Emphasis on revolutionary ways of travel
This year, ITB Berlin will witness Middle East occupying 3200 square meter in total space, with Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah tourism authorities having expanded their booths. David Ruetz, Head of ITB Berlin, tells about the vast line-up at the five-day lo
Q Can you us give a brief about what’s new at ITB Berlin 2018?
The Baltic Sea coast is the first federal state to occupy the role as partner region of ITB Berlin. For the first time in the history of ITB, the opening ceremony on the eve of the show will leave a zero carbon footprint, thereby setting an important example for the future. Luxury travel is an important focus area this year. The general attitude towards this market is changing. These challenges, as well as the opportunities, concern the industry and will be key topics at ITB Berlin. Together with a network of exclusive exhibitors, Loop, a unique trade show for luxury products, will be the place for buyers of luxury products. The first ITB Luxury Late Night will represent an opportunity for visitors to cultivate contacts in this industry segment, thereby enabling providers to discuss topics at length with leading buyers from the luxury travel market. The eTravel Startup Day will also be held for the first time, providing newly formed companies with a platform, as well as the Special Hospitality Tech Forum as a new feature at the eTravel Lab. Q How important is the Middle East for this year’s event? How many have confirmed their participation from this region?
The ME countries play a very important role as a fast-growing tourism destination. Exhibitors from UAE, Oman, Qatar, Bahrain, Jordan and Lebanon will be showcasing many products and services on their stands which altogether now occupy 3,200 sqm in total. We have registered a very strong growth from Abu Dhabi and Ras Al Khaimah who have expanded their booth spaces this year and are certain to delight the visitors with their stands. Q Who are the new participants this year?
After a period of absence, Belize, Guayana, Turcs and Caicosin Islands as well French Guayana will be back this year. C-Trip, one of the biggest online travel agencies in China, will also be exhibiting for the first time. Q What are the key areas of focus this year?
ITB Berlin 2018 will lay special emphasis on revolutionary ways of travelling in the future such as driverless cabs and hyperloops, set to completely change the face of transport. In addition, we will take a close look at digitalisation, Artificial Intelligence and their potential impact on travel in the future. Another topic which the convention will focus on is overtourism. In recent times, rapid growth in tourism has begun to stretch accommodation and hospitality limits, particularly in major cities. As a result, the industry needs to find solutions for the future and minimise the effects on the environment. Q Do share the dates, venue and timings for B2B for this year.
ITB Berlin, set to be held from March 7-11, should be marked in the calendar of every professional in the travel industry. More than 169,000 visitors are expected to attend the event, including the best 1,000 buyers, some 109,000 trade visitors and 10,000 exhibitors from all over the world. The exhibition is also open to the public from March 10-11. Don’t miss out ITB China in Shanghai in May, if you want to reach hundreds of ITB-qualified Chinese buyers.
Together with a network of exclusive exhibitors, Loop, a unique trade show for luxury products, will be the place for buyers of luxury products. The first ITB Luxury Late Night will represent an opportunity for visitors to cultivate contacts in this industry segment. David Ruetz Head of ITB Berlin