Grand opening ceremony on 6 March 2012 – numerous cultural events with typical national attractions at the world’s largest travel trade show – interactive communication via Facebook and Twitter
In March 2012 Egypt, the partner country of ITB Berlin, will have a wide-ranging programme of events to offer the international trade visitors and the general public attending the world’s largest travel trade show. During the show, which takes place from 7 to 11 March 2012, visitors to Hall 23a will be able to find out more about Egypt’s culture and history as well as tourism to this country. Among those performing at the opening ceremony on Tuesday, 6 March 2012 in the International Congress Center ICC Berlin will be members of the Cairo Opera House. At the ITB Berlin Convention, the international travel industry’s leading think tank, discussion will focus on the Arab Spring and its impact on tourism.
Hisham Zaazou, Senior Assistant Minister of Tourism: “As the partner country of ITB Berlin 2012 Egypt is highly enthusiastic and committed. This is a milestone for our tourism industry and signals continuity for our strongest branch of industry in these times of political change.“
The question as to what the future holds for the tourism industry in the Arab countries will be debated at the ITB Berlin Convention. On 7 March 2012 from 4.15 to 5.30 p.m. the topic for discussion will be “The Arab rebellion: an Arab Spring or tourism ice age?“. Experts on the Arab region including Prof. Dr. Volker Perthes, Humboldt-Universität Berlin and Freie Universität Berlin, director of Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik and Dietmar Gunz, CEO FTI Group, will put forward scenarios and provide orientation.
Egypt has been at ITB Berlin ever since the show’s launch in 1966. In 2012 it will occupy close to 2,000 square metres of floor space in Hall 23, making it one of the largest exhibitors at the show. Visitors to the hall can experience the diversity of Egypt’s holiday regions, including the Nile Delta, Red Sea, desert landscapes, oases and the Mediterranean coast. At a bazaar they can also purchase the country’s handicrafts, sample regional specialities, or enjoy a musical foretaste of Egypt with atmospheric live music and folk presentations. Badawy, one of the country’s best known chefs, will be cooking dishes at the Brandenburg Restaurant in Hall 24.
A colourful Egyptian carnival procession will be taking place in the various halls on every day of the fair. An impressive performance of traditional Tanoura dancing, which involves an artistic display of dancers’ skirts, awaits visitors to Hall 4.1. Samaa, a group of Islamic and Coptic singers, blends different religious beliefs with its sounds, expressing peace among faiths and Egypt’s uniformity as a nation. On 9 March, at 3.30 p.m., book lovers can draw inspiration from the ITB Book Awards which will take place in the hall hosting Egypt’s displays. Travel calendars, travel guides and travelogues covering the country’s entire range of attractions will whet the public’s enthusiasm for Egypt. On 11 March 2012 at the closing ceremony of ITB Berlin, Egypt will put on an artistic performance with The Festival of the Delphic Games.
The ankh project is yet another of the numerous trade fair and marketing measures which this year’s partner country has launched. This ancient symbol signifying eternal life forms part of the “We are Egypt“ logo and represents Egypt’s visual signature as the partner country of ITB Berlin 2012. Visitors to Berlin will be able to see twenty different ankh sculptures by Egyptian artists throughout the city. From 7 February to 4 March 2012 various promotional activities involving this year’s partner country await customers visiting the store of the outdoor equipment supplier Globetrotter in Berlin-Steglitz. Competitions with prizes, videos, music and information on Egypt as well as a lecture by the travel agency DIAMIR Erlebnisreisen will bring Egypt’s magic to the German capital.
Social networking sites offer numerous opportunities for those interested in finding out more about Egypt at the show or at home. Here, they can contact Egyptian internet users, chat live with people in Egypt, or exchange views via Facebook or Twitter, for example. Additional information on Egypt is available from www.egypt.travel or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AegyptenFans.
Opening ceremony of ITB Berlin with leading figures from politics and tourism
A celebrity line-up will be present at the world’s leading travel trade show: on 6 March 2012, on the eve of the fair, Governing Mayor of Berlin Klaus Wowereit and Federal Minister of Economics and Technology Dr. Philipp Rösler will open this year’s ITB Berlin. ITB Berlin and Egypt, this year’s partner country, will extend an invitation to attend the opening ceremony at 6 p.m. in Room 1 of the ICC Berlin.
Raimund Hosch, CEO Messe Berlin GmbH, will welcome around 4,500 international industry representatives before handing over to other celebrity guests at the opening event. Among those due to speak are Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and Klaus Laepple, President of the German Tourism Industry (BTW). H.E. Mounir Fahkri Abdel Nour, the Egyptian Minister for Tourism, will speak on behalf of Egypt, the partner country of ITB.
At the opening ceremony in the ICC Berlin the partner country of ITB will be highlighting Egypt’s past with historic exhibits ranging from ancient times to the present day. Afterwards, traditional and contemporary dancing will offer a foretaste of the evening’s celebrations. Taking as its slogan “The Colours of Egypt“ this 15-minute opening performance will display a variety of folk dancing styles. A ballet piece by the Cairo Opera House entitled “Malgré Tout“ tells the story of Egypt’s rebirth after the trials of revolution. At the end of the event the guests will all be invited to dance with the artists on stage before Egypt invites them to savour its regional specialities and culinary delights.