ITB Berlin and Berlin Travel Festival attract millennials with virtual event

 Friday, September 4, 2020 


Taking place from 16 to 18 October 2020 at Arena Berlin, We Love Travel! – a Tourism Recovery Pop-Up promises inspiration and encounters, whether at the in-person or virtual event. ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival are inviting tourism industry representatives, adventurers and anyone interested in travel to meet again after a long absence and to exchange views on the latest travel industry topics.

The question as to whether the industry will carry on after the coronavirus crisis with business as usual, or whether this marks a new departure will also be on the agenda. The hybrid concept means that participants can attend both an in-person and virtual event. As part of the comprehensive safety and hygiene concept designed to ensure that prescribed safety rules are observed, tickets to the three-day event, which are available now, can be purchased only from the online ticket shop at on the website.

Wide-ranging programme of online and stage events

In addition to various networking formats, the event programme comprises presentations, discussion rounds and workshops.

For trade visitors, a ticket costing 35 euros covers a visit to the in-person event on the Friday as well as the virtual event and networking formats on all three days. A ticket costing 25 euros grants admission to the virtual event only, including use of the online networking tool, which visitors can use to actively contribute to the event.

On day one, Friday, the focus will be entirely on trade visitors. The B2B programme organised by ITB Berlin in cooperation with the German Online Travel Association (VIR e.V.) will start at 10 a.m., with the first session presenting the latest facts and figures from the tourism industry. Representatives of leading market research institutes including Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen e.V. (FUR), Statista and IPK International will discuss the latest findings and what they mean for the industry. Afterwards, a discussion will take place with representatives of destinations on how package tourism should function in the future. A discussion round on the role of marketing – be it through agencies, online or mobile devices – will round off the morning’s events.

After a short midday break, at 1.30 p.m. two panel discussions will take place in English on the central issue of Innovation and transformation – ecological, social and economic responsibility in tourism. A panel on ’Sustainability and recovery’ will kick off events. Rika Jean-Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB Berlin, will talk to Petra Thomas, managing director of Forum Anders Reisen, and Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner, chair of the Tourism Faculty at the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, among others, about the opportunities that the crisis offers, based on a sustainable approach to tourism. At the CSR session on ’Recovery and Human Rights’ to follow at 2.30 p.m., the focus will be on the topics of social responsibility in tourism, which transformative processes make sense, and how to ensure greater diversity in the tourism industry.

The coronavirus crisis has had the effect of accelerating digitalisation in some parts of the tourism industry. At 3.30 p.m. three events at the ITB eTravel World will take a closer look at these developments. At the first session representatives of different market segments will look at areas that are moving ahead dynamically and have quickly adapted to the “new normal” due to advanced technology, and which business models are now reaping the benefits. In this debate, the Tours & Activities branch, one of the fastest growing market segments, will be represented by Bookingkit.  At 4.15 p.m., the second session will examine how important confidence building measures have become during the pandemic. Representatives of the hotel industry and destinations including Visit Berlin and Turespaña (speaker: Arturo Ortíz Arduan, director of the Spanish Tourist Board) will take a look at the various strategies and discuss how innovative technologies can be used to successfully communicate with visitors and obtain feedback. The event will be moderated by Torsten Sabel, CEO of Customer Alliance. At the last discussion round of the day at 5 p.m. experienced business pioneers from the travel tech industry will meet up with the younger generation of startup entrepreneurs in order to exchange views on managing the current crisis, successful business models and the latest innovations.

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