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Published on Friday, February 28, 2020

ITB Berlin 2020 cancelled



Organisers of ITB, due to take place in Berlin this week, have cancelled the event despite pressure from travel professionals to set a good example to potential customers.


Messe Berlin made the decision on Friday evening after the local health authority implemented extra safeguards for the event amid the growing threat of coronavirus.


A message on ITB's web site says: "Due to the increasing spread of the novel coronavirus COVID-19, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics have decided to cancel ITB Berlin.


"The responsible health authority of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf of Berlin has increased the requirements for the event to take place early this evening (18:27).


"Among other things, the authority orders every trade fair participant must prove to Messe Berlin that they do not come from the defined risk areas or have had contact with a person from the risk areas. Messe Berlin is unable to implement all these requirements.


"Messe Berlin has been pointing out for weeks that the decision to hold or cancel major events can only be made on the basis of the recommendation or instruction of the relevant authorities. Only these authorities have all the necessary information and expertise to draw the right conclusions."





Dr. Christian Goke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, added: "With more than 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries, ITB Berlin is of outstanding importance for the global tourism industry.


"We take our responsibility for the health and safety of our guests, exhibitors and employees very seriously. It is with a heavy heart that we look forward to the cancellation of ITB Berlin 2020, which has now become necessary."


The chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Berlin Wolf-Dieter Wolf said: "In their now 54-year history ITB Berlin and Messe Berlin have never before experienced a comparable situation.


"We would like to thank all exhibitors and partners around the world who have supported ITB Berlin in the past days and weeks, and look forward to continuing our trusting cooperation with our partners in the market."


Many members of the travel industry had urged ITB not to cancel the event, insisting keeping the show open would send a positive message to the world.


Do you think it was the right decision? Click here to take part in our Mole Poll.

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