The news of the ITB Berlin 2020’s cancellation was a shock to the travel industry last Friday. As to be expected, the announcement hit many people hard, with thousands of people all around the world preparing to take part in one of the biggest global travel trade shows.
With over 10,000 exhibitors due to take part and over 100,000 trade visitors coming to Berlin, the ripple effect of the late cancellation will be felt throughout Berlin over the coming weeks. Not only were the exhibitors and visitors affected, but also the hotels in Berlin that had been preparing for this massive event. The economic impact for these hotels will be significant depending on their cancellation policies — on the first day of ITB Berlin 2018, hotel occupancy in Berlin was a staggering 97% with an ADR of €168.70 (57% higher than in normal periods).
The Impact on Hoteliers
Hearing from hoteliers in Berlin, cancellations are understandably high but due to the nature of those in the hospitality industry, many of the travellers cancelling have been understanding of the current situation, as they themselves have also been affected.
The Impact on the Industry
This hospitable spirit has also seen the continuation of some smaller scale events and meetings in Berlin, as many people still make their way to Berlin to have meetings and share exciting developments. Robert Broeck, E-Commerce Manager at Hotel Berlin Berlin said “We are not now lapsing into blind action and lowering prices below a normal market level. Certainly we can no longer call up trade fair rates, but we are not selling out either… Business is still feeling stable and those who have to travel do so.”
Looking into the Future
It’s encouraging to see people in the hospitality industry making the best of a bad situation and still organising meet-ups over the time that ITB would have been on. Blog posts, online meetings, and creative digital announcements are just a few of the ways that would-be attendees are managing to get their message out there. Plus, with the launch of the ITB Virtual Convention, valuable speaker content is still being shared. It is a shame that ITB 2020 had to be cancelled under these circumstances, but here at Hotelchamp we are all looking forward to connecting with you online and at ITB 2021.