Thoughts and pictures of ITB BERLIN 2013

itb berlin

I love exhibitions! What a great way to find out what is going on in tourism of all corners of the world! But while I love Korean tea and Hungarian wine, I spend most of the time in pavilions where I am served strong tea (black or green) with dates and oriental sweets. From Morocco to Iran and back, this can be done in a couple of hours. Provided there is no Lebanese wine or Arak served in between.

I really enjoyed the Libyan, Jordanian and Iranian stand this year! I am sorry for Syria and Saudi Arabia which did not make appearance this year, and I was looking (for a moment) for Mauritania. I did find, however, Yemen, in its traditional house.

I love nice logos and graphic presentation of destinations. And I love when they are innovative as to what kind of promotional items to make. Dubai was the shining winner this year.

The land of the Pharaos has also a beautiful logo. Love the ankh moment with the language mutations. Egypt was one of the biggest as to the size of the stand.

Morocco is the land of beautiful architecture and handicrafts. They have mastered the art of embroidery in female caftans, and sure they proudly exhibit it each year!

Mmmmm, I still smell the fragrance of the Gulf pavilion. It not only smelled, but also looked like from Thousand and One Nights there.

And I definitely like to take part in the official country presentation 🙂

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A great, great analysis of where Middle East stands as far as tourism is concerned at the moment.

Quite Alone

dskempinskiLast weekend I was invited to speak at Destinations, an annual consumer-facing travel show in London. My subject was “Reshaping Middle East tourism” and, gratifyingly, if rather amazingly, something like 100 people came to listen – a vote of confidence in the idea of going on holiday to the Middle East, at a time when doom and gloom is widespread.

I talked about guidebooks, about how tours work and other things – but here is the bit where I tried to explain, for a general audience, what’s happening in the Middle East at the moment, and how both we, as consumers, and the travel industry as a whole could respond to it.

It’s mostly as I spoke it, polished up just a little. Note: I chose not to discuss Israel, partly because it has its own tourism context focused on VFR and Christian pilgrimage, but mostly because it is…

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