25 years "Fall of the Berlin Wall” as a main topic in Halls 12 and 13 / Further topics: sport and accessibility / Weekend tip: autographs from Berlin's professional athletes

Berlin at ITB 2014

Berlin, 3 March 2014 Berlin welcomes the world at ITB Berlin from 5–9 March. Once again, Berlin and its neighbouring state of Brandenburg will have a joint presence as Germany's capital region at this year's ITB Berlin at Messe Berlin under the Funkturm. In Hall 12, around 80 partners from Berlin and Brandenburg will be showcasing their offerings for 2014 under the umbrella of visitBerlin and TMB Tourismus-Marketing Brandenburg GmbH.

"ITB is like playing a home game for Berlin," says visitBerlin CEO Burkhard Kieker. "By speaking with colleagues in the global travel industry, we put Berlin on their agenda. Both at the exhibition and across the city as a whole, Berlin is showing its international guests that it has become a trendy, open-minded city of freedom in the 25 years since the fall of the Wall."

In addition to tourism partners, three themed interactive areas at the Berlin-Brandenburg stand invite visitors to get stuck in spending some time exploring our region.

Interactive Exhibit on the 25th Anniversary of the Fall of the Berlin Wall
In 2014, Berlin is celebrating a quarter century since the Berlin Wall fell and the city was reunited. Visitors will be drawn to the 1,600 m2 stand by an original piece of the Berlin Wall, representative of one of the most significant events in recent German history. Visitors can decorate a four-metre high piece of the Wall in Hall 12 as well. Historic photos and film clips provide information about the event. To mark the anniversary, visitBerlin is releasing its latest publication "The Wall: Berlin's Most Exciting Mystery" at ITB. For more information about the Berlin Wall, go to wall.visitBerlin.com.

For the first time, visitBerlin has also rented Hall 13. The hall will house a display developed in cooperation with Kulturprojekte Berlin GmbH that will give a preview of the upcoming anniversary. The light installation across the city of Berlin that is planned for the weekend of 9 November is featured. The illuminated balloons will extend for twelve kilometres along the former border between East and West. They will give the hundreds of thousands of people expected to turn out for the celebration a dignified impression of how incomprehensible and serious the nearly three decades of division were for the city's residents.

Berlin for Sports Fans
In addition to culture and research, sport is one of the city's key strengths. Accordingly, Berlin is also featuring its role as a hotspot for sport for the first time at ITB. The sports stand will feature three trophies won in the past season by the city's professional sports clubs Alba Berlin, Berlin Recycling Volleys and the Eisbären. After three days for trade guests only, ITB opens up to the general public on the weekend. That's when stars from 1. FC Union, Eisbären Berlin, Alba Berlin and Olympiastützpunkt will be giving autographs. In addition, Berlin sports mascots Herthinho, Ritter Keule, Albatros, Charly, Fuchsi and Bully will be on hand all day for some family fun helping visitors big and small explore the Berlin stand. Sporting visitors can join in on Wii games consoles and participate in a raffle. For more information about Berlin as a hotspot for sport, go to: sport.visitBerlin.com .

Berlin Open to All – Accessibility in Tourism

Accessibility is one of the key tasks for the future in Berlin's tourism industry. The goal: everyone coming to Berlin should be able to participate in everything the city offers, regardless of their special needs. This is why one of the interactive areas at ITB focuses on "Accessible Berlin". visitBerlin, in cooperation with the Otto Bock Science Center, is showing how the capital could and should be made accessible to all. An interactive app and a wheelchair test are presented.

visitBerlin, as a partner of the federal initiative "Tourism for All in Germany", is also providing information on the initial steps that are being taken to offer people with disabilities a barrier-free Berlin experience. In an initial step to identify establishments that are already accessible, data has been collected by Berlin Tourist Infos, several hotels and shipping companies. Together with the project sponsor, the Deutsches Seminar für Tourismus, visitBerlin is presenting the options that would make wider participation possible.

Politicians Visiting on 5 March
In addition to the visit of Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit to the Berlin stand (5 March, 10am–12noon), visitBerlin is also expecting to welcome Madrid Mayor Ana Botella Serrano to sign a tourism marketing cooperation agreement between Madrid and Berlin (5 March, 12noon). State Secretary Ephraim Gothe of the Senate Ministry for Urban Development and Environment will sign an agreement setting targets agreed by the "Accessible City" Roundtable (5 March, 2pm).

visitBerlin presents its new blog to the blog scene
Just in time for ITB, the newly redesigned blog.visitBerlin.com will be presented to the travel blogger community as part of a blogger speed dating event. In addition, visitBerlin is supporting the ITB 2014 blogger event "TravelEvolution", which is organised by Travel Massive and the travel start-up GoEuro. International bloggers and travel writers are invited to this networking event being held the night before ITB opens.

At last year's ITB, 10,086 exhibitors from 188 countries presented their products and services to around 170,000 visitors, including 110,000 trade visitors and 7,000 journalists.

More information available at visitBerlin.com; a hall plan can be downloaded here.