All four SIPPO countries that support the sustainable tourism sector, Albania, Colombia, North Macedonia and Peru, supported BSOs in their presence at the ITB in Berlin, the most important and largest travel fair in the world. Using two concrete examples, we will show how SIPPO's support works and what impact the presence of BSOs at ITB has for the sustainable tourism in North Macedonia and Peru.
Albania presented its country with a new concept of a National Pavilion run by SIPPOs BSO National Tourism Agency NTA plus a big stand of the Albanian Travel Union where the SMEs were promoting their offers. Colombia was represented by the BSOs PROCOLOMBIA and ACOTUR, both of which were supported by SIPPO in the preparation of the fair.
Successful cooperation between SIPPO North Macedonia and BSO APST
SIPPO North Macedonia supported the BSO "Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism" APST, a governmental organization with a mandate for export promotion in the tourism sector. APST is responsible for the promotion of the country as a tourism destination, and for organizing national country pavilions at various international tourism trade fairs where the private sector is presenting its offer. SIPPO North Macedonia has been collaborating with APST since Phase 1 of the new SIPPO mandate.
SIPPO supported APST in the preparatory work for its participation at ITB. Two main objectives were set for this year’s ITB:
- Focus on Sustainability and build relationships with relevant European organizations in this field
- Focus on the German market and build working relations with peer German organizations
In addition, SIPPO supported APST to create a preparation manual for all the co-exhibitors at the national pavilion and to develop and implement a targeted digital promotional campaign for a number of selected markets.
Focus on sustainable tourism concepts
North Macedonia is working on sustainability in the tourism sector, and it is at the beginning of a long and exciting journey. Therefore, one of the goals of the BSO APST at this ITB was to establish relations with relevant organizations in this field in Europe with whom it work in joint activities in the future. SIPPO supported the BSO and facilitated meetings with Green Destinations and Travelife, two important organizations in this field. SIPPO accompanied the signing of MOUs between APST and these two organisations.
Presenting sustainable tourism concepts of North Macedonia to the German markets
The German tourism market is important for the North Macedonian travel industry, and APST wants to intensify activities aiming at this market in the upcoming years. For this reason, SIPPO supported the BSO in establishing contacts with two important tourism organizations from Germany - Forum Anders Reisen (FAR) and ALLIANCE OF INDEPENDENT TRAVEL TRADERS R.A. (ASR). The FAR is strongly focused on sustainable travel and tourism, and ASR is uniting small and medium-sized enterprises of the tourism sector in Germany. APST signed MOUs with both organizations. This will lead to a better exchange of information between the German and North Macedonian tourism markets, to the organisation of a promotional event for those members of the organization who are interested in the North Macedonian market, and to the organization of a fam tour in North Macedonia with meetings between tourism businesses from both countries.
Impact of ITB on sustainable tourism in North Macedonian
The presence of the BSO APST at ITB promoted contacts with relevant organizations and the cooperation in the field of sustainable tourism. By agreeing on concrete activities, the links between the German and North Macedonian tourism sectors will be strengthened which will increase the number of German tourists in North Macedonia in the coming years.
SIPPO Peru and BSO PROMPERU support study tour to the German market
SIPPO Peru supported PROMPERU in the preparation and organization of the first international study tour for 13 Peruvian SMEs from the tourism sector. SIPPO’s role was to provide technical support to the BSO and its SMEs to participate at the trade fair. SIPPO gave advice on accessing the German and European markets and on conducting market research at the fair.
PROMPERU’s study tour is part of the Commercial Program for Tourism Companies that PROMPERU offers for Peruvian tourism companies. This training initiative consists of 10 virtual courses that prepare SMEs on topics such as sales, digital transformation, innovation, market intelligence and commercial operations and aims to strengthen the commercial capabilities of Peruvian travel agencies and lodging establishments. Once the SMEs have completed all the courses, they can take part in a study tour to visit an international trade fair.
A local expert was hired to conduct a pre-fair workshop and organise the programme for the group in Berlin. PROMPERU, SIPPO Peru and the local consultant held various meetings to organise the pre-fair workshop and the programme for the activities in Berlin. The pre-fair workshop included training in negotiation skills, effective communication and networking for the BSO and the SMEs. PROMPERU also sent out a questionnaire to the 13 SMEs to better understand their objectives and interests in attending the fair.
Making innovative approaches and successful sustainability models visible
For PROMPERU and SIPPO Peru, the aim of the study tour was to strengthen the knowledge and the capabilities of the BSO and its 13 SMEs. It included site visits, visits to innovative tourism offerings and meetings with German travel associations. Under the guidance of PROMPERU and SIPPO, the SMEs also participated in the ITB Convention, where they learned about sustainable tourism, digitalisation, adventure travel, etc. PROMPERU and SIPPO Peru selected all these activities to visualise innovative approaches and successful sustainability models and to facilitate the access to the German market.
Development of new tourism products
In the coming weeks, a follow-up meeting will be held with the BSO and the SME group to summarise findings and identify areas for improvement for future activities. BSO PROMPERU will support the SMEs in developing new and innovative tourism products which they got to know at ITB.