For the third time in a row, the tourism fair ITB Berlin is cancelled due to the Corona pandemic - this time, the high incidences and the virus variant Omicron thwart the plans of the ITB organizers.
Instead of the planned face-to-face trade show that should run from March 9 to 13, 2022, the tourism fair will now be held digitally.
The current pandemic situation and the associated tightened travel restrictions as well as the limitation of participants at major events would lead to a lack of planning certainty. Therefore, the events would be streamed either from March 8 or March 9-11, 2022. The exact start date has yet to be clarified.
"Of course, we also considered postponing ITB Berlin to summer, but after consulting with our partners we left it at the beginning of March, which is an important date for the travel industry, as the summer months represent the main operational phase for travel and tourism," commented Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin.
With digital offerings such as congress streaming and the Digital Business Day, as well as new regional travel events throughout the year, the industry will nevertheless be offered a high level of technically exciting content and new business opportunities in 2022. The focus will also be on how the industry can make itself more crisis-proof in the future and better prepare for future pandemics and serious events.
There will be no virtual trade show booths as at ITB 2022. A roadshow with several "small ITBs" in various cities in Europe is planned for the course of the year. However, the exact dates and locations have not yet been determined. All exhibitors for the large presence trade show in March would receive their deposits back in full and tickets already booked would also be refunded.
Besides going digital with ITB, Messe Berlin has responded to the current corona situation by canceling other events as well including the International Green Week 2022 and postponing Fruit Logistica. The exhibition company will do not hold any major events of its own in January and February 2022. The Green Week should have taken place from January 21st to 30th. Fruit Logistica has been postponed from February 9th to 11th to April 5th to 7th, 2022.
Both events are leading international trade fairs with global significance in their respective sectors and traditionally mark the start of the Berlin trade fair year.