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The Warsaw Voice » Society » March 31, 2011
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Promoting Poland in Berlin
March 31, 2011   
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Efforts to promote Poland at the ITB tourism fair in Berlin in March ended with a success that creates new opportunities for the development of tourism in Poland.

The ITB fair in Berlin is one of the world’s foremost travel industry events. Every year, the fair attracts about 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries worldwide. This is a huge promotional event for the tourism industry that brings together industry professionals, politicians, diplomats, journalists and opinion shapers.

This year Poland was the official partner country of the event, and was able to promote itself through various communication channels provided by the fair organizers. Poland was also the host country at the opening ceremonies, which were broadcast by dozens of television stations.

“The promotional campaign conducted in Berlin under the slogan ‘Move Your Imagination’ was designed to showcase Poland as a place of extraordinary cultural and scenic diversity and a place inhabited by creative people,” said Adam Giersz, the Polish minister of sports and tourism.

Rafał Szmytke, president of the Polish Tourism Organization (POT), said, “Our goal was to showcase Poland as an intriguing and original country that boasts tourist attractions unavailable elsewhere in Europe, a country that is young at heart, focuses on creativity and extensively uses modern technology.”

The aim of the Polish presence at ITB 2011 was to raise Poland’s profile as a country preparing to take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union and to host the European soccer championships in 2012 together with Ukraine.

More than 70 Polish companies, including 16 regions and four cities where Euro 2012 matches will be held—Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław and Gdańsk—showcased their products and services in Berlin.

Katarzyna Sobierajska, a senior official at the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, said other priorities of the Polish exhibition in Berlin were to promote the region of Warmia and Mazuria and the rapidly growing segment of post-industrial tourism as well as business tourism, which generates the greatest profits.

A tangible result of Poland’s presence at the ITB trade fair are reports about Poland in the German media.

Jan Wawrzyniak, head of a Polish tourist information center in Berlin, said, “The value of reports about the ITB 2011 fair and about Poland as this year’s partner country reached an estimated 55 million euros—according to advertising rate cards—in the period from March 2010 to March 2011.”

As the partner country Poland was the co-host and organizer of the artistic part of the fair’s opening ceremonies. The event, during which former Polish president Lech Wałęsa was guest of honor, was attended by over 4,000 tourism industry professionals from around the world.

The highlight of the evening was a multimedia show telling the story of Poland and co-designed by Tomasz Bagiński, a young Oscar-nominated Polish film director and creative director of Platige Image, a studio that specializes in computer graphics, 3D animation, digital effects and promotional productions.

“Our ambition was to show Poland as a modern country that uses advanced technology and can offer much more than just landscapes and simple entertainment,” said Bagiński. He added that this was an effective way to draw attention to Poland and Polish exhibitors, because Berlin is a multicultural city, full of artists, youth and people of various nationalities.

The show featured 3D films about the country’s natural attractions, culture, tourism and next year’s European soccer championships. There was also a spectacular dance performance choreographed by Agustin Egurrola and involving the Volt dance group and dancers from the Polish version of the international TV show You Can Dance.

A significant achievement related to Poland’s presence at the ITB trade fair was that the Polish promotional film Move Your Imagination won first prize at prestigious film festival called The Golden City Gate. According to the jury, the Polish film turned out to be the best from among more than 20 entries.

The film was made in 2010 and consists of seven short films that show Poland through the prism of emotions experienced by foreigners visiting the country. The film matches emotions with various places: Warsaw stands for youth, Cracow for love, Poznań for creativity, Gdańsk for freedom, ŁódĽ for passion, the Mazuria region for friendship, and Wrocław for music.

The promotional campaign for Poland in Berlin was part of the long-term “Let’s Promote Poland Together” program coordinated by the Polish Tourism Organization (POT) and designed to promote Poland and Polish tourism. Last year the project included marketing efforts related to the tall ship Fryderyk Chopin and its cruise around Europe. In the coming years, POT plans more promotional projects under the slogan Move Your Imagination in countries including Germany, France and Britain.
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