ITB Berlin 2022 - A successful digital edition that was “Open for Digital, Responsible & Resilient Solutions“

18 Mar 2022

ITB Berlin 2022 took place as a digital trade fair between 08.03.2022 and 10.03.2022. A Digital Business Day accompanied the event on 17.03.2022. The event was held using a digital networking platform that provided various services. The platform was available on and was organised by Messe Berlin. ITB Berlin 2022 featured several keynote topics. These ranged from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic to the issues posed by crises such as Chernobyl. Among the key subjects were resilience, digitalisation and sustainability. The official Host Country, as per the three-year partnership plan, was Georgia. Each of the event days featured a specialised Track. These featured a total of 102 sessions and were attended by 223 speakers.

ITB Berlin 2022 occurred as an all-digital trade fair between 08.03.2022 and 10.03.2022. A Digital Business Day complemented the event on 17.03.2022. The event was hosted on the website, with the fair being live-streamed from Messe Berlin’s studio. The digital platform which hosted the event featured a diverse range of services. This included 1-on-1 networking opportunities. It also featured information broadcasts that presented global travel trends and forecasts. Audio-video meetings and on-demand business news were also included as services. The provided services enabled attendees to expand their networks. They also provided access to the digital event programme that featured informative sessions. These included panels that detailed information related to the latest industry developments. These were sponsored by IPK World Monitor. It also included company presentations, product showcases, and press conferences. Completing the programme were destination presentations, specialist discussions, and award presentations.

ITB Berlin 2022 featured several central topics and convention themes. This included resilience, digitalisation and sustainability as the essential thematics of the event. After-crisis tourism demands and presenting Georgia were among the key topics. The Digital Business Day showed the newest World Travel Monitor® survey. The survey presentation featured Rolf Freitag as the speaker. Among the event highlights was the 2022 edition of the TO DO Award.

A central highlight of the event was the presentation of the Statista Forecasts. Statista Q, a leading market research company, presented these. According to the Forecasts, the tourism industry will achieve a full recovery in 2024. Among the trends that will endure are greater flexibility and domestic tourism. Smart accommodation and workstation travelling will also endure as long-term trends. This is according to the February 2022 Global Consumer Survey (GCS).

Based on their research, these trends will endure due to several reasons. For instance, there has been an increased usage of online booking apps compared to 2019. The pandemic has further influenced the emergence of the flexibility megatrend. This is because of the constant changes caused by Covid-19. This is reflected in the increased use of trip cancellation and termination insurances. According to GCS, domestic tourism has risen in popularity. This is due to the pandemic and the complications caused by it.

Statista’s presentation took place during the first day of the event, 08.03.2022. The day additionally presented the Future & Resilience Track. This was one of the three central Knowledge Tracks of ITB Berlin 2022. The track consisted of panel discussions and lectures hosted by leading speakers. They discussed topics related to one or more of the central themes of the edition. In particular, Future & Resilience focused on the central theme of tourism industry resilience.

The track included a variety of topics. Among them was how historical crises such as Covid-19 have affected the industry. They also debated the effectiveness of the policies that currently influence tourism. The topic also included how they can be altered after crises such as the pandemic. Furthermore, among the discussion subjects was post-Covid city tourism. Another highlighted topic was the future of the Aviation industry. They also featured youth and student travel as examples of resilient markets. Likewise, the discussion topics included were the future of HR management.

The second day of ITB Berlin 2022, 9.03.2022, featured several highlight sessions. These took place as part of the eTravel Track. It focused on the central theme of digitalisation and post-Covid recovery. This included the subject of how metaverses can contribute to the tourism industry. This includes discussing the effectiveness of destination exploration via 3D-animated/digitalised metaverse presentations. Another session of high importance debated how big data is changing the industry. This included discussing the newest data trends and skills in the travel industry. Andreas Wulfes, Hayley Berg, and Mathias Gerber were the three speakers of the session. One session to take place during 09.03.2022 discussed decentralised digital wallets. This included how they affect the industry through their high level of security. It also discussed their ability to aid travellers, service providers, and border control.

The focus topics also included the importance of business travel. This included discussing how innovative technologies, such as Zoom, cannot substitute the step. One keynote also debated how the pandemic has caused irreversible changes. This included discussing how the mentioned changes present new transformation opportunities. This includes providing a new appreciation for travel, residents and destinations.

One panel discussion debated innovative technologies and how they will influence travel. Another keynote delved into wellness and how it can aid post-Covid recovery. This includes the potential for rehabilitation through medical tourism. How destinations can prepare for travellers recovering from Covid-19 was also discussed.

As part of the eTravel Track, one debate discussed future digital payment methods. This included delving into the latest trends and developments. AI was also among the focus topics of the Track. In particular, special mention was given to its ability to act as a new form of brand communication. This is due to using digital assistants to improve the customer journey. One of the featured sessions focused on creating emotions via personalised sales videos. It also debated how such videos can generate extra bookings. The session in question presented the case study of Condor Airlines. This included describing how personalised sales videos increased the customer email responses.

There were also highlights related to the Culture Partner Country, Georgia. This included a press conference during which leading speakers presented the nation. Among the central aspects were showcasing the country's cultural diversity, history, and nature. The TO DO Award was also among the highlights of the event day. It lauded initiatives that allow local inhabitants to partake in tourism projects. The winners were the Himalayan Ecotourism and AguiKat. Himalayan Ecotourism earned the International Contest for Social Responsible Tourism Prize. While AguiKat received the Human Rights in Tourism Prize.

The highlight of the third and final day of ITB Berlin 2022 was the Responsible Tourism Track. It focused on the central theme of sustainability, diversity, and human rights. This included the latest Sustainable Travel Index data. It also incorporated how carbon neutrality demands are inspiring an integrated approach. This covered suggestions on reducing short-haul flights and installing geological storage.

The Responsible Tourism Track also discussed the subject of diversity. This included the need to have more women and people of colour represented in boardrooms. Another human-rights-related session debated possible solutions to the delicate situation regarding informal workers. This included creating better respect for their human rights.

One of the Track sessions focused on how well-told stories can bolster tourism. This includes attracting environmentally aware travellers and stimulating their enthusiasm. Another panel presented the four stages of carbon neutrality for hotel chains. These are the four phases hotels have to follow to reach sustainability goals. Similar to it was the session that focused on making transport sustainable. This included transport providers learning about the opportunities and challenges. It also featured discussing the potential of innovation, partnerships, information sharing and transparency. Such debates were held, as these methods can help to complete sustainability goals.

According to the participants of ITB Berlin 2022, the edition was a success. Among the attendees to express such a high opinion were the 223 speakers. Organisers announced the dates for the 2023 edition at the end of the ITB Berlin 2022. ITB Berlin 2023 will be held between 08.03.2023 - 12.03.2023 at Messe Berlin as a face-to-face trade fair.