Its gloomy news for the travel fraternity and the media who were looking forward to attend ITB in person and have the pleasure of interacting with friends, colleagues, peers and develop new contacts as ITB goes virtual again feels Chandragupta Amritkar.
Developments surrounding the coronavirus pandemic prevent making reliable plans for a large in-person event – ITB Berlin is focusing on a livestreamed convention and Digital Business Day in March 2022 as well as in-person ITB Berlin satellite events during 2022 – Resilience, digitisation and sustainability are key themes – Single website itb.com as an entry point for exploring the whole range of ITB brands.
The in-person edition of ITB Berlin 2022 will not take place as originally planned. Owing to the latest developments and accompanying directives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Messe Berlin is unable to afford its exhibitors and partners the necessary planning certainty with the holding of an in-person ITB Berlin in early March. The current situation surrounding the pandemic, as well as the tightened travel restrictions and limits imposed on the numbers that can take part in large events made Messe Berlin take this step. “Naturally, we examined the possibility of postponing ITB Berlin until summer. However, after consulting with our partners we decided to retain the dates in early March. These are important for the travel industry, as the summer months are the main period for travel and tourism operations. The annual dates of ITB Berlin are deliberately chosen, as our customers mostly do business now or around March. For this reason, we are strengthening the digital elements of ITB Berlin at the ITB Berlin Convention and Digital Business Day. We are doing everything to support a travel industry hard-hit by the pandemic and in 2022 are planning a series of additional services and events in virtual and in-person formats”, commented Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.
“We deeply regret this situation”, added David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin. “As the organisers, we made every effort to make it possible to hold ITB Berlin as an in-person event again in the German capital. Particularly in these times, the industry needs orientation, inspiration and dialogue. However, after taking the situation surrounding the pandemic and the tightening of rules into account, it leaves us with no option but to further adjust the concept for 2022 and offer our exhibitors and visitors a clear picture and the necessary planning certainty before the Christmas break. With the livestreamed convention and Digital Business Day as well as our new regional travel events during the year, we are offering the industry a wide range of fascinating content and new business opportunities in 2022.”
Digital Business DayAs usual, the ITB Berlin Convention will provide important and up-to-date industry content. The international travel industry’s largest thinktank will be livestreamed in the period originally scheduled for ITB in March 2022 via itb.com from the on-site studio in Hall 5.3. The dynamic situation and change the industry and ITB are both facing is reflected in the key themes at this year’s event. Along with the pressing global challenges of digitisation and sustainability, ITB Berlin is also placing the spotlight on resilience, an important topic. Against the backdrop of more frequent crises resilience is becoming indispensable for industry actors, which is why next year’s ITB Berlin Convention is devoting time to this topic.
With its Digital Business Day on Thursday, 17 March, ITB Berlin will give tourism service providers around the world the opportunity to exchange views virtually, even without a physical stand, on itb.com and to come together for business, enabling them to generate maximum trade from any place in the world.