The eagerly awaited ITB Berlin Convention 2022 kicked off in a digital format on March 8, allowing the international travel industry to reconnect and share thoughts during three days of exciting conferences and keynote speeches.

The convention – one of the leading B2B events in Europe for the travel industry – offers top buyers, exhibitors and media to connect and network.

“The world has already experienced two years of the coronavirus pandemic and now the war in Ukraine is overshadowing global events,” explained Martin Ecknig (pictured), CEO Messe Berlin. “Since its launch in 1966, ITB Berlin has provided an important platform for the international travel industry, and together with tourism it stands for international understanding among cultures and for peace. Messe Berlin has been a place to meet, regardless of the political context.

“After Covid-19, the world is making an almost seamless transition to another global crisis, the consequences of which we can only vaguely imagine at the moment. What is clear however, is that we live in a world of constant change. As a firmly established member of the tourism industry and against the backdrop of all the challenges and uncertainty, with ITB Berlin we can offer the industry some orientation and a corresponding space for dialogue.

“The core of our tourism industry is to build bridges to connect together.”

The cancellation of ITB Berlin 2022 as a face-to-face format was a difficult decision to make, admitted Ecknig.

“With the new coronavirus variant, we took the decision in December to cancel the event as we wanted to give security in planning for exhibitors,” he said. “It was not an easy measure but we had no room for manoeuvre as we had to follow Federal State rules.”

Over 100 panel discussions to take place during ITB Berlin

In its digital format, however, the ITB Berlin 2022 Convention is providing a wide range of content and opportunities for all participants. During the virtual event from Tuesday, 8 March to Thursday, 10 March, leading experts will examine the most pressing topics of the global tourism industry from every perspective.

In total, ITB Berlin Convention will welcome 102 panels, lectures, presentations, exhibitors’ press conferences and discussions with 223 leading experts and companies assessing the global challenges facing the travel industry.

One of the key focus areas will be on the pandemic and its impact as well as the challenges of geopolitical conflicts and crises. Resilience, digitalisation, socially responsible tourism are the themes driving most of the conferences and panels.

Ecknig confirmed that a range of B2B events will be organised over the summer, which will be open for selected exhibitors, buyers and media, “allowing to satisfy the need to meet face to face,” described Ecknig.

The opening press conference was also an opportunity to welcome Georgian Ambassador to Germany, H.E. Prof. Dr. Levan Izoria. Georgia is the ITB Berlin 2022 Convention & Culture Partner. The country will also be the Official Host Country for ITB Berlin 2023. “We are strongly committed to making our participation as Host Country a successful event,” promised the Ambassador.

Digital Business Day on March 17

Last but not least, the three-day ITB Berlin Convention will be followed by the Digital Business Day on 17 March. As a networking platform, this offers one-on-one networking opportunities, audio-video meetings, information on global travel trends and forecasts, as well as on-demand corporate news and automated speed-dating. The virtual format is a catalyst for business networking. The event will be augmented by the IPK World Monitor with global travel trends and forecasts for 2022 as well as company presentations.

Optimism continues to drive tourism. Peter Kautz, MD Statista Q, pointed out that by the end of 2023, tourist movements should have reached pre-pandemic levels – a vision shared by Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association (DRV), as the desire of travel remains very strong after two challenging years.

For access to the ITB Berlin digital convention, please click here.

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