Organisers in Germany have confirmed ITB Berlin is scheduled to take place as an in-person event from March 9th-13th next year.

The news follows the successful hosting of a digital event this year, under the title of ITB Berlin Now, which welcomed 65,700 users over the past week.

The trade show gave participants a virtual meeting place, with 3,513 exhibitors representing destinations, hotel chains and tech companies from 120 countries making use of the new format.

Some 80 per cent of participants made use of the networking features, which included business meetings via individual and group calls, chats and searching for business partners.

Martin Ecknig, chief executive of Messe Berlin, said: “The last 12 months have shown how important it is for the travel industry to have a platform in these difficult times, in order to be sure of a specialist meeting place after months of uncertainty and in such an exceptional situation.

“In particular, there was keen interest in the many networking opportunities, which reflected the quality of ITB Berlin Now users.

“Four out of five contact requests led to a successful business match.”

Turning his attention to next year, Ecknig added: “The experience gained at ITB Berlin Now will influence our planning for March 2022.

“We will take the lessons learned and combine them with our decades-long experience of organising in-person events.

“At the same time, we are keeping all options open to expand ITB Berlin’s content and dates with a virtual event.

“For us, planning a hybrid trade show means combining the essential elements of an in-person and virtual industry event in the best possible way.

“That gives every audience the best possible chance to take part in the trade show and convention – regardless of where they are in the world.”