March 17, 2021

Face-to-face with Dr Martin Buck – SVP, Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin

With its launch of in March 2020, ITB underlined its role as the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show and created a comprehensive virtual platform. We asked Dr Martin Buck – SVP, Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin to further explain the concept.

The aim was to ensure the industry could access a permanent information forum and constant supply of industry news and to give users the opportunity to network with each other, regardless of their location, 365 days a year and despite the show’s cancellation last year. It is also a central platform and meeting place for all editions of the entire ITB family. Interested parties can find everything they need to know there about ITB Berlin, ITB India, ITB China and ITB Asia and can get information on formats being planned as well as key topics, details of user and exhibitor numbers and the various convention themes.

Coming up very soon, we have the ITB India show – in virtual form. Can you tell us more about this?
The first ITB India will take place from 7 to 9 April 2021 as a virtual event. The trade show will feature more than 80 leading speakers as well as 200 international exhibitors and 400 buyers from India and South-East Asia. Segments include Leisure, Corporate and MICE. Among the exhibitors will be tourism organisations such as the German National Tourism Board, the Israeli Ministry of Tourism, the Korean Tourism Organization, the Sarawak Tourism Board, Visit Portugal and many more. Taking as its slogan “Rebuilding Travel“, the parallel ITB India Conference will focus on the tourism industry’s recovery.

A little further out, ITB China and ITB Asia may be a little different. What are the plans for these shows as they stand today?
Following a successful number of industry meet-ups in several Chinese cities last year, we are looking forward to the next regular edition of ITB China (24 -16 Nov) this autumn. In October we are looking forward among other things to the next edition of ITB Asia in Singapore, set to take place from 27-29 October. This is scheduled as a hybrid event, and will therefore offer fascinating content and business meetings for virtual and in-person visitors.

Even if we were unable to gather in person this year, a virtual meeting was still miles better than nothing at all

What feedback have you had for ITB Berlin NOW? What made you particularly proud of this show?
The feedback from both exhibitors and participants has been very good. I heard from all sides that industry colleagues had been longing to come together on a central travel industry platform. Now and again I had heard talk of a family or school reunion. There is quite a bit of truth in that. We are all social beings. Even if we were unable to gather in person this year, a virtual meeting was still miles better than nothing at all. The fact that so many users felt the same was quite touching. At the same time, of course, we also heard many attendees saying quite clearly that a digital ITB can never replace the “real” one in Berlin. And if we’re honest, that’s exactly where we all want to be again: Hosting the world at the fair grounds of Messe Berlin in 2022!


Photo: ITB Berlin NOW Preview
Dr. Martin Buck, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin GmbH