MESSE BERLIN CONFIRMS CANCELLATION OF ITB 2022 FOR THIRD CONSECUTIVE YEAR
(Posted 17th December 2022)
Messe Berlin, the organizers of the world’s largest and most important tourism show, has confirmed that the 2022 event will once again not take place in the previous format, where exhibitors and buyers could meet on their stands. Messe Berlin pointed out that they wanted to give the industry planning clarity ahead of the upcoming end of year festive season break.
Said Messe Berlin in their statement: ‘With great regret we have to inform you today, that 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.
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. 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.
In March 2023 ITB Berlin will be back again with an in-person event. ITB Berlin 2023 will open on 8 March and in accordance with the wishes of all market players will take place on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.‘
Industry pundits were quick to point out that the promise, to hold the event again in 2023, was one made standing on thin ice as past such promises did not come through. Should the pandemic situation during the course of 2022 not be brought under full control, once again allowing travel trade fairs to take place in past formats of people meeting people face to face, another cancellation could be on the cards and the format be changed to a virtual event.
Added Messe Berlin in their statement: ‘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.‘
The statement by Messe Berlin also added the following information:
Daily updates on the new concept will be available from January 2022 at itb.com. For information on the subjects of cancellation, new conditions of participation, ticketing and the Digital Business Day please refer to the FAQs.
As 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. 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 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 17 March, including on mobile end devices.