The announcement to cancel ITB Berlin 2020, the largest Travel Industry Trade show was a hard one, and many think it came too late. However it is canceled, and a good decision was made after all. eTurboNews was the first media predicting the cancellation of ITB.
eTN Chatroom for Readers (join us)
Here are comments received from industry leaders on this cancellation:
Safertourism President Dr. Peter Tarlow said: “Although the cancellation of The ITB conference is sad, ITB’s officials are to be congratulated for putting life and health ahead of money. The tourism industry will recover and today’s prudent move by ITB and German leadership is the first move to recovery. We can recover from monetary losses but we can never recover from a loss of life. eTurboNews is to be congratulated for staying on top of this story and for putting health and life over profits. ”
Dr. Tarlow will still be in Berlin and the discussion on Coronavirus and economics in Tourism is still on at the Grand Hyatt Hotel Berlin on Thursday. To register and for more information go to www.safertourism.com/coronavirus
Dilek Kalayci, Head of the Berlin Health Ofice said: “Protecting the population is number one. Not every meeting and event should be canceled due to Coronavirus. However I welcome the decision by Messe Berlin to cancel ITB to give no room to import the virus to Berlin .”, said Dilek Kalayci, Head of the Berlin Health Ofice in regards to the cancellation of ITB
The Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics have confirmed that ITB Berlin 2020 will not take place. “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”, says the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Berlin, Wolf-Dieter Wolf. WYSE Travel Confederation representing youth travelers has contacted all co-exhibitors and we are looking forward to returning to Berlin in 2021.
Dr. Michael Frenzel, president of The Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW) said it was a painful decision. Our responsibility for safety and health for our guests has our highest priority. To secure the safety of the freedom to travel also in the future, it’s important to get on top of the Coronavirus crisis. The cancellation of ITB is a tough economic dent for our industry, but under the circumstances, it was necessary to prevent a further spread of the virus.
Tom Jenkins, CEO of ETOA said: “ETOA operators will continue to run tours, unless explicitly ordered otherwise. People from a non-affected area visiting another non-affected area pose no threat.
“As an association, we are running all scheduled events and attending all forthcoming events. Tourism is a vital component in the economy and a bell-weather for confidence in the service sector. Where it can continue, it must. We have every intention of running our China European Marketplace (CEM) in Shanghai on May 12th: This is where European suppliers meet Chinese buyers. China is a vital and growing market that now needs – it deserves – cultivation and support. The recovery will come, and we need to lay the groundwork now.” There are three origin markets of concern: China, Japan, and North America.
The new Coronavirus outbreak is posing extraordinary difficulties for the European Inbound travel industry.
“Inbound European Tourism is facing its toughest challenge since the 1991 Gulf War.
The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) commented on Closing borders, blanket travel bans and more extreme government policies will not stop the spread of coronavirus, says the head of the World Travel and Tourism Council
Gloria Guevara, President and CEO of the WTTC and former Tourism Minister of Mexico, has first-hand experience of containing a major, viral incident after dealing with the H1N1 influenza virus in Mexico.
Today Ms. Guevara called for governments and authorities worldwide not to overreact with disproportionate measures in a bid to control Covid-19.
Ms. Guevara said: “Governments and those in authority must not seek to choke travel and trade at this time. Closing borders, imposing blanket travel bans and implementing extreme policies are not the answer to stopping the spread of coronavirus.
“Past experience shows that taking such extreme action has been ineffective at best. We urge governments to explore fact-based measures which don’t affect the vast majority of people and businesses for whom travel is essential.”
Analysis by the WTTC shows that 33 countries, just 16% of the total number worldwide, have reported cases of Covid-19. The vast majority of patients affected by the virus have also fully recovered. Covid-19 has a lower mortality rate than previous viral outbreaks such as SARS in 2003 and MERS in 2012.
Millions of people are continuing to travel throughout the world on a daily basis, whether taking flights, cruises, rail journeys or driving. Each month, based on 2018 figures, an estimated average of 2.3million people take a cruise with very few incidents.
Ms. Guevara added: “One death is one too many from any virus but now is not the time to panic. We understand there is huge concern about Covid-19. However, it’s important to remember that fatality rates remain very low and the chances of contracting the virus, for the vast majority of people, are very remote if they travel responsibly and observe simple hygiene measures.”
African Tourism Board Chairman Cuthbert Ncube said: “Despite the negative impact on our global and African tourism industry the ITB cancellation has, ATB is of the opinion that this decision is a necessary step to protect exhibitors and visitors.”