How did Georgia’s “Infinite Hospitality” arrive in Berlin?

Against the background of such a “special return”, the main message of the Georgian showcase at the exhibition went beyond the slogan and represented an honest effort. Photo: Georgian National Tourism Administration, Mar 19, 2023, Tbilisi, Georgia

On March 4, I travelled from Tbilisi to Berlin, only to discover at the airport of the German capital that Georgia was still in front of me in the middle of Europe. The reason for this was the numerous advertising banners that positioned Georgia impressively with the messages of “Infinite hospitality - Georgia”, “Find Infinite Wonders”, “Meet Infinite Culture” and more. I quickly realised the Georgian adventure in Berlin was only beginning.

And why did Georgia come to the attention of the German capital on such a large scale? Why was Berlin the city hosting the promotion, and who was behind this event? The fact is that between March 6-9, ITB Berlin, the world's largest tourism exhibition, was running in the capital to involve representations from 180 countries, with Georgia as the official Host Country of the fair.

The main event was planned at the famous exhibition space of Messe Berlin. This year, ITB Berlin was a particularly large-scale and important event for the world following the three-year break caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The main message of Georgia as the Host Country was “Infinite Hospitality”, around which the opening gala concert, the Georgian tourist stands and the programme of the subsequent days were built.  About 80 Georgian companies participated in the exhibition on behalf of the country.

Together with the entire industry I expect a spectacular comeback, bursting with energy”, Dirk Hoffmann, the Managing Director of Messe Berlin, said - and indeed, the following days showed how impressive the main message of the Georgian representation was, in addition to the fair’s exhibition programme as a whole.

A few words about ITB Berlin opening

Against the background of such a “special return”, the main message of the Georgian showcase at the exhibition went beyond the slogan and represented an honest effort. A day before the grand opening, I attended the final preparatory works both at the Georgian stand of the fairgrounds and the venue of the gala concert at CityCube Berlin. State officials working to ensure the last details of the opening ceremony, exhibition organisers and popular artists from Georgia were all united around one goal - everything had to go perfectly, Georgia's hosting had to be unforgettable.




Our mission is to show Georgian infinite, beautiful culture and heritage together with the absolutely modern avant-garde of the 21st century”,  Basa Potskhishvili, the director of the opening concert said.

And this common effort did not go unnoticed.

The fair was opened by Georgian Prime Minister Irakli Garibashvili, the Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation Zurab Pololikashvili,  German Vice Chancellor Robert Habeck, Dirk Hoffmann, the Managing Director of Messe Berlin and Julia Simpson, the President of the World Travel and Tourism Council  with a “brilliant and spectacular” ceremony at CityCube Berlin.  The opening show of ITB Berlin, under the heading “Infinite Georgian Culture - From the Beginnings of Viticulture to opening Modern Avant-garde Art”, presented a 45-minute cultural programme with a brief look at the Georgian history, from the Greek myth of the Argonauts to the present day, while also featuring performances of ethno jazz and classical music artists.



The stage also was set for electronic music producers and the Sukhishvili Georgian National Ballet, with about 3,000 guests attending the show. The cultural programme also involved the popular Rustavi Ensemble in their performance of polyphonic singing, while also featuring violinist Liza Batiashvili, composer and musician Dato Evgenidze and experimental music producer Nika Machaidze.

An unforgettable dinner was also hosted late in the evening, where guests of the Messe venue could taste the best Georgian dishes and drinks, in a move highlighting gastronomy tourism as one of the leading directions of the modern worldwide tourism sector.

When you meet Georgian people [and] visit Georgian families, you will experience a phenomenon that is the [trademark] of our entire history - Georgian hospitality, which is truly infinite. For Georgians, hospitality is an identity-defining, inviolable, always living tradition despite the changes of time and circumstances, and this unique feature of the Georgian character has not disappeared even in the most difficult and dramatic periods of history”, Garibashvili said at the launch.