Head of ITB Berlin David Ruetz talks to us about what’s new this year
What new “zones” or segments can we find at this year’s show? We put the question to David Ruetz – head of ITB Berlin.
The travel tech segment is booming, and eTravel Startup Day will be taking place 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.
Luxury travel is booming, and general attitudes towards this market are changing. These chal lenges, as wel l as the opportunities, concern the industry and will be key topics at ITB Berlin who will be collaborating with Loop, a unique trade show for luxury products. Loop will be the place to head for buyers of luxury products at the entrance to Hall 9. On the Thursday of the show the first ITB Luxury Late Night will represent an opportunity for visitors to cultivate contacts in this industry segment. This exclusive networking event will enable providers to discuss topics at length with leading buyers from the luxury travel market in a unique atmosphere.
The huge prospects that medical tourism has to offer the global tourism industry will be highlighted at ITB Berlin. Due to high demand this segment, which was introduced only last year at ITB Berlin, is moving to a larger hall (21b). A growing number of international exhibitors will be represented here. The Health Tourism Industry Conference, the number one event in Europe, is also the official partner of the Medical Tourism segment. Taking place on Gendarmenmarkt on Friday, March 9, the ITB Medical Night sponsored by Tuscany will provide an exclusive networking opportunity.
What are the key trends with exhibitors/halls?
The outstanding number of bookings this year once again underlines ITB Berlin’s role as a driving force and the event mirroring the global tourism industry.
THE OUTSTANDING NUMBER OF BOOKINGS THIS YEAR ONCE AGAIN UNDERLINES ITB BERLIN’S ROLE AS A DRIVING FORCE
Travel tech exhibitors including eNett, Traso, Triptease and Paymentwall, which have increased their display areas, returning exhibitors, among them Travelport, as well as the Hospitality Industry Club, a newcomer, will be highlighting the excellent prospects of this fast-growing segment. Chinese exhibitor numbers are growing especially fast. The online portal Ctrip will be exhibiting its products at ITB Berlin for the first time. Other newcomers from China will include Flightroutes, Ucloudlink, Letsfly, Qyer and Qup.
Demand for places is also particularly high from Arab countries, Asia and South America. European destinations will be attracting more attention with larger stands at ITB Berlin.
Adventure tourism and sustainable travel are important for the younger generation. This trend is reflected by the fact that Hall 4.1 is now fully booked. Last but not least the demand for two-tier stands has never been so high.
Photo: David Ruetz Head of ITB Berlin