People, Travel

Focus on ITB Berlin

Focus on ITB BerlinFocus on ITB Berlin

The prestigious ITB Berlin, one of the world’s most anticipated tourism fairs, will begin its five-day run on March 9, and Iranians want to capitalize on the buzz generated around the country thanks to the lifting of economic sanctions two months ago.

ITB Berlin draws tens of thousands of industry insiders, businesspeople and potential tourists from across the planet every year in the spring. Last year, 11,000 companies used the platform to familiarize the exhibition’s 170,000 visitors with their services and their countries’ attractions.

The German exhibition has been one of the rarest international events in which Iranian tourism companies and travel agencies have consistently participated.

Unlike the past several years when the Iranian delegation would get a corner pavilion, this year an entire hall, Hall A7, has been rented by the Kish Free Zone Organization and the Iran Federation of Tourist Guides’ Associations, which have sublet pavilions in the hall to Iranian participants at affordable prices, according to the president of the IFTGA, Ebrahim Pourfaraj.

The hall has an area of 1,180 square meters.

“It’s essential to use this opportunity to present the world with the real image of Iran,” he told the travel news website

It is unclear how many firms from Iran are set to participate at the fair, which concludes on March 13.

Depending on various criteria, the organizers of ITB Berlin choose one nation every year as the trade fair’s partner country, which involves the promotion of chosen country’s attractions in Germany and elsewhere in Europe by ITB organizers.

This year’s partner country is the Maldives, while last year it was Mongolia.


  Rebuilding Credibility

“We’re aiming to rebuild our reputation and hopefully become a partner country for the event’s 2018 edition,” Pourfaraj said.

International travel exhibitions offer some of the most cost-effective opportunities for exploring overseas markets, introducing new packages, and attracting investment.

In January, Iran sent one of its biggest delegations yet to the reputable Fitur 2016, held in the Spanish capital Madrid (January 20-24) — but it failed to take full advantage of the opportunity.

Despite Iran being one of the most popular pavilions in the event, the country’ representatives were not well prepared, especially when it came to presenting investment packages to potential financiers.

More specifically, the Iranian delegation did not have a list of investment opportunities, despite repeated claims by Masoud Soltanifar, the head of the Iran Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, that his organization has prepared a package of 1,500 projects.