ITB Berlin starts today

Published: 7.3.2023

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ITB Berlin starts today

ITB Berlin, one of the world's most important tourism events, opens today in Berlin. Until 9 March, 28 Slovenian destinations and providers will represent themselves at the Slovenian stand in Hub 27. Follow the activities taking place at the Slovenian Tourist Board's stand of ITB Berlin on our Twitter account @tourism_sto.

ITB Berlin starts today

ITB Berlin brings together the leaders of the global travel industry, showcases key trends and opens up new opportunities for partnerships. The last live edition of the ITB took place in 2019, before being cancelled in 2020 in light of the global outbreak of the covida-19 pandemic, and then taking place entirely virtually in 2021 and 2022. This year, for the first time, it is open to the business community only. The main motto of this year's event is Open for Change, with the central theme of managing transformation. The partner country is Georgia. The German market is the most important emitative market for Slovenian tourism, accounting for 18% of all overnight stays by foreign guests in 2022.

At the Slovenian stand 28 Slovenian destinations and providers will be represented.

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Director of the STB, MSc. Maja Pak and Dubravka Kalin, Director General of the Directorate for Tourism at the Ministry of Economy, Tourism and Sport, will meet, among others, Alessandra Priante, Director of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) for Europe, David Rütz, Vice President of Messe Berlin, Luis Araujo, President of the European Travel Commission (ETC), representatives of VisitScotland, Kärnten Werbung, HTZ and so on. The Ambassador of the Republic of Slovenia in Berlin, Dr Ana Polak Petrič, and the Economic Counsellor at the Embassy, Goran Križ, will also visit be there.

On Wednesday evening, Slovenia will host the ITB Get Together with around 150 invited guests - prominent representatives of German tourism and media.

New this year at the Slovenian Stand: Travel Talks

The Slovenian presentation in Berlin will highlight culture and cultural experiences that influence on the identity of Slovenia and its tourism offer, while at the same time add value to the Slovenian tourism. The theme was also chosen since Slovenia will be the Guest of Honour at the Frankfurt Book Fair this autumn. Culture will also be the main theme of the STB's communication activities in 2024 and 2025.

In addition, the theme of sports tourism will be highlighted as the main theme of the STB's communication activities in 2022 and 2023.

A novelty in the presentation of Slovenian tourism are the Travel Talks, discussions focusing on sports and cultural tourism with the renowned German moderator Sabrina Gander. The four talks, which will take place during ITB Berlin, will be recorded and later included in the episodes of the podcast in German. The guests will be renowned foreign and Slovenian media and tourism experts, including Dr Gerald Hühner (FAZ), writer Christoph Karl Schrahe, the head of the Slovenian Cultural Centre in Berlin, MSc. Saša Šavel Burkart, Director of Ljubljana Ljubljana, MSc. Petra Stušek, Director of the Triglav National Park, Dr Tit Potočnik, and Jure Štruc, Director of Maribor Tourism.

Other stakeholders of Slovenian tourism will also attend the ITB Berlin. Iztok Altbauer, Director of the Slovenian Natural Spas (SSNZ), will talk today at the Medical Pavilion Stage about the implementation of successful spa communication.

Kranj will be presented at ITB Berlin as the winner of the European Destination of Excellence (EDEN) 2023. In its promotional materials, the European Commission describes Kranj as "a pioneer of green tourism, paving the way for sustainability in the European Union". The official presentation of the EDEN 2023 award will also take place at the fair and will be received by the Mayor of Kranj, Matjaž Rakovec, and the Director of the Kranj Tourism and Culture Board, Klemen Malovrh.

Slovenian destinations and the Slovenian Tourist Board in the running for the awards

The Green Destinations Story Awards 2023, which reward the most inspiring sustainable tourism initiatives, will take place on Tuesday evening in Berlin. Among the nominees are three Slovenian destinations: Ljubljana in the Culture and Tradition category, with its project to digitalize Plečnik's heritage; Miren Kras, also in the Culture and Tradition category, with its project Krasna kuhna; and Jeruzalem Slovenia with its project Campers Welcome.

On Wednesday, the Golden City Gate Awards for excellence in the field of promotional and communication campaigns and tools in tourism will be presented. The STB has five projects in the running for the awards:

1. Business Event, Slovenia - Connecting sports and tourism (MICE & Events)

The business event was part of a wider promotional campaign designed and implemented by the STB in partnership with the Basketball Federation of Slovenia (KZS) and partners from the Slovenian tourism industry on the occasion of EuroBasket 2022. On the eve of the match (on 5 September 2022) between the then reigning European champion Slovenia and the host country Germany, the STB organised a business meeting of the Slovenian and German tourism industry in Cologne. The event was attended by around 150 representatives of German tourism companies, sports clubs, the media and the German regional authorities, who spoke about the importance of sport for the development of tourism, including Aleksander Sekulić, the Slovenian national basketball team selector, and other distinguished guests. The event significantly contributed to strengthening Slovenia's visibility as a green tourist destination for active outdoor holidays and as an excellent training destination for athletes.

2. Slovenia Travel Guide (Print Advertising)

The general travel guide in English, Slovenia. My way of exploring diversity, offers a unique insight into Slovenia's tourism offer and comprehensive description of places to visit and introduces the reader to additional sources of information. It highlights Slovenia's offer and emphasises that Slovenia is a destination for responsible visitors who value nature and health, local culture and authentic experiences. The tourism products are accompanied by invitations from top Slovenian athletes such as basketball player Luka Dončić, sports climber Janja Garnbret and top cyclists Primož Roglič and Tadej Pogačar, Michelin-starred chefs, including the Best Female Chef of 2017 Ana Roš, and experienced guides in the Slovenia Unique Experiences project.

3. Documentary Slovenia Green (Country)

This is the first documentary produced at the STB to comprehensively showcase green thinking and the actions of Slovenia's tourism stakeholders in practice in 28 minutes. The focus of the promotional documentary is the Slovenia Green Gourmet Route, which connects the stories of Slovenia Green label winners and presents sustainability through the eyes of locals, destination representatives and tourism providers. The film takes the viewer on Aljaž Tepina's cycling journey from Ljubljana to Soča Valley, Goriška Brda, Vipava Valley and Karst, and back through the capital to Sevnica, Podčetrtek, Ptuj and Maribor, unvealing Slovenia's green story in practice.

4. Video Tadej Pogačar: This is my way of freedom. My way of enjoying life (Sustainable Tourism)

Tadej Pogačar, the boy wonder who stunned the cycling world by winning Tour de France, the most prestigious cycling race, twice in a row (2020, 2021), reveals the secret of his success and how he feels connected to Slovenia. It's a story about the incredible energy, team spirit and stunning natural beauty found in Slovenia. Sport is what unites Slovenians and Slovenian athletes are great ambassadorsof the country. The video brings viewers closer to the extraordinary energy that Tadej Pogačar and his childhood friends feel after a long and challenging season abroad, as they ride along some of the most impressive and challenging cycling trails in Slovenia.

5. Feel Slovenia podcast (Online)

In 2022, the STB launched the Feel Slovenia podcast series in English. They are aimed especially at foreign guests who would like to learn more about Slovenia. The podcast is hosted by Dr Noah Charney, an American writer and professor living in Slovenia, who through the episodes meets locals, travels, enjoys cuisine and learns about the best of Slovenia. Charney has hosted many of renowned guests, including big names in sport such as Tadej Pogačar, Ilka Štuhec and Sara Isaković, as well as a number of foreign experts such as American journalists Kate Wagner and Alex Crevar. From the launch date (24 January 2022) to 3 February 2023, 4704 downloads have been recorded.


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