Posted by Ric Garrido

German Chancellor Angela Merkel opened ITB Berlin Tuesday night, March 5.

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The realization came to me that the world is a vast place as I walked for hours through convention halls looking at displays and meeting tourism representatives.

ITB Berlin 2013 has 10,086 exhibitors from 188 countries. There are about 250 bloggers in attendance.

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ITB Berlin – world’s largest tourism convention.

ITB Berlin is a huge travel convention. The size of the convention is overwhelming.

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The main function of the convention is to promote tourism. Tourism is a vital source of revenue for many regions of the world. Travel accounts for 1 of every 11 jobs globally, employing 260 million people. The travel sector accounted for $6.6 trillion dollars in global GDP in 2012.

The business side of the conference is connecting with travel suppliers to grow the travel related sectors of every region of every country around the world. From the hotel to the city to the region to the country, growing market share is the business objective.

Where is a traveler to go?

There are so many different places and a leisure traveler needs to make choices of where to go and how long to stay and what to do when you are in your travel destination.

Pictures tell the story better since so much of the convention is amazingly visual displays.

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Brazil or Brasil locally has the tag line “Sensational”. I wonder how a game would play out with a football that size. I think there would be numerous hand penalties.

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Educational moment of the day was learning Lake Baikal in Russia is the home of 60,000 freshwater Baikal seals. The booth shown here is Eastland.ru, a Russian travel and recreation company in the region.

I loved the fact that Russia exhibitors were located adjacent to the USA exhibitors in one supersize hall.

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India filled an entire hall and included the Taj Mahal display.

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India was a delight just to observe the different regional clothing being worn.

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Sanya, China is a rapidly growing beach resort area. All the major hotel chains have opened resorts over the past decade.

The exhibits I have shown here represent the BRIC developing nations where the hospitality industry has concentrated resources over the past few years. BRIC is the acronym for Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Personally I have not been to any of these four countries. They are all very appealing to me and I have the sense that Russia is moving to the top of my travel destination list.

And these are only four of the 188 countries represented at ITB Berlin.

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