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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

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8 NEWS Valetta and

8 NEWS Valetta and Leeuwarden- Fryslân Showcase their Heritage as 2018’s European Capitals of Culture Duisburg – The Heart of Europe From a Chinese perspective, Duisburg is the heart of Europe. There, at the largest inland port in the world, ends the 10,000 kilometer long “New Silk Road” China has been investing billions in building transport connections to Europe via Central Asia and the Middle East, and the completion of the so-called New Silk Road between the Chinese coast and Germany will open up exciting new trade - and tourism - opportunities. After four years of planning, including close collaboration with the 11 participating nations that the New Silk Road crosses, the first Blue Container Train will soon travel from Duisburg to Beijing. A departure ceremony is scheduled to be held on March 29, four years to the day after President Xi Jinping visited Duisburg railway station. To further advance cultural, tourism and economic exchanges between the countries, the Blue Container Project will hold a two-week launch event in June on a 50,000-square-meter site in Duisburg’s Rheinpark. At least 25 trains already commute between Duisburg and China every week, while more than a hundred Chinese companies have already settled in the German city. Meanwhile, a large Chinese community has formed, also due to the addition of about two thousand Chinese students who are enrolled at the University of Duisburg- Essen. These cross-cultural connections are certain to lead to more tourism opportunities and collaborations between China and Germany, two huge markets in their respective regions. To this end, the China Trade Center Europe will soon open in the German city, meaning a Chinese trading center with offices, hotel, catering, event and exhibition space as well as an e-commerce center will be established. And as more and more Chinese tourists come to Duisburg in the wake of the opening of the New Silk Road, there will soon be a Chinese-run hotel at the inner harbor, in addition to regular excursion boats pitched at Chinese tourists The European Capitals of Culture initiative launched in 1985, and since then has encouraged people to go and explore places that previously might not have been on their travel bucket list. A 2017 study found that being designated as a Capital of Culture leads to an 8% increase in overnight stays during the year in which the designation applies. Some cities have then gone on to experience longer term touristic benefits, notable examples being Essen, Guimarães, Salamanca and Tallinn. In the early days, the EU-inspired programme selected one city a year. But these days there are two Culture Capitals a year. In 2018, for example, the honour is being shared by Maltese capital Valetta and Leeuwarden- Fryslân in the Netherlands. Celebrating its selecting, Valetta’s residents started partying on January the 14th, culminating in the opening ceremony on the 20th of January, during which Valletta officially received its title. An important part of Maltese tradition, for example, Valletta, Malta Het Vliet canal Leeuwarden, Netherlands is the festa; a traditional Maltese event where families, friends and communities meet to rejoice in their cultural heritage. Nearly 3,000 kilometres north of Valletta, Leeuwarden-Fryslân was inaugurated as the second European Capital of Culture on Friday the 26th of January, with all primary school classes singing a song composed for this occasion to honour the Frisian way of life. The opening weekend then proceeded with flash mobs, choirs, fanfares, stories, orchestras and brass bands to showcase the theme of ‘Iepen mienskip’, or open community. One important change, since 2004, is that the selection of each European Capital of Culture is no longer based purely on existing cultural infrastructure but on the potential for socio-economic development and cultural transformation. This change means that cities that could never have hoped to be selected ahead of the likes of Venice or Amsterdam now have a chance to generate their own cultural tourism profile © C Messier © Marie-Lan Nguyen ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

NEWS 9 African Tourism Ministers MAYOTTE TAKES LEADERSHIP OF VANILLA ISLANDS Mayotte attended ITB Berlin this year “at the helm” of the Indian Ocean’s Vanilla Islands project. New UNWTO Agenda for Africa Moves Ahead in Berlin An African ministerial working meeting conveyed by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) during ITB Berlin agreed to move ahead with a new ten-point UNWTO Agenda for Africa. Against the backdrop of international tourist arrivals expanding 8% in Africa in 2017, thus outgrowing the world average increase in arrivals, tourism is gaining weight as a development opportunity for the whole continent, with its vast diversity of nature, culture and wildlife its greatest vehicle for development. UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili stressed that “tourism has huge potential to generate lasting development opportunities in Africa if we manage it in the right way, which is economic, social and environmental sustainability”. The detailed, four-year UNWTO Agenda for Africa will be approved at the upcoming 61st Regional Commission for Africa – UNWTO’s annual gathering of all its member countries of the continent –in the Nigerian capital of Abuja (4-6 June). The following countries were represented at the meeting at ITB: Angola, Cape Verde, Cameroon, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Gambia, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritius, Morocco, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. The final document will be adopted at the UNWTO Commission meeting for Africa, taking place in Nigeria in June this year The Vanilla Islands grouping was created in August 2010 to promote and market tourism in the Indian Ocean under a common brand. The President of the Departmental Council of Mayotte, Soibahadine Ibrahim Ramadani, was handed over the mandate to lead the regional grouping on February 8, 2018, thus assuming the rotating presidency of the Vanilla Islands, taking over from the Comoros, which was leading the organisation for the past year. Mayotte is the last among the six member states to assume the presidency of the organisation Luxury Travel Continues to Grow: Key Figures from IPK’s World Travel Monitor More and more holidaymakers are spending heavily on the best weeks of the year. With an increase of around 18% since 2014, luxury travel has grown nearly twice as much as international travel in general, which increased by about 9% since 2014, according to IPK International’s World Travel Monitor. For this analysis, international luxury trips were defined as outbound short trips of up to three nights with a spending of more than 750 euros per night as well as outbound long trips of four nights and more with a spending of more than 500 euros per night. In 2016, there were about 54 million international luxury trips, corresponding to a market share of 7%. GERMANY MOST POPULAR LUXURY TRAVEL DESTINATION IN EUROPE The largest source markets for luxury travel are the USA, with 13.7 million foreign luxury trips, and China with 10 million trips. Other major source markets are Japan, Great Britain and Taiwan. In Europe, most luxury trips are undertaken by the British with 3.6 million trips, ahead of the French and the Germans. On the other hand, the by far most popular luxury travel destination was the USA with 8.1 million trips, ahead of Canada and Germany. In Europe, Germany received nearly 4 million luxury travel visitors in 2016 and hence overtook Italy as the number one luxury travel destination in Europe. Besides Germany and Italy, also France and Great Britain play an important role. CITY TRIPS ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT LUXURY HOLIDAY TYPE Holidays abroad together with trips to visit friends and family and other leisure trips represent the dominant share of all luxury trips with nearly 75 per cent, while business trips account for every fourth trip. The most popular types of luxury holidays are city trips with a share of 29 per cent, followed by touring holidays as well as Sun & Beach holidays Source: IPK International - World Travel Monitor ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

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