Happening during ITB Berlin on March 9-11 at Arena Berlin, the Berlin Travel Festival will reinforce the importance of “people, places, and memories” in a highly digitised travel market. Bernd Neff, Berlin Travel Festival co-founder and managing partner, talked to ITB Berlin News about the inspiration for the festival.
The travel festival idea came about because not only has the way we travel changed, but we have as well. We believe it’s time to bring travel planning back from the digital realm into the real world. Travel fans are spending way too much time online trying to plan the best days of their year. The combination of information overload with how easy it is to get lost in the booking platform jungle, means that travel planning consumers feel left alone. And they’re starting to get frustrated. Travel is about people, places, and memories. Everybody in the tourism industry seeks to create unique experiences; but at the actual beginning of that journey there’s only room for discussions around distribution technologies, scaling effects and channel management. With the festival, we’re bringing together brands and experiences. We’d like to foster conversations and offer travellers a place where they can have oneon- one conversations with travel experts.
Who should come?
We are kicking off on Friday, March 9 with a retail lab where we are aiming for guests from travel agencies and other industries involved in retail business. Globally, we are witnessing the return of travel agencies, however current retail concepts don’t necessarily contribute to this phenomena. This is where our emphasis will be. We’re offering ITB Berlin Trade Ticket holders complimentary access and, Friday from 12:30 – 4:30pm, there’s a shuttle bus from the ITB Berlin fairground to the Berlin Travel Festival. On Friday evening, we’re celebrating our public opening with street music and the theme of “vanlife”; while on Saturday we have a series of events looking at the outdoors, adventure, sustainability and mindfulness. Sunday brings the focus to family, with live cooking shows and talks from full-time family travelers. The full programme of over 80 speakers and events and 100 exhibitors is on our website.
Photo : Bernd Neff Co-founder and Managing Partner, Berlin Travel Festival