World’s leading travel trade show kicks off in Berlin with record number of Maldives tourism reps
Maldives has participated at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin.
With a record number of 280 representatives from 106 companies from the Maldives, it is the largest event for the Maldives tourism sector as well. The Maldives contingent is led by Jameela Ali, the Maldives ambassador in Germany, Ahmed Shiaan, the Maldives ambassador to EU, and Haris Mohamed, the Acting Managing Director of Maldives Maldives and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC).
During the fair, being held from March 7-11 at the Messe Berlin Exhibition grounds in German capital of Berlin, the Maldives is showcasing a variety of destination-specific experiences at a newly-designed 405 square metre, two-storey stand.
The brand new design of Maldives displays various aspects of the destination through colourful images. In a contemporary setting, traditional elements such as traditional swing and joali seats hand woven with rope and powder soft white sand from the Maldives are infused into the design to bring out a local touch.
For a taste of the Maldives, the Maldives stand is showcasing a gourmet food area with a variety of refreshments for a delightful experience for the visitors. This includes tastes of different local flavours of Maldivian snacks such as fried breadfruit and athu jehi (made from dried tuna).
A live cooking station demonstrating the art of making traditional roshi (Maldivian flat bread), which can be tried with rihaakuru (fish paste) and mashuni (tuna salad) is also set up at the stand. In addition, Maldivian sweets such as Addu Bendi (a tasty sweet from the southern part of Maldives; wrapped like a candy with banana leaf) are also being served to visitors.
Highlights of activities at the Maldives stand include experiencing the Maldives natural beauty through virtual reality, cultural dances by young Maldivian women in vibrant traditional wear, taking pictures and posting on social media at the photo corner where you can experience the ‘Sunny Side of life’.
In addition, the customary Maldivian Night will also be held on Wednesday evening at the Hotel Palace Berlin, by invitation of top travel trade, media and Maldives tourism industry partners.
More than 180 countries across five continents are participating at ITB Berlin this year. These include 10,000 exhibitors, 1,000 qualified top buyers, 28,000 convention visitors, and 109,000 trade visitors. There was a turnover of seven billion euros in business deals last year, according to the fair organisers.
ITB Berlin, through its B2B platform, provides vast opportunities for the Maldives industry partners to interact with trade visitors, and expand contacts and do business. It is also the place to showcase the offerings of Maldives and communicate destination information to the travel trade, media as well as the public.
Germany is currently the second largest source market to the Maldives. A total of 112,109 Germans chose Maldives for their vacation in 2017, which is a growth of 5.2 percent compared to 2016.