International travel trade show ITB Berlin will be held in a virtual format again, on March 9-12, 2021, as the pandemic shows no signs of receding.
The annual event was one of the first casualties of the coronavirus outbreak in February, when organisers Messe Berlin cancelled the 2020 edition just days before it was due to take place.
More than 130,000 delegates had been due to travel to Berlin for ITB but it was called off on February 28 as the infection was spreading. It was originally scheduled for March 4-8, 2020.
A message on the ITB website today said: “Under consideration of all circumstances, Messe Berlin has decided that ITB Berlin and ITB Berlin Convention will take place from 9 to 12 March 2021 in digital form as a purely B2B trade fair & conference.
“Detailed information on exhibitor packages, trade visitor tickets and sponsorship opportunities with worldwide reach will be available on this website from 16 November.
“Since 1966, the travel industry has been meeting face to face every year in March in Berlin – many of you know it like the back of your hand, have countless memories of the tourism industry’s annual ‘class reunion’ and benefit from the business relationships established there.
“That’s why we are keeping our promise right now to remain your No.1 platform for successful business, new and established contacts, inspiration and interaction.”
A statement from ITB said: “The pandemic situation remains difficult, especially for the travel industry. With the decision to hold a purely digital ITB Berlin 2021, we – exhibitors and trade visitors alike – are now providing the greatest possible planning security.
“We have developed an alternative concept with which we, as the world’s leading travel trade fair for the industry, can once again offer a reliable platform for global networking, business and content.”