Over the past few months, the tourism industry has faced enormous challenges. Nevertheless, the desire to travel connects people everywhere across borders – even in what is often called the “new normal”. ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival are now joining forces and from 16 to 18 October at Arena Berlin are organizing a unique platform in order to show the industry ways in which they can exit the crisis together. At this hybrid event entitled ‘We Love Travel – a tourism recovery pop-up’, the decades-long experience of ITB Berlin, the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show, will encounter the fresh, dynamic spirit of the festival.
“During the coronavirus crisis, the thing that struck us most was that nothing can replace the magic of personal contact – a smile, a handshake, proximity to one another. Tourism is and always will be a “people’s business”, said Julia Sonnemann, the PR manager of ITB Berlin. “What we now need more than ever is a physical platform to revitalize the industry, make new contacts, and re-establish relations.”
Thus the three-day event will gather all the players – tourism professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, travelers, and content creators, along with Instagrammers and bloggers. Together they can look back and give an initial assessment of events, while also looking forward and gaining inspiration for new ideas. We Love Travel! for the first time will also provide a platform for an open and constructive discussion on what travel may look like after this unprecedented break.
“Right now, how travel will change exactly is something we can only guess at”, commented Bernd Neff, the co-founder and managing director of the Berlin Travel Festival. “That makes it all the more important to take an early look at the various scenarios in terms of priorities, safety needs, sustainability, and other considerations and work on innovative strategies together.”
That is also why the pop-up event offers a unique combination of in-person and virtual formats. The agenda features exhibition areas, networking formats, presentations, and discussion panels. On Friday, 16 October the focus of ITB Berlin will be on its own program formats aimed at trade visitors, while on 17 and 18 October the Berlin Travel Festival’s program will be devoted mainly to the interests of consumers and travelers. The event’s hybrid concept will enable visitors to attend in person as well as experience fascinating content in a virtual space. Accordingly, exhibitors can opt for presenting themselves in person and via virtual formats.
The safety and health of everyone involved have the utmost priority. “We are in close contact with the authorities, are closely monitoring developments and are working on a comprehensive concept for hygiene rules and safety measures”, said Dr. Martin Buck, senior vice president, Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin GmbH. ”We will provide information on our specific measures on our website in the near future.”