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Industry leaders chart the future of travel, tourism and hospitality at ITB Berlin NOW

Travel and tourism trade show, ITB Berlin NOW, has gone virtual for its 2021 edition. The four-day convention will see over 3,000 international exhibitors and 280 speakers convene to map the latest trends, technology and recovery of the industry post-pandemic.

Annual travel and tourism trade show, ITB Berlin NOW, kicked off on March 9 with tourism organisations, travel technology providers, tour operators, destination management companies and members of the hospitality industry coming together to network and exchange ideas on an entirely virtual platform. The four-day convention will host a total of 3,513 exhibitors from 120 countries across Europe, Latin America, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

ITB Berlin NOW 2021 is being broadcast live via two parallel video streams. For those unable to attend the sessions live, the content will remain accessible on the event website until May 31.

Exhibition floor goes online

Exhibitors from around the globe are presenting the latest products from their brands on the virtual Show Floor on the ITB Berlin website. Participants can target providers and buyers by category and destination and users receive contact suggestions based on their profile and interests.

Think tank for restarting tourism

Leading industry figures will convene at ITB Berlin NOW to map the way forward for the travel and tourism industry post-COVID. Over 280 speakers representing airlines, the hotel, cruise and package tour industries will share their views on future developments and trends in their respective sectors. The programme includes topics such as sustainable travel, destination marketing and the changing MICE and business travel market. Euromonitor International will also debut its Sustainable Travel Index of 99 countries, a guide for destinations and tourism companies.

ITB Berlin NOW 2021
The 2021 edition of ITB Berlin NOW is being broadcast virtually. (Photo: Courtesy ITB Berlin NOW)

Promoting social equality and environmental protection

At the LGBT+ Leadership Summit, participants will examine how society, companies and policymakers can help improve living and working conditions. Social responsibility, sustainable travel and environmental protection are the focus of the ITB Responsible Tourism Brand Card, and the ITB IIPT Celebrating Her Award will honour outstanding achievements of women in tourism.

The Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment will present innovations, new products, and showcase how AI, smart interfaces and dynamic pricing can help boost the economic recovery. At Start Up NOW, entrepreneurs can interact with each other and share their learnings.

Shifts in the luxury and medical tourism markets

The Medical Tourism segment will bring together representatives of hospitals, clinics, hotels and tour operators. The ITB Medical Tourism Award will be presented for the first time in recognition of a provider or destination that has made a special commitment to promoting medical tourism. The ITB Experts Forum Wellness event will discuss trends and developments in the wellness market. ITB Berlin NOW will also feature Home of Luxury, an event where industry members can chart the future of the luxury market in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

ITB India to go virtual in April

Following ITB Berlin NOW, is ITB India, which is scheduled for April 7-9. The theme of the virtual conference is ‘Rebuilding Travel’. Featured speakers include Rohit Kapoor, CEO, India & South Asia, OYO and Abraham Alapatt, President & Group Head – Marketing, Service Quality, Value Added Services & Innovation, Thomas Cook India; Amanpreet Bajaj, Country Manager – India, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong & Taiwan, Airbnb; Ritu Mehrotra, Country Manager, India, Sri Lanka & Maldives, Booking.com; and Daniel D’souza, President & Country Head, Leisure, SOTC Travel. ITB India will also see participation from international tourism organisations such as Business Events Perth, German National Tourism Organisation, Israel Ministry of Tourism, Korea Tourism Organization, Sarawak Tourism Board, Saudi Tourism Authority, Visit Levi, Visit Portugal and the Zagreb Tourist Board.

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