The organizers of tourism trade fair ITB Berlin have announced that its 2022 in-person event has been cancelled.
“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,” reads a statement posted on the event’s website.
“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.”
In a video posted to YouTube yesterday (Dec. 16), David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, said the past few weeks and days have “been difficult for all of us in the travel and tourism industry.”
“And the next few weeks are hardly predictable for all of us.”
Ruetz goes on to say that during the course of the year, ITB Berlin will offer “multi-optional ways” for partners to engage and connect.
The announcement comes as the COVID-19 Omicron variant is expected to be the dominant coronavirus variant in the European Union’s 27 nations by mid-January, the European Commission President’s Ursula von der Leyen said on Wednesday (Dec. 15).
ITB Berlin organizers said they “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,” their statement reads. “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.”
As such, ITB Berlin has scheduled the Digital Business Day and ITB Berlin Convention to go ahead in March and has plans for more industry highlights during 2022
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," reads a statement from organizers. "Along with the pressing global challenges of digitization 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 March 17, 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.
The Digital Business Day is a further addition to the ITB brand family with the purpose of expanding an existing customer base to reach new audiences.
"The key themes will be networking and business and on-demand programme content. The event platform will already be available for matchmaking and scheduling appointments before the Digital Business Day on March 17, including on mobile end devices," organizers said.
Also: the World’s Leading Travel Trade 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 B2B events at various locations in Europe, where providers and buyers can get together.
With these events, ITB Berlin is continuing the success story of the established Travel Meet Asia and ITB China Travel MeetUp events organized by the international ITB brands ITB Asia and ITB China in their respective Asian and Chinese markets.
In March 2023, ITB Berlin will return with an in-person event, organizers said.
ITB Berlin 2023 will open on March 8 and in accordance with the wishes of all market players will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.