Frank Straka is CEO of KÄSTL Ost-Touristik, a wholesaler and B2B group tour operator, specialised in Eastern Europe. We asked him to tell us a little more about his organisation and what he’s looking for at ITB Berlin
For more than 30 years KÄSTL has been organising tailor made group tours to Eastern Europe (especially Poland, Czech Republic and Baltic States) for coach tour operators in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Western France.
I AM SEEING A BIG TREND IN EASTERN EUROPE CONCERNING BUYER DEMAND
Are you particularly interested in particular travel themes?
I am mainly interested in health resorts and hotels that are interested in doing business with groups – so my themes are health, best agers and groups. I think that groups are very dif cult at the moment as most hotels are interested in working with OTAs and prefer FIT or MICE business to groups – so it will be a dif cult task.
What are the main trends you are seeing in terms of buyer demand?
I am seeing again a big trend in Eastern Europe concerning buyer demand. As Eastern Europe is considered a very safe destination and prices are still lower than in comparable western destinations, there will be growing demand.
What are you hoping to gain from this year’s ITB Berlin?
We are hoping to tighten connections with our partners from destinations and hotels and make new partnerships. In times with high competition for “rare goods” it is essential to have good personal relationships and ITB Berlin is perfect to make a lot of personal meetings.
Why did you decide to join the ITB Berlin Buyers Circle, and what, for you, are the key advantages of being a member?
I have been member of the Buyers Circle for the last four years. A friend advised me of the advantages which is why I applied. For me the key advantages are having a “safe harbour” at Marshall House where I can meet a lot of partners in a short time.
Photo: Frank Straka, CEO, KÄSTL Ost-Touristi.