The Best Travel Fair in Central Europe – actb

actb - A Strong Brand Enters its Second Year

The actb, the austrian and central European travel business, Austria’s biggest tourism trade fair will be staged for the second time at Messe Wien in Vienna, January 25-27.

Lively exhibitor demand
The relaunch of the event in 2007 may have been accompanied by a dose of skepticism, but demand for stands at the actb’s second edition shows that the fair has already established itself as a fixture on the tourism trade fair calendar. This year 338 stands were rented against 302 in 2007, reflecting the positive reaction to the addition of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia as exhibiting nations. Exhibitors from Tyrol in particular are a prominent presence with thirty-eight stands.
Demand on the buyer side has remained stable. This year 852 buyers from 58 countries and 173 journalists from 40 nations will visit the actb.

Petra Stolba, chief executive officer of the Austrian National Tourist Office (ANTO) states “the actb’s second year with increased demand for stand space is eloquent confirmation that the relaunch is a win-win situation for all, and I am confident that this year’s actb will prove a terrific success”.

The 2008 actb also has a theme of extraordinary appeal: the UEFA European Football Championship™. The event is being promoted in co-operation with the host cities, provincial tourism organizations, Switzerland Tourism, and Intersport at the “Euro Zone”. Here visitors can put their dribbling prowess to the test on a special course. The kick-off follows the press conference on January 28 at about 11:00 am. Nicola Watzinger, a player in the Austrian Bundesliga and spokeswoman for the Vienna Tourist Board, will set the record to beat or match. The winner takes home two tickets for the finals in Vienna.The opening evening in Vienna’s Rathaus revolved around the biggest sporting event in Austria’s history: the UEFA European Football Championship™. Christian Schmoelzer, Tournament director Austria for UEFA EM 2008™, brought the Henri Delaunay Trophy, the actual UEFA European Football Championship™ cup, along to the gala, and underscored the close relationship with the Austrian host cities—Innsbruck, Salzburg, Klagenfurt, and Vienna.
Petra Stolba expressed her anticipation proclaiming, “we have the chance—indeed the responsibility—of presenting ourselves as friendly and enthusiastic, in short, the perfect hosts”. Enthusiastic too was audience’s applause for the spectacular “We Will Rock You” show based on the music of pop group “Queen” that the Vienna Tourist Board staged at the evening gala.

Coming attractions: Linz and Haydn 2009
Linz, “European City of Culture” in 2009
, and the Haydn anniversary the same year are both just around the corner after the football frenzy. Interest was great among actb-participants after pre-convention tours to Linz and locations associated with the life of the great composer in Vienna, Lower Austria and Burgenland. A third pre-actb tour was dedicated to football and Salzburg: the city of Salzburg and provincial tourist board inviting those taking part to a “Football Festival for Europe”.

Innovations at the actb
This year’s actb brings with it a number of innovations: For the first time the fair is taking place in the attractive Hall A of Reed Messe. And for the first time too smoking has been banned in the entire exhibition venue with the exception of the cafés. Apropos cafés: there are no fewer than three Austrian cafés at the actb—the Linz09 Café, a cozy Salzburg alpine chalet, and the Imperial Austria Café run by Schönbrunner Tiergarten GmbH. The actb’s central European partner lands invite fair visitors to relax at Café Gerbeaud, Café Ljubljana, and Café Czech Republic.

Another new feature is the joint press conference to be held by the Danube Tourist
Commission, and the actb’s partner countries, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Slovenia. The central theme of the international press conference will be the impact on tourism of Schengen Zone enlargement.

Hospitality suites are more appealing and attractive too: this year for the first time a
congenial Viennese Heuriger, or wine garden, will put guests from around the world in the mood for a holiday in Austria with Weingut Wolf staging a culinary journey through “Wineland Austria”. Other hospitality suites are “Feel Slovenia” at Naturhistorisches Museum, a night of “Imperial Clubbing & Joseph Haydn 2009” in the Piaristenkeller, and “Spot (Light) Night” at Arcotel Wimberger, while Kursalon Hübner presents “Strauss meets the Seventies”.

Additional information about actb can be found at
www.austriatourism.com/actb and