The Georgian Prime Minister kicked off the world’s largest travel trade show followed by a sensational ceremony of traditional dance and music at the CityCube Berlin on Monday
Under the heading “Infinite Georgian culture – from the beginnings of viniculture to modern avant-garde art”, people attending the ITB Opening Gala were taken on a journey through Georgia’s cultural and ethnic diversity.
Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili opened the event stressing Georgia’s role as a cradle for humankind and European cultural heritage, followed by a brilliant display of traditional dances and music. Some of the best examples of the country’s performing arts were put on display, from ethno jazz and classical music to traditional singing and electronic music.
The audience was also treated to a performance by the world-famous Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet. Divided into six acts, the Rustavi Ensemble presented traditional Georgian singing and impressed with its unique Georgian style of polyphonic singing.
The Georgian Philharmonic Orchestra also graced the stage, directed by Maestro Nikoloz Rachveli with the internationally renowned opera soprano Nino Machaidze and Lisa Batiashvili, the world-famous Georgian-born German violinist and award-winning artist.
Also present was Georgian pianist Dudana Mazmanishvili, who has been causing a sensation on stages around the world, as well as the Georgian composer and musician Dato Evgenidze.
During the opening ceremony, Dr Robert Habeck, Germany’s Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action, Berlin’s Governing Mayor Franziska Giffey and Dirk Hoffmann, Managing Director of Messe Berlin, welcomed guests from all over the world to this year’s ITB Berlin, both insisting on the importance for the industry to take action to fight climate change.
Other well-known representatives of the travel industry speaking at the opening included Julia Simpson, President & CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), and Zurab Pololikashvili, Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO, who addressed the crowd on an optimistic note “Travel always comes back!”