March 2, 2024

ITB Berlin 2024 opening press conference

Insights and developments at the forefront of the global travel industry

ITB Berlin 2024’s opening press conference set the stage for what promises to be an engaging and insightful event. The conference highlighted the impressive booking rate that has filled over 90% of the 150,000 square metres of display area this year, as well as the number of international exhibitors which make up 87% of the total this year.

Dr Mario Tobias, CEO of Messe Berlin, opened the conference by acknowledging the significance of ITB Berlin as a vital platform for the travel industry’s diverse stakeholders: “ITB Berlin is the meeting place for the tourism industry’s entire value chain, once again underlining its global importance as a leading international trade show.” He praised the “outstanding quality” of top buyers at the show, and pointed out the optimistic demand for travel juxtaposed with challenges the industry is facing such as climate change and technological changes. He was clear that the path to overcoming these challenges “can only be overcome together.”

Oman was in the spotlight at the opening press conference, and H.E. Azzan bin Qassim Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of Tourism of the Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman, offered insights into the Official Host Country while presenting Oman’s rich cultural heritage and tourism potential. To further spark interest in this year’s host country, four musicians of the Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra presented musical highlights before and after the conference. Visitors also enjoyed a culinary treat with coffee and dates from Oman.

ITB Berlin is the meeting place for the tourism industry’s entire value chain (…)

Charuta Fadnis, Senior Vice President, Research and Product Strategy at Phocuswright, highlighted the growth taking place in the global travel industry despite economic challenges, how AI is changing the industry, and how companies are embracing it. The focus remained on sustainability, with travellers’ needs being taken into account in order to achieve sustainability goals. Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association (DRV), took a look at the latest travel trends and the economic prospects for the German travel industry in 2024, underlining that despite ongoing international challenges, “Germans´ desire to travel is as strong as ever.”

The diversity of the exhibition was a focal point, showcasing innovations in Mobility, Travel Technology, and Cruise segments. Over 5,500 exhibitors from 170 countries are participating this year, illustrating ITB Berlin’s role as a meeting place for the travel industry as a whole.

Findings from the Global Travel Buyer Index survey, presented during the conference, offered insight into buying trends and the economic outlook of leading industry buyers, highlighting the sector’s mood and expectations. Launched for the first time in 2023, the ITB Innovation Radar platform has expanded and is featuring 16 innovations this year including B2B services for the hospitality sector and travel professionals, new services and sustainable concepts, and a preview of tomorrow’s upcoming trends.

The opening press conference outlined the agenda for ITB Berlin 2024, showcasing the event as a pivotal gathering for dialogue, innovation, and collaboration in the travel industry. With an impressive roster of speakers and participants, the conference paved the way for meaningful discussions and potential solutions to the challenges facing the global travel sector.