Taleb Rifai looks to future at ITB Berlin

Taleb Rifai looks to future at ITB Berlin

UNWTO secretary-general Taleb Rifai has opened ITB Berlin with a well received speech urging tourism insiders to lead a “new decade of fairer, stronger and more sustainable growth”.

Drawing applause on the first day of the event – staged for the 45th time this year – Rifai said: “The first decade of the 21st century was a decade of extraordinary tourism growth, but also of severe shocks: a decade that began with September 11th and ended with global economic crisis.

“Now – with recovery under way and international tourist arrivals up by seven per cent in 2010 – is the time to look forward and ask what the next ten years hold for our sector.”

He was greeted by a fully booked event, which will play host to 11,163 exhibiting companies and organisations from 188 countries over the next week.

Read the full UNWTO speech here.

ITB Berlin

About 100,000 trade visitors and 60,000 members of the public are also expected to attend the annual extravaganza.

Tunisia and Egypt will outline their tourism industries’ plans following the recent political turmoil.

Egypt occupies an entire hall for the first time, enabling its floor area to be increased to three times its previous size, in preparation for its appearance as the partner country of ITB Berlin in 2012.

Poland - 2011 partner country – has also been showcases its attractions along with the venues and new football stadiums for EURO 2012.

Below: Poland prepares for its role as partner country for ITB Berlin 2011