The return of the queen

The world’s biggest travel event, ITB Berlin, finally returns from March 7 to 9, 2023 with a bevy of new features,
a separate setup for luxury and a fully digital ticket for virtual visitors


It has been four years since ITB Berlin took place live. This, along with the change of the leadership, is why we expect many new features at this year’s ITB Berlin.

We spoke to newly appointed Exhibition Director Deborah Rothe for more.


Let’s start with what’s new at ITB Berlin this year.

There is a lot to highlight. To begin with, 2023 is the first time we are focusing exclusively on the B2B audience with the show taking place from Tuesday to Thursday.

The day beforehand, the new ITB Media Monday will be starting with the opening press conference, followed by press conferences and presentations from selected partners and exhibitors.

Not only are we making significant plans for the trade show of the future, we have started realising them already
– Deborah Rothe


Alongside the event, we do offer a new online platform, ITBxplore, which is already open for networking and arranging appointments with attending exhibitors, trade visitors and media. Participants can set up and edit profiles and use this virtual space to network, exchange views and make appointments on the exhibition grounds with buyers, sellers and important industry players.

At the trade show itself we are offering the benefits of additional new services and products, including the premiere of HOME OF LUXURY at the Marshall Haus for everyone interested in the luxury tourism market, a hybrid studio for product presentations and exhibitors’ press conferences in Hall 5.3, and the new ITB Buyers Circle Lounge in Hall 7.2a. as well as the new hub27, our multi-purpose hall, which is also celebrating its premiere during ITB Berlin 2023.

Also new this year are our “Business+ Lounge” in Hall 7.2a and “Business Satellites” in Hall 20, Hub27 and 6.2b on the show grounds. This is where all participants, trade visitors, journalists or exhibitors, can reserve meeting table slots on an hourly base, in advance or directly onsite on


Could you tell us how we can attend ITB remotely via ITBxplore?

The new online platform is a virtual space accompanying the live event. The ITB Berlin exhibitor, trade visitor or media pass provides access to the platform. ITBxplore offers a range of networking options, live streaming along with show details such as product, exhibitor and event listings. It is already online and we encourage users to familiarise themselves with it as soon as possible. This year, participants who wish to attend ITB Berlin digitally can purchase the “fully digital ticket“.


What is the participation like by the Middle East?

This region is indeed one of the growth markets. We do record a number of comebacks, several new regions are now attending in much larger sizes. Lebanon is one of the countries that came back. Saudi Arabia on the other hand is the largest exhibitor in terms of space. Among others, NEOM will be presenting its fascinating plans to the trade show audience. With few exceptions, the United Arab Emirates is strongly represented at the event again.


What is your main goal going forward?

In the long term, we will focus on further expanding the ITB brand. In addition to ITB Berlin, in April there will be the in-person launch of ITB India in Mumbai, followed later this year by ITB China in Shanghai and ITB Asia in Singapore. Basically, our goal is to demonstrate even more presence throughout the entire year. This is exemplified by our new ‘TRVLX by ITB’ event series. Last year, we celebrated its launch together with this year’s host country Georgia.


Please tell us about this year’s conference programme.

Under the headline ’Mastering Transformation’, the ITB Berlin Convention is examining the big topics concerning our industry, including digitalisation, the skills shortage and the energy crisis. Our industry will continue to change dramatically in 2023. We are in an age of profound challenges that extends far beyond the pandemic. In addition to climate change and energy supply issues we are on the threshold of a new global security architecture with wide-ranging implications for travel and tourism.

In all, at this year’s convention 400 leading speakers are taking part in 200 sessions and 18 theme tracks on four stages – where we will be examining topics under a wide range of areas including Travel Technology, Marketing & Sales, Future Travel, MICE, Sustainability, Social Responsibility, Hospitality, Business Travel, New Work and Digitalisation. Selected sessions and panels are being streamed and afterwards will be available to users as videos on demand.


Will the event format change significantly in the coming years?

We took the opportunity during the pandemic to make fundamental changes to the trade show’s format.

The world has taken a huge leap forward where digitalisation is concerned – we therefore see it as all the more important to establish virtual elements as a central pillar of the event.

Focusing on a B2B audience is another important aspect, as mentioned above. Many exhibitors had already requested this before the pandemic. As you can see, not only are we making significant plans for the trade show of the future, we have started realising them already.


Have you released any white papers/ will you release any travel and tourism reports during the show?

In 2023 we are again collaborating with IPK International and will release the World Travel Monitor’s latest findings ahead of the event. At the ITB Berlin Convention, attendees will receive the latest figures and surveys in detail. As in previous years, leading speakers include senior figures from market research institutes – for example Euromonitor, Phocuswright and many others.


What are the main challenges ahead for the meetings industry? How will these shape events in the years to come?

The main challenges in the years ahead will be the transition to hybrid models. Naturally this also comes with great opportunities, as it will enable the industry to gain audiences it would otherwise not reach, due to the high cost of a long trip to the show for instance.

An important subject the exhibition and congress industry has to deal with, is how live events can be kept attractive for attendees and the best mode of interaction for taking part in them. This is a topic we will be examining at the convention as well as the key question of sustainability.