ITB Berlin Tourism Expo Makes its Comeback as Live B2B Event
With the Messe Berlin exhibition grounds almost fully booked, following the break due to the Covid pandemic and taking as its slogan “Open for Change”, the world’s leading travel trade show ITB Berlin opened its doors on Tuesday for the first time as an event for B2B visitors only.
Around 5,500 exhibiting companies from 161 countries are taking part in this year’s ITB Berlin with high demand from the Middle East, the cruise industry and travel technology sector.
According to Messe Berlin, the high number of registrations for the Buyers Circle reflects the desire for face-to-face talks. ITB Berlin for the first time approved 1,300 handpicked buyers – nearly a third more than before the pandemic.
“Particularly in times of war, geopolitical crises and climate change, the focus of the international travel industry is on strong participation and personal dialogue at the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show, which will cater exclusively for trade visitors and run for three days as a B2B event,” said Messe Berlin Managing Director Dirk Hoffmann, adding that prior to the pandemic, customers partners had requested ITB Berlin to be held only for trade visitors.
“Αccordingly there was a positive industry response to this decision. From 1 to 3 December Messe Berlin will welcome the general public to the Berlin Travel Festival at the leisure exhibition BOAT & FUN BERLIN,” he added.
Official Host Country: Georgia
Taking as its slogan “Infinite Hospitality”, Georgia is the official host country of ITB Berlin 2023 and is presenting its wide-ranging tourism attractions with comprehensive displays, activities and events in various locations on the exhibition grounds.
On the eve of the trade show on Monday, Georgia organized ITB Berlin’s festive opening gala in the CityCube Berlin and took invited guests on an impressive tour of the cultural and ethnic diversity of the country.
Attending the opening gala were high-profile figures from politics and the industry including Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili, Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr. Robert Habeck, Governing Mayor of Berlin Franziska Giffey, President and CEO of the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Julia Simpson, and Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Zurab Pololikashvili.
ITB Berlin Convention also makes live comeback
This year at the ITB Berlin Convention, the leading thinktank for the industry, events will take place under the heading “Mastering Transformation”. At 200 sessions, 400 leading speakers will respond to the issues that concern the tourism industry both now and going forward, and on how to shape the transition to a sustainable and successful future.
Taking part in 18 theme tracks on a total of four convention stages in Halls 7.1a, 7.1b, 6.1 and 3.1, experts will be sharing their knowledge on the latest tasks and challenges facing the tourism industry. It is noted that selected sessions of the ITB Berlin Convention will be streamed on the supporting event platform ITBxplore.
Exhibitors relocated to new multi-purpose hall
Covering a total display area of 10,000 square metres, the new multi-purpose hall hub27 is the new “destination hotspot” at ITB Berlin, where exhibitors have been relocated due to restoration work on the halls around the Radio Tower.
Customers at ITB Berlin will be able to make use of the new state-of-the-art hybrid studio in Hall 5.3 to hold their own press conferences and product presentations, among them Georgia, Berlin Brandenburg Airport (BER), Mecklenburg-Vorpommern and the Maldives.
The new Business+ Lounge in Hall 7.2a and the Business Satellites in Hall 20, hub27 and 6.2b are for the first time available to all participants, who can book hourly table slots in advance or directly via itb.com. Travelport is the official sponsor of the ITB Business Satellite in Hall 6.2.b.
Rounding off networking events will be the ITB Speed Networking Event on Wednesday, 8 March, the ITB Convention Café in Hall 7.1b and events on the networking area in Hall 3.1.
Moreover, the new ITB Lighthouse Stage in Hall 4.1 will feature informative keynote speeches and presentations on adventure travel, careers and responsible tourism topics.
ITB Berlin this year is also introducing ITB Innovation Radar – a platform for showcasing innovations in tourism industry that make a technical, social, or economic impact. ITB Innovations Radar looks into the future, bringing together innovative products, novelties, and services from exhibiting suppliers at travel trade show.
In addition, the HOME OF LUXURY by ITB segment is also making its debut at ITB Berlin 2023. It offers luxury tourism buyers a unique environment in the historic Marshall Haus on the exhibition grounds and features networking events and meetings in impressive surroundings, along with panel discussions and lectures at the ITB Berlin Convention.
Airbnb among newcomers at ITB Berlin 2023
Visitors can also look forward to newcomers at ITB Berlin. Thus, Airbnb is appearing for the first time, as is Home2Go.
Out of the cruise companies present, MSC Cruises and its subsidiary Explora Journeys are represented with their own stand. Among hotel chains the Hyatt Inclusive Collection also has its own stand.
The German marketplace is also making its debut at ITB in Hall 6.2 with exhibitors including the Semperoper Dresden, Ferienpark Weissenhäuser Strand, ZEIT Verlagsgruppe and TÜV Rheinland.
This year, the Medical Pavilion is located in the dedicated Medical Hall (26c) and the LGBTQ+ Pavilion has relocated to Hall 4.1. Exhibitors there include Visit Malta which is presenting this year’s Europride.
Ticket sales for ITB Berlin 2023 are taking place online only. Those wishing to attend ITB Berlin digitally can purchase a “fully digital ticket“.
ITB Berlin will run until Thursday, March 9.
GTP will be at ITB Berlin 2023. Updates can be found through our special ITB Berlin 2023 section.