Published on : Friday, June 26, 2020
Due to the outbreak of deadly coronavirus pandemic, over the past few months the travel and tourism industry has faced huge challenges. Nevertheless, the wish to travel connects more people and travellers 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 organising 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.
Julia Sonnemann, the PR manager of ITB Berlin said that during the coronavirus crisis the thing that struck all of them most was that nothing can replace the magic of personal contact – a smile, a handshake, proximity to one another. The tourism is and always will be a “people’s business”. What the tourism body now needs more than ever is a physical platform to revitalise the industry, make new contacts and re-establish relations.
Thus the three-day event will gather all the players – tourism professionals, hoteliers, restaurateurs, travellers 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.
Bernd Neff, the co-founder and managing director of the Berlin Travel Festival said that right now, how travel will change exactly is something we can only guess at. 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 programme formats aimed at trade visitors, while on 17 and 18 October the Berlin Travel Festival’s programme will be devoted mainly to the interests of consumers and travellers. 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 has the utmost priority. Dr. Martin Buck, senior vice president, Travel & Logistics at Messe Berlin GmbH said that they are in close contact with the authorities, are closely monitoring developments and are working on a comprehensive concept for hygiene rules and safety measures. They will provide information on specific measures on website in the near future.