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ITB Berlin News Review Edition

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28 REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS EUROPE NBTC Expands Presence at ITB Berlin BRIC countries set to drive ongoing growth in Dutch Tourism © NBTC © NBTC Almost sixteen million tourists from aboard are expected to visit Holland in 2025. This represents a growth of approximately 30% compared with the 12.2 million tourists who visited the country in 2012. The performance of the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions (NBTC) at ITB Berlin 2014 will thus be of vital importance in terms of sticking to the nation’s plan for growth. Jos Vranken, General Manager of the NBTC is spearheading efforts at the show, beginning with a brand new Holland pavilion. “It’s bigger than ever, so in these times where you see little shows and stands decreasing and even disappearing, we’re quite happy that at such important show like ITB Berlin, we are there bigger than ever and with more partners than ever. So, that’s a strong sign of confidence in the current market in this particular event.” ITB Berlin marks the launching-point of Holland’s new campaign aimed at revitalizing the nation as a cycling destination. “We do have a strong reputation in terms of cycling, but we haven’t done an awful lot to activate that,” said Mr Vranken. The NBTC boss says expected growth over coming years will mainly be due to the relatively strong growth from the emerging travel markets, the BRIC countries: “With respect to the more mature travel markets, such as Europe, the prosperous baby-boomers will contribute significantly to the growth of international tourism in the coming years. A growing group of active senior citizens who have both the time and the money to travel will visit our country. In addition, the further growth and development of social travelling will offer opportunities.” NBTC’s expanded presence at ITB Berlin is in no way an accidental measure, as the show takes on growing importance in the market: “The fact that ITB Berlin is becoming more global is extremely important, because we’re active in 12 foreign source markets and it’s quite efficient and effective to meet up and get in touch with your existing and potentially new partners at this event. So, for us and certainly for our trade partners, it’s probably one of the more efficient and effective ways of getting in touch with the global trade audience,” concluded Mr Vranken. © Dritan Tanku THE FACT THAT ITB BERLIN IS BECOMING MORE GLOBAL IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT United cultural colors of the “New Balkans”! Experience the most hospitable people of Europe, amid beautifully preserved nature, culture and traditions Elite Travel DMC City Center Elite Travel DMC - Lufthansa City Center Ladja: Beqir Dardha, Rruga: 11 Nentori, P41/3 Elbasan, Albania Tel: +355 542 44094, Fax: +355 542 59934, Mob: +355 69 20 44654 Email: Web: ITB BERLIN NEWS • Tuesday 18 th March 2014

EUROPE REGIONAL HIGHLIGHTS 29 Inviting You to a Fabulous Trip in a Magical Land Under the motto “Polska - Come and find your story”, Poland presents unique destinations and ideas After being ITB Berlin’s official partner country a couple of years ago, for Poland the “buzz” still continues at the show! We asked Jan Wawrzyniak, Director of the Polish National Tourist Office in Berlin how Poland presented itself at ITB Berlin this year. Poland presented itself at ITB Berlin as a destination for wellness holidays. To convince our visitors of the quality of our spa treatments, we invited them to our wellness island in the centre of Hall 15.1, where they were able to relax with a small massage. Several spa hotels presented their offerings there. In Germany, Poland is already a very popular destination for health resorts. Our aim was to show at the ITB Berlin that Poland also has many new wellness offers in the most beautiful regions of the country. Another aspect Poland wants to emphasize is that of sport. In September 2014, our country is for the first time hosting a Volleyball Men’s World Championship. 24 teams compete in seven different Polish cities for the title and Poland hopes to attract many international fans, also from Germany. Another main topic at the ITB Berlin was that of cities and cultural trips to Poland, for us an important and fast-growing market. Which source markets are you seeing developing the fastest? Poland has made excellent results in the past year. The number of foreign tourists increased by 7% to 15.8 million. For the source market Germany, the result turned out even better. Here, we recorded an increase of more than 10% to 5.3 million tourists who stayed at least one night in Poland. That is a new record! THE IMAGE OF POLAND AS A YOUNG, MODERN AND OPEN COUNTRY SPREADS FAST We also experienced strong growth from the eastern neighboring countries, Ukraine and Belarus. We interpret the growth partly as a result of the 2012 European Football Championship, in which Poland was able to present itself to the world as a good host and attractive tourist destination. However we also see it as a consequence of the continuous expansion of our tourism infrastructure. How important is ITB Berlin for Poland this year – having already been a partner country a couple of years back? What did that bring? German tourists represent more than a third of all foreign tourists. Therefore, it is by far our most important source market - and consequently ITB Berlin is a very high priority for us. As partner country in 2011, we especially found ourselves in the public eye and enjoyed special attention. But every year, our Hall 15.1 always represents one of the visitors’ big magnets at the fair. What are you doing to change preconceived ideas about Poland following the launch of your creative advertising campaigns some years back at ITB Berlin? The transformation of the image of Poland is a very long process. The accession of Poland to the EU exactly ten years ago was certainly an important milestone. At that time there was much reported about Poland and the entry became easier. This has especially in the border regions encouraged many people to visit our country. Besides, all of this has also changed the image of Poland in Germany and Europe. Many young Germans spend their study semester abroad in Poland or work there, conversely, many young Poles are active in Germany and other countries. This way, more and more contacts develop among them. Consequently the image of Poland as a young, modern and open country spreads fast. Major cities such as Warsaw or Krakow are now popular SPA, Polska destinations for many young travellers from all over Europe. This is exactly where our advertising campaigns are positioned. Poland is an exciting and diverse destination - which is mediated in these campaigns. However, the campaigns would not work if they did not carry the Polish way of life. Under the motto “Polska - Come and find your story”, we present unique places in Poland at the ITB Berlin. We want to play a little with the imagination of the audience and invite them to a magical journey through our enchanting country. Jan Wawrzyniak Director of the Polish National Tourist Office in Berlin See the video, click here ITB BERLIN NEWS • Tuesday 18 th March 2014

ITB Berlin News