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Dirk Hoffmann, Managing Director, Messe Berlin - Opening Press Conference

Dirk Hoffmann, Managing Director, Messe Berlin - Opening Press Conference

I must admit this is quite an emotional moment for me. To be able to welcome you here to Messe Berlin now and over the coming days feels very special.
Together with the entire industry I expect a spectacular comeback, bursting with energy, driven by this year’s slogan ’Open for Change’. There is a lot of disruption, consolidation and challenges taking place right now. But the industry has proven to be strong and able to adapt. Now is the time that we can turn the changes and challenges into major opportunitiestogether as one strong industry!

Despite looking forward to the days ahead, our thoughts are also with the victims of the ongoing war in Ukraine and the earthquake victims in Syria and Turkey. Turkey is one of the
most important holiday destinations and for years has been a loyal exhibitor at ITB Berlin. The Ukrainian Tourism Board and Kiev will also present their tourism products with small booths at ITB Berlin despite the current situation.

ITB Berlin is definitely making a strong comeback.
Altogether, we are looking forward to welcoming around 5.500 destinations, regions and companies as exhibitors and co-exhibitors.
International participation in ITB Berlin is extremely high again. Our exhibitors are from 161 countries. ITB Berlin has shown that in 2023 it remains the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show and a platform and driving force for trends and networking. The products and services are wide-ranging and cover the entire spectrum and value chain of the travel industry.
Strong exhibitor representations also include smaller regions such as the Alps, as well as Georgia, our official host country, and Saudi Arabia, the largest exhibitor at the show, and the Caribbean, to name only a few.

The Travel Tech segment was well represented even before the pandemic and that has not changed this year. The cruise and mobility industry are also here in large numbers.
As well as opening a day earlier this year, ITB Berlin is focusing entirely on B2B customers. The feedback was very positive. It was a spot-on decision which satisfied a demand many had had for a long time. The new concept enables a focused target group approach. Even before the pandemic many exhibitors have expressed a strong interest in a B2B focus.
The Berlin Travel Festival as the previous partner event of ITB Berlin, is now part of the leisure exhibition Boat & Fun Berlin and that was very well received by visitors last November.

The next Berlin Travel Festival will take place from 1 to 3 December 2023 on our Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Mark the date!
The new digital platform ITBxplore accompanies the live event in the digital space, offering networking options in combination with classic content such as product, exhibitor, and event overviews. Selected content can be followed there via livestream. Those who cannot be in Berlin this year can purchase the Fully Digital Ticket and join the event digitally.
We are also inaugurating our new multi-purpose hall hub27 for example.That is where those exhibitors will be who were affected by restoration work taking place on the halls around the Radio Tower. Our host country Georgia as well as Germany,
Switzerland and Austria will be presented in hub27 among other destinations.


Our hybrid studio in Hall 5.3 is also new. That is where exhibitors can livestream press conferences and product presentations.

We have 4 dedicates business zones: Our “Business+ Lounge” in Hall 7.2a and “Business Satellites” at three different locations on the trade show grounds are another novelty this year. Customers can easily book meeting tables by hour online.

The HOME OF LUXURY by ITB will be celebrating its debut in the Marshall Haus.
Furthermore, we are introducing our new ITB Berlin Innovations Radar as a platform for showcasing innovations in tourism that make a technical, social, or economic impact at ITB Berlin.

And last but not least:
Our new ITB Media Monday today. After the opening press conference, you can look forward to fascinating press conferences, including with the European Travel Commission, the Word Travel & Tourism Council and the Saudi Tourism Authority.
We are welcoming over 400 leading speakers from the travel industry.
They will be sharing their expert knowledge on the latest tasks and challenges facing the tourism industry. A total of 18 theme tracks will be featuring over 200 Sessions on four convention stages in Halls 7.1a and 7.1b as well as in Halls 6.1 and 3.1.
This year’s slogan ’Mastering Transformation’ is the dominant theme. It really sums it up.
The travel industry is in constant flux. The industry’s largest thinktank provides ideas and inspiration for ways to master this process, whether the topic is digitalisation or the growing skills shortage.
Many highlights can be expected - The convention features keynotes, panel discussions, expert interviews and awards on groundbreaking topics such as travel technology, marketing
& distribution, future travel, MICE, sustainability and social responsibility, hospitality, business travel, future work and much more.
The keynote speech opening the event tomorrow on Tuesday will be held by Clemens Fuest, president of the ifo Institute providing an outlook and implications for the tourism industry
Other headline speakers include:

Charuta Fadnis from Phocuswright,
Sebastian Ebel, CEO, TUI
Keith Tan, CEO, Singapore Tourism Board
Caroline Bremner, Senior Head of Travel Research, Euromonitor
Dr. Dirk Glaeßer, director, UNWTO
Prof. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, a leading climate scientist and honorary director of the
Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Stefanie Berk, executive board member, Marketing, Deutsche Bahn Fernverkehr
And many more.
We are really looking forward to welcoming Georgia as host country at this year’s show.
We have enjoyed many years of partnership and successful cooperation with Georgia. We visited the country only recently in summer with a group of media representatives and buyers to attend our new ITB TRVLX event series. We were able to get an excellent impression of Georgia’s legendary ’infinite hospitality’.
For many years, the country has impressed with a spectacular rise in tourism services – it is a unique travel destination that offers visitors a wide range of experiences, adventure and impressions. ITB Berlin and Georgia both benefit significantly from the partnership with the Georgian National Tourism Administration.

But I don’t want to give too much away. We will shortly be hearing from the vice prime minister himself.
I look forward to the days ahead and wish everyone a great and successful ITB Berlin 2023
Thanks for being on board!