Worst practice as some hotels try to profiteer from #ITB2020 cancellation


(Posted 04th March 2020)

Today was the day the world’s largest tourism trade show, ITB Berlin, was due to open and then run for 5 days.
Admittedly did Messe Berlin string the 10.000 exhibitors and the 160.000 trade visitors along to the very last moment, until last Friday evening they announced that – being unable to meet the stringent safety measures imposed by German Federal Health Authorities – they had to call off the fair.
This, needless to say rocked many boats and left many of the 160.000 and 10.000 financially stranded, having paid stand fees, participation fees to their tourism boards and incurred other expenses in conjunction with a journey they would now never take.
Hotels like the global Marriott Group made it immediately clear that they would waive all cancellation charges in connection with #COVID19, as did some others too, but some of the Berlin hotels are now reportedly trying to make a buck off this misery at the expense of those already suffering from the ITB cancellation.
Standing out is the Best Western Kantstrasse Berlin and one Stefan Weis, Front Office Manager, who – believe it or not – insists that cancellation charges will be applied.

Weis wrote to a regular ATCNews reader:

Thank you for your request.
We have to inform you that a free cancellation is not possible.
In case of cancellation / no-show, we will charge the contracted cancellation fee.
We ask for your understanding
BEST regards
Stefan Weis
Front Office Manager

He is clearly unaware that his uncompromising stand will make its way around the world, and that he, the Best Western hotel he is working for and Best Western as a hotel group will take some serious flak over this, perhaps to the point of not just being named and shamed but being mobbed and trolled on social media platforms – not that ATCNews supports such measures.

If this exposure of Best Western’s business practices will yield a result, remains to be seen, but given the very large number of complaints received by ATCNews, are readers invited to share their own experiences so that other hotels, equally trying to make a few bucks off the aftermath of the ITB cancellation, can be equally exposed and challenged.
Meanwhile, shame on Mr. Stefan Weis and his bosses, for failing to read the mood of the world and for trying to profiteer from the misery #COVID19 and the ITB 2020 cancellation have caused already.


  1. Still astonished by Front Office Manager response Stefan Weis below
    Our hotel manager is aware of your note and quiet confused as you confirm to be part of our business world.
    Your threat to rate us poorly is a criminal offense under German law itself. Even to put this in a letter does not make the situation better and we may will report it.
    You accepted our booking condition during your reservation procedure.

    Our offer to charge you the first night and keep the rest as credit for a new booking is fair enough.

    The cancellation of the ITB was also beyond our control and we can assure a whole city faces an suffer a huge economic damage way beyond your imagination. Despite of the cancellation of such a huge show we still have employees and other fix costs, which is of course at your acknowledge as your are part of our business world. Our costs will not be waived!

    We would also like to point out that the cancellation was NOT made by a German authority as there was no official travel warning for Berlin nor Germany. The cancellation was initiated by the private company Messe Berlin GmbH. We do not carry the responsibility for travel reasons. Anyway there is always a possibility of a travel insurance to cover losses. Differently is the fact for China and Italy.
    Please let us know if you would like to accept our offer or not. If you do not accept it, we charge 100% cancellation fees. We are sorry to argue in such detailed way with a common business partner facing similar problems.

    Our management is informed and will also receive a copy.

    BEST regards
    Stefan Weis
    Front Office and Reservation Manager

    1. There you have it my dear readers, a response from the horse’s mouth and it is not any better than what was initially reported but ultimately worse.
      Mr. Weis now threatens another client who complained about his greedy stand instead of quietly counting his losses and plummenting reputation and reversing his profiteering decision…
      Everything ATCNews wrote was based on fact and it is now confirmed from several other sources who did not openly comment here but sent us messages!
      Bring it on Mr. Weis and Best Western Hotel Kantstrasse Berlin! You are a discredit to your profession and I wonder how Best Western will react when the heat reaches them!

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