ITB Berlin makes a physical comeback after four years

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After four years without a physical event, ITB Berlin is back in 2023. With visitors and exhibitors excited to meet again in face-to-face meetings and presentations, the show also welcomes leaders of the political and tourism sectors. A hybrid studio is also available for press conferences and product presentations.

The slogan for this year’s edition is “Open for change”. The tourism industry think tank motto for 2023 is “Mastering Transformation”. 

With more than 5500 exhibitors from over hundred fifty countries, Georgia is the host country this year. A culinary feast of Georgian products awaits the visitors.

An extensive program of 400 speakers and 200 sessions will take place until the end of the conference.

Major topics discussed on days one and two included the following.

The recovery of long-haul tourism in Europe: the European Travel Commission director explained that visitors from the USA, Asia, and South America are back to Europe, as a safe destination. His hopes for a total recovery in 2024 are closely linked to the stabilization of visa approvals.

Domestic tourism or tourism to nearby countries is back to pre-pandemic levels in the European Union. However, non-EU overseas visitors are still lower than in 2019.

Image Credits @ITBBERLIN

Another topic discussed is dealing with the world crisis within the tourism communities. High inflation and recession are slowing tourism recovery.  

A research project by the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council points out alarming understaffing figures.

Resources shortages are critical in particular in food preparation, sales, and reservation sectors. Travel industry jobs are less attractive and fail to attract workers aged 25 to 45 years old.

ITB Berlin offers job seekers opportunities to network and gather information on careers in the tourism industry, as well as an ITB job wall with more than a hundred employment vacancies. The ITB career center is located in Hall 4. 1.

Finally, another topic discussed on Day 2 of ITB Berlin is the hotel sustainability approach.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) announced the next steps of Hotel Sustainability Approach.

Julia Simpson, WTTC President, explained how The Basics initiative would allow accommodation providers of all sizes to implement achievable goals.

The basic criteria total 12 points. There are non-negotiable minimum criteria on the road to sustainability. The WWTC verification scheme ensures hotels are officially verified.

Many international hotel groups joined the basic criteria scheme in the inaugural phase, such as Melia, Accor, Meininger, and Radisson Hotel Group.

Additionally, in the Home of Luxury by IBT, luxury tourism providers and buyers from around the world are holding networking events and meetings. “Luxury vacations are more in demand than ever” claims Sven Schikarsky, CPO of Der Touristik.

Most luxury travel agencies report stable bookings for the summer, and a strong trend of last-minute reservations. Luxury tour operators also start offering Virgin Galactic flights into space.

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