ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival will hold a virtual event
We Love Travel! will be a three-day online show and will takes place from 16 to 18 October
As a result of the latest coronavirus developments in the German capital, ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival have decided to hold the upcoming We Love Travel! event at Arena Berlin without exhibitors or visitors on-site. Four central districts in Berlin have been classified as high-risk areas by the Robert Koch Institute. Consequently, the situation has become too unpredictable to proceed with We Love Travel! as a hybrid event as originally planned. The safety of exhibitors, speakers, visitors and co-workers has the utmost priority for the organisers. ”This decision is a clear ‘thumbs up’ for the We Love Travel! event and the industry. We now want to make a greater effort to enable a dialogue in the virtual environment. Unfortunately, our motivation and good intentions had to succumb to the latest developments. However, the safety of everyone involved has the highest priority for us,“ said Bernd Neff, founder of the Berlin Travel Festival.
The show due to take place from 16 to 18 October 2020 was originally intended as a hybrid event featuring a live-streamed programme on stage. The organisers remain committed to this format. Many of the speakers scheduled to take part in panels on the Friday for B2B visitors and the weekend for the general public will still be attending in person at Arena Berlin, which will be subject to stringent safety and hygiene measures. All events will be live-streamed and broadcast online on the We Love Travel! website (www.welovetravel.berlin). At the discussion rounds participants will be able to put questions to the individual speakers and the moderator. Exhibitors will also be able to present their company and products in an exclusively virtual format. Furthermore, buyers, exhibitors and trade visitors can use the online networking platform to communicate in a virtual meeting room. David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin: ”It is always a difficult decision to reschedule events organised for months beforehand from one day to the next and to adapt to new circumstances. The object now is to offer the industry a virtual platform so they can successfully take part in a dialogue. We are very well prepared in that respect, as we planned the show as a hybrid event from the start.“
16 October 2020: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (via live-stream for trade visitors)
17 and 18 October 2020: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (trade visitors and general public)
The event programme comprises various networking formats, presentations, discussion rounds and workshops. Daily updates can be found at https://welovetravel.berlin/. For trade visitors, a ticket costing 25 euros offers access to the digital services and networking formats on the Friday. On the weekend the wide-ranging programme will target the general public. A live stream will be available free of charge and without prior registration on the website of the event.
Kicking off on Friday at 10 p.m., the B2B programme curated by ITB Berlin and Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR) will present the latest facts and figures from the tourism sector. Market research experts including Forschungsgemeinschaft Urlaub und Reisen e.V. (FUR) and Statista will present statistics highlighting the seriousness of the situation and the status quo. Against the backdrop of the coronavirus crisis the programme will also look at package tours. At a panel under the title ’Heading for new shores’, well-known industry figures will discuss the future of package tourism. Marketing divisions will also have to adapt and are currently witnessing change. What role does marketing play and what do travellers expect from the industry, both now and in the future? Covid-19 is not the only topic the industry is discussing. Under the programme heading ’Innovation and transformation – ecological, social and economic responsibility in tourism’, a panel on ’Sustainability and recovery’ and a discussion round on various aspects of ’Recovery & Human Rights’ also await participants. Travel technology topics will round off the day’s events with some fascinating discussions. Among other subjects, industry representatives will discuss ’The crisis as a creative force’ and will ask whether the coronavirus crisis can trigger new processes and a digital transformation in the tourism industry.