Once the most important route connecting Asia and Europe, the Silk road has lost none of its flair. In the past it was a major trading route, and today it attracts tourists from around the world. At this year’s ITB Berlin (9 to 13 March 2011) the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) will be holding a series of events for trade visitors on the topic of the Silk Road. Inside the Silk Road Pavilions in Halls 7.2 a and b, visitors can also discover the mystical attraction of the Silk Road and find out why this historical route is turning into one of the world’s major destination networks. From 2 to 3 p.m. at the 2011 ITB Film Festival, daily screenings of a film entitled The Silk Road Hour will highlight the beauty of the Silk Road. Selected short films with imposing imagery will be shown at the ITB cinema in Hall 7.2. Audiences will be witness to the legacy of this historical trading route, which for many centuries joined East and West.
On Wednesday, 9 March 2011, high-ranking visitors from destinations along the Silk Road will attend ITB Berlin. Leading decision-makers will gather at the UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Summit to shape UNWTO’s global vision of tourism along the Silk Road. Last year UNWTO approved the Silk Road Action Plan, a joint agreement that aims to use the Silk Road brand to promote development of sustainable tourism in more than 25 countries. Speakers will present the action plan over the course of three sessions, debate marketing and social media strategies, and will discuss what measures can be taken to make travelling easier in order to boost tourism.
Raimund Hosch, CEO of Messe Berlin, is enthusiastic about the partnership with UNWTO: “I look forward to welcoming delegates from destinations along the Silk Road at the first UNWTO Silk Road Ministers’ Summit. This event gives us a unique opportunity to exchange our ideas on how tourism along the Silk Road can thrive in a modern environment.“
Taleb Rifai, General Secretary of UNWTO: “The Silk Road is a fascinating tourism brand. Together we will show why investing in Silk Road tourism will help strengthen local economic structures and alleviate poverty. In addition we would like to contribute to conserving natural resources and to preserving the cultural heritage for future generations.“
On Thursday, 10 March 2011, from 10 to 11.30 a.m., at Großer Stern between Halls 10 and 11, the Silk Road B2B Tour Operators’ Networking Event will provide information on how tour operators can promote sales of tours along this historical route. Representatives of the tourism industry at the event will be able to discuss issues concerning the most popular travel routes, as well as the easiest way to organize visas for multiple trips.