As a Tourism Management student, attending the ITB Berlin was an enriching and enthralling experience. The globally reputed trade fair allows opportunities for tourism entrepreneurs and students to meet and extend their contacts. The ITB is a 5-day event, with first three days reserved for businessmen and the last two days for general public. I got the opportunity to visit some really nice exhibition stalls, but despite of my earnest desire, could not visit all of them, because the area is huge and the exhibitors many.
The location and the stands of different countries were impressive. Some had been designed in with such expertise that I felt as if I am visiting the country not the stands. Documentaries, cultural events and traditional food, everything was at display.
The ITB fair attracts millions of visitors and gives opportunities for new business deals. The major participants were the Tourism Ministries and Boards, Tour operators, Travel Agents, Airlines, Transport companies, Universities, Colleges offering tourism subjects fields and many more.
The Tourism Ministry of Pakistan did not participate this year for unclear reasons. However, to my delight I saw that the Tourism Ministry of Gilgit – Baltistan with some tour operators were present at the trade fair. The presentation of stalls could have been amazingly different but due to lack of resources there was much to be desired from the Tourism Ministry.
I started thinking that we are rich and poor simultaneously because at one hand we have outstanding attractions and destinations filled with rich history and colors but on the other hand, we are constantly failing to understand their importance and use them to our benefit at a grand scale.