ITB Berlin 2023: a successful bet for a strictly professional show

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Despite a difficult economic environment, the tourism industry is satisfied with the huge demand and desire to travel to ITB Berlin. After the covid-related break, the world’s largest tourism fair returned for the first time as a purely trade fair under the motto “Open for Change”. A total of 90,127 participants from more than 180 countries came to Berlin over the three trade visitor days.

Buyers were there

ITB Berlin also draws a positive balance for the approximately 1,300 members of the ITB Buyer’s Circle. The circle is made up exclusively of the best buyers in the travel industry. Their purchase volume has increased significantly and the international share has increased from 50% in 2019 to 70% in total. The offer of around 5,500 exhibitors from 161 countries was as diverse as it was international.

The media were numerous, including Airlines and Destinations

In addition, the ITB Berlin attracted considerable media interest with around 3,000 media professionals and more than 330 travel bloggers from Germany and abroad as well as leading celebrities from international politics. However, the lounge was much smaller a few years ago before Covid, which was also due to the change in lounge concept.

2023 may be a very good year in tourism

At ITB Berlin, the industry agreed that 2023 could be a banner year – the desire to travel is back in large parts of the world. This development is only somewhat delayed in the Asia-Pacific region – partly due to the late opening of Chinese borders. “The tourism industry has shown enormous confidence in us over the past few days, despite the difficult environment and the geopolitical crises,” says Dirk Hoffmann, Managing Director of Messe Berlin.

Human contact is essential

“This year’s ITB Berlin confirmed the industry’s great need for face-to-face meetings. It’s not without reason that our industry is a people business – all attendees at ITB Berlin agreed”. Numerous networking formats such as ITB Speed ​​​​Networking, meetings and events at exhibitor stands as well as evenings on the exhibition grounds and in the city center of Berlin confirm the desire for exchange staff.

400 speakers and 24,000 participants

The high-level ITB Berlin convention offered in-depth professional orientation, during which 400 internationally renowned speakers* discussed the most pressing topics and current trends, such as digitalization, artificial intelligence or the shortage of workers qualified, in a total of 200 sessions in 18 different thematic tracks. Under the motto “Mastering Transformation”, industry experts presented approaches on how pressing global industry challenges can be transformed into opportunities. A total of 24,000 attendees attended conferences, panels and discussions from the world’s leading travel industry think tank.

Travel tech present in force, distributors need digital tools

The positive mood in the industry was also reflected in the occupation of the exhibition halls. The travel tech and cruise segments were particularly well represented at this year’s show.

At the regional level, exhibitors from the Arab region in particular stood out with a strong presence. Overall, there was a large number of exhibitors who significantly increased their area this year – in addition, many tourism businesses returned after a long break. Others were even represented at the ITB Berlin for the first time this year.

The next ITB Berlin will take place from March 5 to 7, 2024, Tuesday to Thursday, at the Berlin Messe.

Catherine Mills Avatar