(Published on 20th April 2023)
This year the ITB Berlin opened its doors to thousands of visitors again in March. The tourism trade fair welcomed hotels, tour operators, airlines, and more companies in the travel sector. Around 90,000 attended over three days and marking the success of this year’s edition and the halls were fully booked. EuropeZigZag had the opportunity to speak with the exhibition director for ITB Berlin, Deborah Rothe. This year personalised travel experiences saw a high demand. For instance, the inclusion of meeting locals when traveling is more sought after.
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In general, the awareness of the tourists is growing as they explore places and activities, as Deborah Rothe mentions
“One example is to meet locals when travelling to destinations. They show a greater awareness on their trips and are more conscious of how travel impacts countries and people. Media reports on the subject reflect this trend.”
The trend of getting closer to local communities can be associated with the increasing media coverage of e-mobility, as Deborah comments on the trend:
“E-mobility is becoming noticeably more popular because of rising oil prices and a greater awareness of the value of fossil fuels. That trend is not so evident with car rentals – as shown by analyses from HolidayCheck for leisure trips and TravelPerk for business travel. We are currently still in a transformation process in which various solutions are offered and being evaluated.”
Increased activity in real life as tourism picks up
The visit to ITB Berlin 2023 by EuropeZigZag saw plenty of activity. There was intense activity between travel organizers and the floor was bubbling with minds showing commercial interest in destinations and the tourism trends in 2023.
” In recent years we have successfully added virtual elements and regional industry events throughout the year to ITB Berlin, including our TRVLX format.”Exhibition director for ITB Berlin, Deborah Rothe.
The world of identifying new exciting travel experiences to offer travelers can be compared to a large puzzle. ITB Berlin proved yet again how it can provide a trade fair to meet the need for savvy travel professionals, business minds, and opportunities to meet for new business-to-business cooperation.
In such an environment, the ITB Business Satellite was a handy opportunity for businesses, where buyers and sellers could schedule meetings to discuss ideas and potential cooperation.
The ITB Business Satellite turned out to be a success
The online meeting platform that was prepared to simplify for attendees to reach out and connect proved successful. With that in mind, Deborah describes how the response among attendees to the ITB Business Satellites and online platform ITBxplore.
“It was very positive. Due to the pandemic, during the last two years we held the trade show as an exclusively virtual event. We were then able to incorporate that knowledge in the first hybrid edition of ITB Berlin. Accordingly, the response to this year’s digital programme was good too. At the same time, this year it became clearer than ever that the demand for face-to-face meetings was higher than before. That is why in-person events remain our core business. At the same time we will continue to support the industry in a virtual space and give the opportunity to take part in ITB Berlin online too. In recent years we have successfully added virtual elements and regional industry events throughout the year to ITB Berlin, including our TRVLX format. One
thing is certain: We want all participants to profit from ITB Berlin
365 days a year in the future as well.”
Digital and real life B2B meetings is the way forward
So real-life experiences will go hand in hand with digital meeting places, which is a logical development in the world of hospitality and travel. It comes as a small surprise how important it is to meet people face to face still. In the travel sector which is a business about people, it makes a large difference when discussing pleasure travel opportunities face to face.
“E-mobility is becoming noticeably more popular because of rising oil prices and a greater awareness of the value of fossil fuels.”Exhibition director for ITB Berlin, Deborah Rothe.
Yet with the networking feature introduced at ITB Berlin 2023, it becomes easier to reach out and continue the dialogue after the trade fair closes every day. Anticipation for the 2024 edition will likely increase as ITB Berlin has displayed how to successfully embrace digital meeting grounds while retaining the in-person experience.