Discover Diversity - New Paths to the Caribbean at ITB

The diversity of the Caribbean’s tourism product and how the region can take greater advantage of the German market will be the subject of discussions at a specially organised event at ITB Berlin 2005, scheduled for March 11 - 15, 2005 in Berlin, Germany.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO) and Messe Berlin, the trade fair organisers, have joined forces to present the 6 “Karibik Forum” as a lively and informative presentation and debate for the European travel trade press and delegates of ITB. It will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2005, starting at 11:00 a.m. in Hall 7 at the International Congress Centre.

The forumü entitled “Discover Diversity - New Paths to the Caribbean”, will focus on how to encourage both the trade and consumers to explore the diversity of the region, through an expanded tour operator product range,” said Julia Hendry, CTO’s director of marketing in Europe.

“Germany is the largest outbound market in the world.Ê Germans are entitled to at least five weeks annual holiday and there is terrific potential for the Caribbean to take a bigger share of this enormous outbound market, particularly with the current strength of the euro against the dollar,” Mrs. Hendry observed. “In a strong, vertically integrated market, packages to Cuba and the Dominican Republic do extremely well but we need to encourage a wider spread of business to the region.”

“The CTO “Karibik Forum” brings together an anticipated audience of over 100 visiting delegates, including: ministers, commissioners, and directors of tourism; members of the press; and four of the main German tour operators to explore new paths to the Caribbean and focus on the sheer diversity of the entire region,” Mrs. Hendry noted.

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The speakers’ list includes: Karen Ford-Warner, acting secretary general of CTO, who will update participants on the Caribbean’s performance; Roland Junker, Neckerman Fernreisen, and Steffan Boehke of TUI, who will speak on behalf of the mass charter market operators; Jorn Krausser of Dertour will share his experience as a specialist operator; Achim Schneider of Vtours, a web based operator, will provide an insight into reaching the consumer from an IT perspective; and Simon Dorrien from Martinair will answer questions on airlift to the region from Central Europe. The moderator is Peter Brinkmann, managing correspondent of the Berlin Daily newspaper, Berliner Kurier, and show host of TV Berlin programme City Talk.ÊÊ

As it has done in the past, CTO has designed and decorated a Caribbean Village covering almost 3,000 square metres, which will host over 50 exhibitors, including some 20 CTO member countries.ÊÊ

This year’s ITB Berlin is expected to attract over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries, 6,700 journalists from 84 countries, and over 140,000 visitors of which more than 75,000 are trade.

In addition to the forum, a German public radio station, Deutschlandfunk, will broadcast live from the Village on Sunday, March 13.Ê The Village will also host the traditional Caribbean Sunset Hour when Caribbean ministers, commissioners and directors of tourism will chat with European travel industry partners and the media over Caribbean drinks and snacks.Ê This event takes place on Monday, March 14.Ê ÊÊ


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