ITB Berlin NOW 2021 Takeaways
Two weeks after a successful ITB Berlin Trade Fair and we are still remembering many of the inspirational talks and discussions of some 700 speakers, which took place during this year's virtual edition.
Four extraordinary and inspiring days where we learned about what to expect in the travel business for 2021, together with the main changes in consumer behaviour and the hopes for a better future for the Tourism industry moving forward.
For Lukas C.C. Hempel, founder and CEO of Bookingkit, this year will be the year of re-set, the consolidation of new start-ups and the acceleration from offline to online.
At the same time, safety will play a significant role in the outlook for travel plans, in search of more natural and sustainable destinations, taking into consideration climate awareness, carbon footprint and ways to give back.
As Nathan Blecharzyk, Co-founder Airbnb, mentioned during his interview on Travel Trends and the Role of Hosting when travel recovers, there is an emerging demand for travel as soon as restrictions are lifted. People are looking forward to reconnecting again and being more flexible when it comes to travelling.
Regarding the main changes in the consumer behaviour, Bryan Simis, Industry Manager Hospitality at Google, affirmed that understanding and adjusting to the users’ online journey will be more important than ever, where the search for information in order to make appropriate travel decisions is key.
In addition to the shift from an offline to an online environment, experts such as Peter Kautz VP Research & Analysis | Statista, agreed that there will be a high demand for domestic travelling - whether to visit family members and friends, or to be in open spaces, in order to ensure a safe environment.
On the other hand, business travel, which has shown a great decrease during 2020, will continue this tendency during 2021.
Nonetheless, the trend of Multi Day Tours, discussed during ITB and led by Manuel Hilty, CEO & Co-Founder of Nezasa, together with Brian Young from GAdventures and Travis Pittman from TourRadar, will continue to grow. In this sector, we will also see more personalised and meaningful experiences which can be easily adapted to the traveller’s expectations and provide flexibility for further adjustments. This change will be mainly enabled by modern technology.
So, what are the hopes for a better future of Tourism?
As Rita Marques, Secretary of State for Tourism of Portugal, pointed out during her ITB interview, this current situation is an opportunity to re-think tourism and to become more resilient and sustainable in the future.
In the same line, Liisa Kokkarinen, Manager for Sustainable Development for Visit Finland, highlighted, in her 7 step holistic approach to become a sustainable destination, the need for a clear commitment to continuously improve and develop towards a more responsible, sustainable and inclusive destination.
In conclusion, in spite of this year’s extraordinary and entirely virtual ITB NOW platform experience, along with its many insightful talks, we very much look forward to next year’s in-person ITB Berlin edition, for a greater and more efficient exchange of networking opportunities.
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Nezasa is a travel tech provider with offices in Switzerland and Portugal. We provide our platform in a white-label software-as-a-service model to travel brands (Tour operators, Travel agents and OTAs) around the world.
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