The ITB Berlin 2019 opening ceremony in the CityCube Berlin on Tuesday evening was a particularly spectacular affair, set to the “Colours of Malaysia”.
The year’s “not to be missed” event was attended by 3,500, including Ministers and the “cream” of the travel industry from around the globe. Messe Berlin CEO Dr Christian Göke opened proceedings by retracing the roots of ITB in Berlin, stating that when the idea of a tourism trade show was rst spawned over 50 years ago, the concept was thought of as “utterly futile”, until the Berliner Morgenpost described it as “ingenious”. Today, said Dr Göke, ITB has become a global brand, and a household name… in short, “one world, one industry, one brand”.
Dr Michael Frenzel, President of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry sung the praises of Europe as a singular tourism destination, stating, “The European Union means Europe has a clear identity, and this needs to be praised.” He went on to say that it was important for states to work together rather than against each other.
UNWTO Secretary-General, Zurab Pololikashvili thanked Germany’s Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy, Peter Altmeier for attending the ceremony, stating, “Thank you Germany for your partnership. Dear friends, this is the true essence of tourism. It cannot prosper in isolation. Tourism is partnership and collaboration, striving to allow everybody to win.”
TOURISM IS PARTNERSHIP AND COLLABORATION, STRIVING TO ALLOW EVERYBODY TO WIN
The UN Secretary General went on to present Dr Frenzel with a special plaque, naming him as a Tourism Ambassador for the UNWTO. A final speech was given by Datuk Mohammadin Bin Haji Ketapi, Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture for Malaysia, who stated that the highlight of his country’s partnership with ITB Berlin would be the colourful and fascinating performance given at the opening ceremony. Indeed, it was a particularly colourful way to kick-off the 2019 edition of the show.