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  • In partnership with ITB Berlin the leading event of the digital tourism industry will take place at the Marshall Haus on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds on 25/26 June

    In partnership with ITB Berlin the leading event of the digital tourism industry will take place at the Marshall Haus on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds on 25/26 June

    Be it the Fridays for Future demonstrations or the most recent European election results – the signs in society clearly point towards sustainability. It is also one of two main themes at this year’s VIR Online Innovation Days held by Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V., to which the association is extending an invitation in late June at the Marshall Haus once again. The focus will also be on sustainability throughout 2019. It is an aspect which, against the backdrop of digitalistation, globalisation and growing competition from Asia – especially from China – is becoming increasingly important for established companies.

    The finalists of the prestigious Innovators’ Competition, which traditionally takes place on day one of the OIT, will also be displaying new ideas. The following are on this year’s shortlist: MOTOURISMO, the portal for motorcycle tours, Adigi with its digital holday advice tool, Giggle with a B2B product for the hotel industry, Tripmind with its platform for group tours, Pincamp, the European campsite specialist, and Bierakademie, which organises beer tasting trips. The finalists will each deliver a brief pitch on their subject, after which a panel of leading experts will pick the winner. A comprehensive package awaits him or her, incuding a stand at  ITB Berlin 2020. Content-wise, innovation will be the dominant aspect of this event. Afterwards, speakers taking part in various formats will talk about how established players can remain competitive in the market – either by constantly reviewing their own business model or targeting ambitious start-ups with investment.

    Sustainability will be the main...

  • Marine pollution has increasingly become a focus of discussion in the tourism industry.

    Marine pollution has increasingly become a focus of discussion in the tourism industry.

    By now almost everyone should be aware of the negative effects of plastic waste on the environment and the oceans. Only recently, the international press reported a sad find: plastic at the deepest point on the planet in the Mariana trench. This alarming problem was the subject of numerous discussions at the ITB Berlin Convention. At the ITB CSR Day the founder of the organisation Travel Without Plastic pointed out how older hotel owners in particular are still conditioned to using plastic tableware and cutlery. The sustainability officer of the cruise operator Costa also explained the enormous impact that cigarette ends have on the amount of plastic waste. According to this expert, many people wrongly assume that cigarette filters are made of harmless paper or cotton.

    Those attending the discussion rounds pledged plans to reduce the amount of plastic in the future. Thomas Cook for instance has been in close contact with destinations for some time to push for a noticeable reduction in plastic waste. For a long time TUI Cruises has been making sure that nothing goes overboard that does not belong in the sea. Next year the company is already aiming to ban plastic on board.

    Within the tourism industry overall awareness of the problem has increased significantly. In the world’s major cities many cafés no longer serve disposable cups and ask customers to purchase re-usable items. More and more restaurants and hotels are taking a stand against plastic straws and offering alternatives out of metal or bamboo.

    California recently attracted attention with its future plan to ban small plastic bottles of shampoo and shower gel in hotels. In Asia the boutique hotel chain Akaryn is boldly setting...

  • ITB China 2019: David Axiotis

    In the space of three years ITB China has established itself as an indispensable event for China’s travel industry. An interview with David Axiotis, General Manager of ITB China.

    The third edition of ITB China came to an end on 17 May 2019. How did it go?

    David Axiotis: Very well. We had a total of 17,000 visitors, 2,000 more than last year. This year there was an even stronger focus on content and innovations, which was very well received by our visitors and industry partners. We also set the tone with Customized Travel, new conference topics and the ITB China Travel Trends Report. There were large numbers of visitors on the first two days, which was evident from the crowded entrances and stands. On the third day, Education and Job Day, lots of students visited the show. Buyers and exhibitors alike were very satisfied with their results, and overall reported three successful days at the show.

    With 800 exhibitors from 84 countries the display area was bigger than last year. In which markets was the increase in participation strongest?

    David Axiotis: Europe was strongly represented, as in previous years. There was a big increase in South American exhibitors. We were delighted to see several newcomers: Chile, the Dominican Republic, Salvador as well as the Bahamas, which were partners of Island Travel. 

    A number of important new exhibitors also took part – which segments and destinations did they represent?

    David Axiotis: The tourism organisations of Azerbaijan, the Philippines, Qatar, Romania and Zimbabwe all celebrated their debut at ITB China. In the case of Zimbabwe, theirs was the first tourism organisation to be representing Africa. Other newcomers included the regional...

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Diese Gruppe richtet sich an Journalisten, Onlinepublizisten und Kommunikationsexperten auf Unternehmensseite, die sich zur ITB Berlin und zur ITB Asia sowie über touristische Themen informieren und austauschen wollen. Auf der ITB Berlin und der ITB Asia trifft sich die ganze Welt: Menschen, die in der Reiseindustrie arbeiten, und Menschen, die sich über die schönsten Reiseziele informieren möchten. Die Kombination aus Fachausstellung, Publikumsmesse und dem weltweit größten Fachkongress zieht Jahr für Jahr zehntausende Besucher, Aussteller und Medienvertreter an.


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This group is aimed at travel trade professionals, journalist, online publicists and company communication experts wishing to discuss and learn more about tourism topics at ITB Asia and ITB Berlin. People from all over the world, those working in the travel industry and those wishing to find out about the most attractive destinations, meet at ITB Asia and ITB Berlin. Each year this combination of industry exhibition, a trade fair for the public and the world’s largest specialist convention attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media representatives.