German federal state and ITB Berlin 2018 seal partnership

The partnership confirming Mecklenburg-Vorpommern the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2018 has been sealed. Accordingly, on Thursday 12 October 2017, State Minister of Economics, Employment and Health Harry Glawe, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics of Messe Berlin GmbH Dr. Martin Buck, Chairman of the Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Wolfgang Waldmüller, and David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, signed a partnership agreement at the International House of Tourism in Rostock. On Saturday, 14 October 2017 a public tree-planting ceremony will also take place in Göhren-Lebbin in the Mecklenburg Lake District, at which ITB Berlin will become a forest shareholder. As part of its firm commitment towards society and the environment this move underlines ITB Berlin’s support for a sustainability project launched ten years ago in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern which offsets visitors’ carbon emissions. In 2018, in collaboration with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and for the first time in the history of ITB Berlin, the opening ceremony will leave a zero carbon footprint.

”Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany’s leading holiday destinations. As the first federal state to occupy this role we are sending out a strong signal. We want to, and indeed must, increase our appeal still further, particularly on the international market. Our partnership with ITB Berlin will also have an impact within the industry, for we want to and we must improve. Our companies and service providers are up against international competition, and in a rapidly changing market“, said Minister of Economics and Tourism Harry Glawe.

Chairman of the Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Wolfgang Waldmüller added:”We are looking forward to organising Mecklenburg-Vorpommern appearance at ITB Berlin 2018. This is a big challenge, which we gladly accept, and it gives us the opportunity to score points on the international market. ITB Berlin should not only be the first milestone of the holiday season, it should also make it easier to attract more international attention and increase awareness for tourism in the state”.

Mecklenburg-Vorpommern was able to see off its competitors due, among other things, to its sustainable tourism concept which matches the activities of the trade show in this field. Those travelling to visit the federal state in Germany’s northeast can offset their carbon footprint. This can be done by purchasing so-called forest shares, 85,000 of which have already been sold. As a result extensive reforesting is now taking place, and as part of the project five square metres of mixed woodland can be planted for ten euros.

”With its Baltic coastline and well-known Lake District, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is one of Germany’s most attractive federal states. Ever since 1991 the partner country of ITB has been an important exhibitor at the show. We are delighted that for the first time in the history of ITB a federal state will be taking on such an important role, and that as the official partner country it will be the focus of the travel industry’s attention. As the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show®, ITB Berlin is the ideal platform for presenting the state to the media and the public and to highlight the extraordinary hospitality and great diversity of this holiday region. The extremely positive development of tourism in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern over more than two decades as well as the uninterrupted growth in visitors to this federal state are definitely a success story“, said Dr. Martin Buck, Senior Vice President, Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin.

At ITB Berlin 2017 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern occupied a stand covering 400 square metres and provided trade visitors and the general public with information on its tourism attractions in Hall 6.2. According to the Statistics Office, last year the state registered 30.3 million overnights. Tourism is a mainstay of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern’s economy and currently provides jobs for a total of 130,000 people. Furthermore, annual gross turnover in this sector is around 4.1 billion euros, and consumption by visitors totals 7.75 billion euros.