This week is going to be exciting.
The ITB travel trade fair is going to be in town.
Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB as an ordinary member of the public. And let me tell you. It was one of the highlights of my year!
I mean, thousands of international travel organisations and travel destinations to watch, see and taste.
It was amazing.
It still is!
Sooooooooo, this week, I’ll be joining in the action too.
However, now that I’m a professional blogger don’t you know, I get to have internal access to all that the travel industry has to offer.
I’ve already written about the ITB before:
But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:
WHAT IS THE ITB?
The ITB Berlin stands for the “Internationale Tourismus-Börse” or in English, the “international tourism trade fair.”
The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.
It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?
Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:
- 5 continents.
- 185 Countries.
- 200 trendsetting events.
- 850 Qualified Top Buyers.
- 10,000 Exhibitors.
- 23,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops.
- 50,000 Private Visitors.
- 115,000 Trade Visitors.
- 160,000 Square meters.
- Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world.
- Over 5 days within 9th March – 13th March, 2016.
- Bringing in a €6.7 billion turnover to Germany!
If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.
The ITB Berlin is a huge deal and the partner country for 2016 is the Maldives with the motto: – the sunny side of life.
THE ITB BERLIN IS 50 YEARS OLD!
The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.
What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.
What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!
In five (5) decades so many societal and political changes have taken place. As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors.
To mark this anniversary, 50 Berliners travelled to 50 destinations all over the world, met 50 representatives, and spoke about 50 special events, topics or projects, whilst picking up interesting, fascinating, and unusual stories. The motto – From Berlin with Love!
Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!
However, it’s a huge venue and there have been incidents of people wandering around and not actually getting to where they wanted to go. Not naming names or anything, so here’s a few tips on how to navigate your way around!
WHEN CAN YOU VISIT?
Trade visitors: 9th – 13th March, 2016. 09:30 – 18:00.
The general public: 12th – 13th March, 2016. 10:00 – 18:00.
Journalists and bloggers: 9th – 13th March, 2016. 09:00 – 19:00.
You can buy tickets at the Exhibition Grounds – or save time and money and buy them in advance at the Online Ticket Shop. Entrance for Trade Visitors / Press to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in the price of your trade fair ticket.
Trade Fair Visitors:
- One Day ticket: Online in advance – €35.00. On the day – €52.00.
- A Five Day ticket: Online in advance – €50.00. On the day – €75.00.
- Accredited press / bloggers: Free of charge, in advance. If not accredited, as above.
The General Public.
- One Day ticket: Online in advance – €12.00. On the day – €15.00.
- Last Minute tickets (only valid on March 13th, from 14:00) – On the day – €8.00.
- All children under the age of fourteen (14) if accompanied by an adult, are totally free of charge!
p.s. You should also be able to buy a €12.00 ticket from any BVG/Sbahn ticket machine. And if you live in Berlin, watch out for the free voucher that sometimes comes via a free delivery of the weekend edition of Berliner Morgenpost!
HOW CAN I GET TO THE ITB?
If you’re a trade visitor or a member of the press, then there is a free ITB shuttle service that will take you from the airport, from selected hotels and from various stops around the city to the ITB Exhibition Ground. If you’re using the city shuttle line service, please note that the stops are not marked as ITB Berlin stops, but are selected buses at the regular bus stops of the Berlin Public Transport System, otherwise known as the BVG!
HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY AROUND THE ITB VENUE.
There are seven (7) entrances, but to give you a better insight you can download a map of the exhibition ground:
- Entrance South / Halls 1/2 (Jafféstrasse).
- Hall 7.2a (opposite to CityCubeBerlin).
- Hall 9 (Messedamm).
- Entrance East (Hall 14.1, opposite the ICC Berlin).
- Entrance North (Hall 19, Hammarskjöldplatz).
- Hall 25.
- City Cube Berlin.
If you’re not using any of the above, or you’re a member of the general public, then you need to get yourself to the following public transport stations. Don’t forget to get a ticket!
There’s no need to panic though, as the city of Berlin provides an extensive public transport network, but make sure you read this post as to how to buy a daily ticket, as Berlin doesn’t have any barriers, and you don’t want to get caught out without a ticket now, do you? The stations that you need to get to are:
- Messe Süd – Sbahn Train S5.
- Messe Nord /ICC – Ring Train S41 or S42.
- Kaiserdamm – Underground Station U2.
- Westkreuz – Sbahn Train S75, S7, S5, Ring Train S41 or S42. You ought to change to Messe Süd (one stop), or go for a little stroll instead, but it’s a bit of a walk!
10 TIPS TO MAKE YOU SAVVY & HELP YOU PREPARE!
- Book: Are you flying, taking the train, hustling in the coach-bus or car-sharing?
- Focus: Define what you want to accomplish and whom you want to contact.
- Plan: Set up meetings and appointments.
- Do research: Get information about the industry’s latest trends and use the Virtual Market Place® catalogue to find out who’s there!
- Learn: Go to presentations, workshops, conferences and talks. I learnt all about Twitter for the first time at ITB and then the next day, I went live and never looked back!
- Save: Buy your Visitor Ticket in advance at the Online Ticket Shop.
- Navigate: Use the Map of the Exhibition Grounds for your personal orientation.
- Download: The ITB Mobile Guide with maps, lists, and services.
- Network: The ITB Berlin offers networking events of a special kind – ITB Blogger Speed Dating and the ITB Speed Networking event. However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve not made an appointment previously, although it helps if you do. Nevertheless, you’re at the largest travel trade fair in the world, so go and explore!
- Enjoy: You’re in one of the finest cities in the world. Have fun!
- Business Cards – Check!
- Business Card Folder or File, so that you don’t lose the ones that you’ve collected – Check!
- Map – Check!
- ITB Berlin Mobile Guide – Check!
- Mobile or Cell Phone plus charger – Check!
- Bottle of Water – Check!
- Smart clothing – Check!
- Exude confidence – Check!
- Smile – Check!
See you at the ITB!
This article is isn’t sponsored and the wonderful time that I’m going to have at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!
In March and April, I’ll be going to England, Portugal and Spain!
To celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th, I’ve joined the Berlin Travel Massive campaign which is hosting an OPEN CALL for the best photos of awesome WOMEN IN TRAVEL. You can share your pictures using the hashtag #WomenInTravel & #travelmassive until March 6th, where photos will be featured at Travel Massive’s biggest night of the year – the Opening Party at ITB Berlin – on March 8th.
The artistic space dedicated to urban culture – @Urban_Spree – will be an evening to celebrate the travel industry, the 50th anniversary of @ITB_Berlin and to highlight and spotlight women – #womenintravel – empowered through tourism: To RSVP go here!
PLANET HER – a pop-up photo exhibition – will also be launched on International Women’s Day (March 8th), and will run until March 13th and during ITB Berlin. The gallery will feature images of women from Haiti, Burma and Tajikistan, and images from @gadventures for Good projects such as Sisterhood of Survivors in Nepal, winner of the UNWTO Award for Innovation in 2016.
And of course, the world’s leading travel trade show – ITB Berlin – will be taking place from 09.03.16 – 13.03.16.
I’ll be there. Will you?
If you’re not in Berlin in March, where are you?
March is going to be splendid!
Watch this space!
Which of these tips would you use? Are you a savvy travel blogger? Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin?
See you in Berlin.