March 10, 2021

Opening Press Conference

ITB Berlin NOW centres on restarting the industry and fostering ideas for recovering post-crisis

The digital edition of the World’s Leading Trade Show has kicked off at With an innovative format for challenging times, a total of 3,513 exhibitors from 120 countries are participating from 9 to 12 March 2021.

“We stand firmly side by side with the global travel community. No other industry on earth is a people’s business in the way that the travel industry is. In the past, and often in difficult times of political, diplomatic and military crisis, ITB Berlin has always offered a marketplace, brought people together and opened up communication channels when others were closed. An industry which blooms on exchanging ideas and broadening personal horizons, and which empowers the intercultural dialogue, has for the most part been forced to remain silent. It must not be totally inactive however. Thankfully, the big challenges we have had to confront since the pandemic began are also a force for good, bringing unbelievable energy and innovation. The industry would not be what it is if over the years it had not met the challenges of every age”, said Martin Ecknig, the new CEO of Messe Berlin.

No other industry on earth is a people’s business in the way that the travel industry is.

Tourism organisations and associations, travel technology providers, tour operators, the hotel industry and destination management companies (DMCs) are strongly represented this year.

Taking as its slogan “The digital meet-up of the travel industry. Anytime. Anywhere.”, the show is providing ideal conditions for trade visitors to network, exchange ideas, stay well-informed and negotiate business with market players and tourism service providers from all over the world.

The ITB Berlin NOW platform concentrates business, networking, content and news in one place, and with its Show Floor, streaming video, virtual cafés and intelligent matchmaking tools offers the best opportunities for successful trade show results.

Think tank for restarting tourism

At the ITB Berlin NOW Convention, more than 280 leading international speakers, including more than 80 CEOs, are holding lectures and interviews in 180 virtual discussion rounds, offering their assessments and opinions on how the industry can overcome the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and shape a successful recovery.

Opening Press Conference
Opening Press Conference of ITB Berlin NOW

Under the convention’s heading “Rethink, Regenerate, Restart – Tourism for a Better Normal”, leading industry figures, scientists and visionary minds will examine the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the global travel industry and offer qualified and practical advice for a recovery. In addition, over the four days of events at the global travel industry’s leading think tank, the programme includes topics such as sustainable travel, destination marketing and the changing MICE and business travel market. More than 280 top-class speakers representing airlines, the hotel, cruise and package tour industries will share their views on future developments and trends in their respective sectors.

Reasons to holiday close to home

Last year, many Germans rediscovered holidaying at home. As the first Official Culture Destination at ITB Berlin NOW 2021, the federal state of Saxony is promoting itself as an outstanding destination for cultural and city tourism as well as offering a unique nature experiences. Next year it will be the host country of the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show.

This year, at the start of a multi-year partnership, the spotlight is also on Georgia, the first Digital Adventure and Sustainability Partner. In 2022, it will be the trade show’s official cultural destination, before becoming the official host country in 2023.

Photo: Opening Press Conference of ITB Berlin NOW with Monika Jones and Martin Ecknig, CEO, Messe Berlin GmbH