at the ITB Buyers Circle; meetings have been great. We are specialists in Asia, but we now want to start with South America and Africa, so we came to Berlin to make new connections with these two parts of the world. How were your meetings in the ITB Buyers Circle? We were talking to tour operators that can offer a complete service. It’s been very good and I think that based on the meetings we had we will do a lot of business in the future. We are also planning to go to some European countries, such as Norway and Sweden ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018 www.itb-berlin-news.com

23 Nathalie Koutina Manager Purchasing Land Operations, Viking Cruises Kaj Dienske Manager Purchasing Land Operations, Viking Cruises Viking Cruises Heralds ITB Buyers Circle Sami Souissi Managing Director, Pro Link Travel The Biggest and the Best Trade Show Viking Cruises provides destination-focused itineraries designed for experienced travellers. We met Nathalie Koutina and Kaj Dienske, both Managers of Purchasing Land Operations, Viking Cruises to find out about their experiences in the ITB Buyers Circle. KD: ITB Berlin has been very good – we come here to meet so many suppliers, both existing and new ones, in such a short amount of time. How do you work within the ITB Buyers Circle? NK: Specific properties don’t usually have their own stand, they sit with their destination; the challenge for us is to run between the big booths of the big brands to the different countries. With our ocean business growing, many more destinations worldwide are becoming important. What are the benefits of being in the ITB Buyers Circle? KD: It’s nice that we have a place to sit down at meet with vendors. And it’s good to meet with colleagues before we have meetings on the stand Sami Souissi is Managing Director, Pro Link Travel, a Dubai-based tour operator with branches in Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco. We asked him to start by telling us about his business. We work only with travel agents and we don’t work with end users. When I come to ITB Berlin, it’s to get new suppliers. Key destinations for us include Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, the United States and Latin America. In Europe, it’s all about Spain and Italy. Russia is more in focus because of this summer’s World Cup. What are your thoughts about ITB Berlin? ITB Berlin is the biggest and best trade show in this industry; you can find all countries here. For me, this was my 20th year at ITB Berlin, I have seen all the developments in that time, and it’s the place to be in the travel industry. The opening ceremony this year was perfect Looking to Grow Hotel Network Corporate Rates Club is the business travel division of TourisMarketing Service GmbH. We asked Nikola Barac, Key Account Manager at Corporate Rates Club, how the ITB Buyers Circle was for him… ITB Buyers Circle was very good, we held most of our meetings in the private meeting rooms at Marshall Haus. It’s very loud in the halls but the meeting rooms are quiet. Nikola Barac Key Account Manager, Corporate Rates Club Can you tell us what you were looking for at ITB Berlin? We were looking for hotel partners worldwide – we have around 1,000 companies which are booking through us, but we are looking for more hotel options to give to clients. We have around 6,000 hotel partners – if we can add 50 new hotels every month to the platform then that would be good. Contracts can’t be made over the phone, we need to meet each other and make a contract – I can do that at ITB Berlin Sardar Mohammad Khan is General Manager, Ambassador Travels, a family-run Qatar-based company, which owns Safir Holidays and online booking engine Yalla! We started by asking him about his thoughts on this year’s ITB Berlin? I left ITB Berlin feeling very optimistic about the future. We have both B2C and B2B elements to the business and I had a team of six people working at the show with me. We are expecting very good business from ITB Berlin. Sardar Mohammad Khan General Manager, Ambassador Travels Direct Flights Boosting Sales Have you found new suppliers in the ITB Buyers Circle? We have had a lot of demand. We are doing good business from Georgia and Armenia – Qatar Airways has started direct flights from Doha. What are the benefits to you of being in the ITB Buyers Circle? ITB Berlin is a very busy show, so it is good that we have a good area to discuss business and if we want to talk confidentially, there are meeting rooms available too ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News