65,700 Users Visited Digital ITB Berlin NOW
From March 8 to 12, 2021, the world’s leading travel fair ITB Berlin gathered the industry on its new and completely virtual platform at ITB Berlin NOW.
Due to the pandemic, around 65,700 users of the online platform took place digitally during the five-day event, around two thirds (64.5 percent) of them from other countries.
As a slogan ‘The digital meet-up for the travel industry. At any time. Somewhere.‘, the fair offered the participants a unique virtual meeting point in one of the most challenging times of the past few decades.
3,513 exhibitors from travel destinations, hotel chains and technology companies from 120 countries used the new format to present their products and services. There was also a lot of media interest. Over 1,000 media representatives and travel bloggers from 54 countries reported live on the event.
80 percent of the participants used the network functions, which included business meetings via individual and group calls, chats and searching for business partners.
During the ITB, the event program recorded around 52,600 participants over a total of 265 hours: around 700 speakers in more than 400 roundtable discussions at the congress, giving lectures and interviews, participating in exhibitor presentations and press conferences, and expressing their views on how the industry is overcoming the effects of the pandemic and can initiate a successful recovery. Many companies have been creative with their events, for example in the Balearic Islands holding a press conference live in the port of Palma de Mallorca.
Martin Ecknig, Managing Director of Messe Berlin said: “The last 12 months have shown how important it is for the travel industry to have a platform in these difficult times to find a special meeting place after months of uncertainty and in such an exceptional situation. In particular, there was great interest in the numerous networking opportunities that reflect the quality of ITB Berlin NOW users. Four out of five contact requests resulted in a successful business match. The successful conclusion of a week with live events showed the additional advantages of this virtual solution. For ITB Berlin, NOW is not over yet. Meetings can also be scheduled after the event, and content and other functions will remain online until May 31, 2021. During the period of this service, all users can expand their reach even further, find important information and contacts, network with one another and evaluate their results and access to program elements. At the same time, customers are very keen to be back in Berlin as usual next year. “
Looking ahead: next ITB Berlin 2022 from March 9th to 13th
The ITB Berlin is to take place as a personal event in Berlin from next year March 9-13, 2022. “The experience gained at ITB Berlin NOW will influence our planning for March 2022. We will use the knowledge we have gained and combine it with our decades of experience in organizing personal events, ”he said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.
“At the same time, we keep all options open to expand the content and dates of ITB Berlin with a virtual event. For us, planning a hybrid trade fair means combining the essential elements of a personal and a virtual industry event in the best possible way. This gives every audience the best possible chance to take part in the trade fair and the congress – regardless of where they are in the world. “
Another reason for optimism for the CEO was the positive sentiment among consumers who received the Statista Institute confirmed by publication of a joint survey at ITB Berlin NOW. According to the analysis, 70 percent of respondents plan to travel in 2021 or plan a trip soon. 37 percent of respondents in Germany have specific plans. The results of a global survey by IPK International starting January this year is also a reason to be optimistic about travel in 2021. 62 percent of travelers worldwide plan to go abroad this year. For the majority of those who currently do not want to travel abroad, the risk of Covid infection outweighs the financial reasons. A combination of vaccines that are now available and a high willingness among outbound travelers (90 percent) to get vaccinated have negated the main reason for not traveling, meaning a rapid and widespread recovery in the industry is nothing stands in the way. “How the tourism industry was able to successfully recover from the crisis has been the main topic in the last few days. After all the bad news of the last few months, we are happy that people want to travel again ”, Martin Ecknig added.
The trade fair experience lasts until May: the new after-event ticket costs 29 euros
All members of the industry who were unable to attend ITB Berlin NOW from March 8th to 12th can still access online content by purchasing an after-event ticket, which is available in the ticket shop for 29 euros . This provides meeting schedules, access to all videos on request, as well as press releases and exhibitor presentations, as well as the exhibition space, brand cards and the press section. The ticket is valid from March 15th to May 31st.
This year, the fully virtual event was aimed only at trade visitors, while consumers at the Berlin Travel Festival, a partner event, were inspired by livestream evening events. The public program was very well received. Parallel to the running of ITB Berlin NOW, four different episodes were broadcast daily at 7 p.m. The last one is due today, Friday at 7 p.m. The most popular so far was Maggie Haselwanter, who tried the trip to New Zealand with her moped Sunny at 30 km / h, but was stranded in Turkey because of the pandemic. The panel moderated by Charlott Tornow (Travel Joys), Carlo Speth (Holday Pirates, Luise Morgeneyer (blogger), Timo Kohlenberg (CEO America Unlimited) and Bruno Marti (25hours Hotel) with the question “Make one Travel But how? ”Brandenburg, a meeting partner, also gave valuable tips every day for trips to the greater Berlin area.
Visions and new ideas for the industry at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention
The parallel ITB Berlin Convention, attended by top-class participants and broadcast live on several channels by two radio studios on the Berlin exhibition grounds, provided the industry with comprehensive orientation. Under the heading “Rethinking, regenerating, restarting – tourism for a better normalcy”, numerous leading representatives from airlines, the hotel and cruise industry gave insights into best practices, forecasts and future visions in lectures, interviews and panel discussions. The world’s leading travel industry think tank also examined key issues such as sustainable tourism, the changing face of luxury travel, sales strategies, and scenarios for recreation, particularly with regard to tourism destinations. Last but not least, the conference dealt with the most important trends and developments in the rapidly growing market for technology, tours and activities (TTA).
Virtual Show Floor is the platform’s hub
The focus of ITB Berlin NOW was on the exhibition area with exhibitors who, together with their co-exhibitors, were able to present their products and services on so-called brand cards. In a total of 13 topic-related ITB cafés, the participants were able to exchange ideas about various industry trends in the areas of technology, CSR and LGBT +. With the innovative Discovery Graph and Leadfinder tools, participants were able to make extensive use of Smart Matchmaking technology. Turn up the speakers and dance – that was the message on Thursday evening when thousands of ITB users followed the internationally acclaimed DJ’s exclusive performance Paul van Dyk via a live stream on the ITB Berlin NOW platform.
First ITB Berlin travel and tourism declaration
In the run-up to the fair, the organizers of the congress asked the CEOs to confront the political decision-makers with calls for action in light of the challenges the industry is facing due to the coronavirus pandemic. ITB Berlin will shortly summarize and publish them in the ITB Berlin Travel & Tourism Declaration.
The fair also positively assessed two exclusive partnerships, each making a debut in their respective roles. So is the state Saxony was represented as the first official cultural destination at ITB Berlin NOW 2021 and was able to distinguish itself at the fair as an outstanding travel destination for cultural and city tourism as well as offering a unique experience of nature and adventure holidays. Next year, Saxony will be the official host country of the world’s largest travel fair. With GeorgiaThe fair also welcomed its first Digital Adventure and Sustainability Partner. It heralds the beginning of a long-term partnership. Georgia will be the official cultural destination in 2022 and the official host country in 2023.