As the Omicron variant of Covid-19 drives up case numbers across Europe, organisers Messe Berlin have announced that the in-person portion of ITB Berlin will not take place early next year.
Instead, in March, the industry’s largest event will focus on a livestreamed convention and digital business day.
In-person ITB Berlin satellite events may be held throughout the year, depending on circumstances.
Messe Berlin’s CEO, Martin Ecknig, explained: “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.
“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.”
In the spring, the ITB Berlin Convention will present significant and up-to-date industry content.
The largest thinktank for the travel industry will be livestreamed from the on-site studio in Hall 5.3 throughout the period originally set for ITB in March.
The key themes during the event represents the dynamic situation and transformation that the industry and ITB are both facing.
ITB Berlin is focusing on resilience, an important topic, in addition to the pressing global concerns of digitalisation and sustainability.
ITB Berlin’s digital business day on March 17th will allow tourism service providers from across the world to exchange perspectives virtually, even if they do not have a physical booth.
Even in these times of pandemic and travel restrictions, as a virtual industry marketplace, this event brings together providers and buyers from all over the world for speed networking sessions.
Throughout the year, the show plans to go on the road with in-person satellite events in several European cities.
These one-day business-to-business events, which will take place as a roadshow around Europe, will bring together providers and buyers.
“We deeply regret this situation,” ITB Berlin director David Ruetz said.
“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.”
David Ruetz added, “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.”
– India’s new age travel digital media