150 countries convene @ ITB Berlin

After a hiatus of two years, ITB Berlin is back on track with a brand new theme, titled, “Open for Change” which is ironic as all borders have not opened up and in many ways different than before. 7th to 9th March 2023, the travel, tourism and hospitality fraternity across the globe gather together to network, understand, learn the new ropes, and initiate business for this new era of tourism. Deborah Rothe, Exhibition Director, ITB Berlin, shares with TTME. “With the motto of this year’s ITB Berlin “Open for Change,” the world’s leading travel trade show celebrates its live comeback from 7 to 9 March in Berlin.  As a pure B2B show, it now has a duration of three days for buyers, trade visitors, exhibitors and media. As usual, the tourism industry’s most important Think Tank, the ITB Berlin Convention will also be held in parallel with the trade show under the motto “Mastering Transformation”.

In terms of the number of exhibitors she responded, “We are very satisfied with the current booking status – more than 90 percent of space is fully booked, and we are still receiving exhibitor registrations at short notice. At the moment we count more than 4.500 exhibitors from over 150 countries, not including companies to be represented by exhibitors that are not on site. The ticket sales for trade visitors are in full swing, and the general profile of trade visitors is high. The ITB Buyers Circle, for example, an exclusive community for top-tier buyers with backgrounds in corporate, leisure, business travel, or MICE, has already more than 1,500submissions from buyers. These are reviewed manually, based on fixed criteria, and are currently being approved one by one. From experience we can say that many trade visitors decide to attend at short notice.” Rothe  adds further, “ The exhibitors from the Middle East are located in Hall 3.2 this year. A significant expansion of the exhibition stands presented is the most notable change here. Based on the size of the stand space, Saudi Arabia is the largest exhibitor with 1,400 sqm.  Overall, the geographical allocation on the exhibition grounds remains similar to the past. The countries from the Middle East region are showing an increased presence this year. Those include, for example, Saudi Arabia with Saudi Tourism Authority, as well as Red Sea Global. The United Arab Emirates, Abu Dhabi and Dubai are represented as prominently as ever at ITB Berlin.”

Some of the key topics and events include transformation. “Mastering Transformation” is the tagline of ITB Berlin Convention and will highlight the major challenges and opportunities facing our industry, including digitization, the shortage of skilled workers, and the energy crisis. Our industry will continue to change dramatically in 2023. We are in a phase of profound challenges that go far beyond the pandemic or labor shortages. In total, we are offering 18 topic tracks at the convention this year – covering a wide range of themes from travel technology, marketing & sales, future travel, MICE, sustainability and social responsibility to hospitality, business travel or new work and digitalization. Travel technology was a growth driver even before the pandemic, the same applies to the cruise segment, which is booming again this year. This is also reflected at ITB Berlin 2023. We are pleased to have more cruise exhibitors with their own stands than ever before: MSC Cruises, Explorer Journeys, VIVA Cruises, and United Rivers, for example, are represented for the first time with their own stand at ITB Berlin. Long-standing representatives from the segment are also back, including Holland America Line and Norwegian Cruise Line. Our “Business+ Lounge” in Hall 7.2a and “Business Satellites” at three different locations on the trade show grounds are another novelty this year. Customers can easily book meeting tables by hour online. The HOME OF LUXURY by ITB will  be celebrating its premiere in the Marshall Haus. It offers luxury buyers, suppliers, and media a unique and exclusive environment with versatile networking options in an extraordinary atmosphere. The new digital platform ITBxplore accompanies the live event in the digital space, offering networking options in combination with classic content such as product, exhibitor, and event overviews. Selected content can be followed there via livestream. Those who cannot be in Berlin this year can purchase the Fully Digital Ticket and join the event digitally. “