ITB Berlin (1999) at Messe Exhibition Center
Berlin Travel Blog› entry 5 of 7 › view all entries
It was that time of year again. The ITB organizers had sent our fair requirements, registration for sellers, buyers, and visitors. My country participated every year taking about ten to fifteen travel companies who were willing to pay the price. The government subsidized by paying for the space (so many square feet based on cost) and then the marketing team made sure it was demarcated based on who paid for attendance in time. The Uganda Tourist Board coordinated this event every year and preparations began six months in advance to give the tour and travel operators’ time to prepare. This year again, my employer Mweya Safari Lodge chose me as a representative of Mweya on the Uganda stand. Having done this the year before, I felt more comfortable with the process and preparations.
The Uganda team this year included ten companies namely, Mweya Safari Lodge, Semliki Safaris, Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Uganda Wildlife Authority, African Pearl Safaris, Uganda Tourist Board, Volcanoes Safaris, Churchill All Africa Safaris, Lake Kitandara Tours and Travel and Sarova lodges. My sister Molly was the marketing manager for Sarova lodges in Uganda, at this time Sarova owned Paraa Safari Lodge in Murchison Falls National Park (now owned and managed by the Madhvani family). Can you imagine the competition we had promoting rivaling lodges? As a team, we were all to stay at one hotel (well not really, but it was cost effective), a place which the Marketing Manager Ignatius Nakishero had found worked for other countries.
Caution: Hotels in Berlin are fully booked six months to a year prior to the ITB fair, it is advised that if you plan on visiting the fair, you book your hotels in advance, better yet have someone you know (family or a TB?, hahahaaaa). But I sincerely encourage you to at least attend this fair once, it will give you insight into what travel is and how big and beautiful the world is, let alone the people of the world.