The chosen article was published on and written by Theodore Koumelis.

The article deals with an agreement that the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) and the International Tourism Exchange ITB Berlin have signed in 2006, with the aim of expanding joint activities for trade fairs and conventions.

The cooperation between the two organizations was seen as “a marketing instrument of cross selling”  and considered to be an important building block for companies in the service industry.

Essay by Eva-Maria Störmer
Master in Tourism Destination Mangement student 2008/2009

In the article the collaboration between these two associations is described as useful in order to increase the range of services on offer as well as to concentrate resources to market the products and services of both companies.

ASTA, short for the American Society of Travel Agents, is the world’s largest association of travel professionals. Their members include travel agents and the companies whose products they sell such as tours, cruises, hotels, car rentals, etc. According to the association’s webpage their mission is to facilitate the business of selling travel through effective representation, shared knowledge and the enhancement of professionalism.

The International Tourism Exchange ITB Berlin on the other hand is a fair event, a B2B-Plattform for trade visitors. With more than 180,000 visitors, among these 108,000 trade visitors, and over 10,000 exhibitors from 180 countries ITB Berlin is even the leading B2B-Platform of all tourism industry offers.

In the article it is being pointed out that in the age of globalization there is an ever-growing need for traditional segments of the tourism sector to offer internationally-oriented customers exactly the right products. This can be related to the famous saying:  `Think global – act local’, especially where global tourism is concerned.

The sentence Think Globally, Act Locally is supposed to have its origins in the association ‘Friends of the Earth International’ (FOEI), an international network of environmental organizations in almost 70 countries. The term is widely used not only in tourism but also in the marketing sector. Moreover, the sentence was finally converted into ‘glocal’. ‘Glocalization’ is a combination of globalization and localization and entails combining local, regional, and global perspectives/dimensions: the global and the local intimately intertwined.

An example from the tourism world can be tour guides, who might be considered front-runners of glocalization. They participate in global popular culture, possibly work for a large international company and use new technologies in their private lives. However, when guiding they present the actual ‘glocal’ life around them as truly ‘local’ life. This is to please the clients, who again are often international tourists so representing the global.

To refer back to the case discussed, although these two organizations seem not to be operating in the same field for 100%, it is being said that it is important for the Messe Berlin`s international strategy to expand beyond the limits of their traditional base by cooperating with international partners with the right expertise.

In the context of globalization this does not only count for International Tourism Exchange ITB Berlin but many more companies involved in tourism nowadays. As an example the activities of large aviation alliances have already paved the way.

To conclude, when it comes to global-local connections, Glocalization will be a key concept in the future business and tourism environment.