ITB Berlin Tourism Expo Celebrates Booming Travel Demand for 2023
The ITB Berlin tourism expo wrapped up on Thursday with the industry expecting 2023 to be a record year for travel despite economic challenges.
Held after a three-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, ITB Berlin returned to the Berlin exhibition grounds, took as its slogan “Open for Change” and opened its doors during March 7-9 for the first time as an exclusively B2B event with around 5,500 exhibitors from 161 countries.
Fully booked halls reflected the industry’s positive mood. Exhibitor numbers were especially high in the Travel Tech and Cruise segments at this year’s show. Overall, many exhibitors occupied noticeably larger stands this year and a lot of tourism companies were back after a long break. Others in turn were newcomers at this year’s ITB Berlin.
Big boost for the industry
At ITB Berlin the industry agreed that 2023 could become a record year – people’s desire for travel is back in many parts of the world.
According to the expo’s organizer Messe Berlin, only the Asia-Pacific region is lagging somewhat behind – due among other reasons to China opening up its borders late.
“Over the past few days the tourism industry has displayed incredible confidence despite the difficult overall situation and geopolitical crises,” said Messe Berlin Managing Director Dirk Hoffmann.
Over the three business days (March 7-9) a total of 90,127 attendees from more than 180 countries were in Berlin. For ITB Berlin, the ITB Buyers’ Circle with its 1,300 members was also an impressive success. Membership of this exclusive circle was limited to leading travel industry buyers. Their sales volume increased noticeably, and international participation grew from 50 per cent in 2019 to 70 per cent overall.
Personal contact crucial for the people’s business that is tourism
“This year’s ITB Berlin was proof of the vital need to meet face-to-face. We are delighted with the trade show’s spectacular comeback as a live event and the huge response from exhibitors and visitors. Our industry is a people’s business, and not without reason – everyone at ITB Berlin agreed with that,” Hoffmann said.
Numerous networking formats including the ITB Speed Networking event, get-togethers and events on exhibitors’ stands as well as evening events on the exhibition grounds and in Berlin’s city centre were proof of the desire to meet in person.
ITB Berlin Convention attracts 24,000 attendees
The ITB Berlin Convention, held live on the Berlin exhibition grounds, saw the attendance of high-profile figures that offered wide-ranging orientation on specialist subjects.
At 18 theme tracks, 400 internationally recognised top speakers took part in a total of 200 sessions and discussed highly pressing topics as well as current trends including digitalisation, Artificial intelligence and the skills shortage. Under the heading ’Mastering Transformation’, experts presented ways to turn the pressing global challenges facing the industry into opportunities. A total of 24,000 attendees visited the lectures, panels and discussions at the leading international thinktank of the travel industry.
ITB Berlin also attracted considerable media attention, with around 3,000 media members and 333 travel bloggers and high-profile international political figures at the event.
The official host country of ITB Berlin 2023 was Georgia.
GTP was at ITB Berlin 2023. A select collection of stories can be found through our special ITB Berlin 2023 section.
The next ITB Berlin will take place from 5 to 7 March (Tuesday to Thursday) 2024 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.