Organisers Messe Berlin have said the in-person part of ITB Berlin will not take place early next year as the Omicron variant of Covid-19 drives up case numbers across Europe. Instead, the industry-leading show will focus on a livestreamed convention and digital business day in March.
Depending on circumstances, there may also be in-person ITB Berlin satellite events during the year “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,” explained Martin Ecknig, chief executive of Messe Berlin. “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. “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.”
The ITB Berlin Convention will provide important and up-to-date industry content in the spring. The largest thinktank for the travel industry will be livestreamed in the period originally scheduled for ITB in March 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 the event. Along with the pressing global challenges of digitisation and sustainability, ITB Berlin is also placing the spotlight on resilience, an important topic.
With its digital business day on March 17th, ITB Berlin will give tourism service providers around the world the opportunity to exchange views virtually, even without a physical stand.
As a virtual industry marketplace, even in these times of the pandemic and travel restrictions this event brings providers and buyers together at speed networking sessions from all over the world.
The show is planning to go on the road during the year with in-person satellite events at individual European destinations. Taking place as a roadshow, these will be one-day business-to-business events at various locations in Europe, where providers and buyers can get together.
“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.”