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ITB Berlin News 2021 - Review Edition

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I NEWS I © Ricardo

I NEWS I © Ricardo Gomez / Unsplash Hoteliers’ debate: will sustainability certification increase turnover? A panel discussion at ITB Berlin NOW underlined the fact that business and eco-awareness should be combined. Are visitors’ demands on hotels changing, and can practising eco-awareness improve business? This was the topic that a panel discussion attended by ITB Berlin, Fachhochschule des Mittelstands and the InfraCert Institute for Sustainable Development in the Hotel Industry examined at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. Suzann Heinemann, Director of the InfraCert Institute, emphasised that the pandemic had mostly shown “how vulnerable we all are”. Sustainability had been a topic among consumers even before Covid-19, but the crisis had made people more aware now. Hoteliers who previously had not considered sustainability a priority had worked on their sustainability concepts during lockdown © Maximilien T'Scharner / Unsplash ABU DHABI REVEALS NEW ROADMAP FOR TOURISM An ambitious 10-year concept was presented by Abu Dhabi at ITB Berlin NOW. HE Ali Hassan Al Shaiba, Executive Director of Tourism and Marketing at the Department of Culture and Tourism, says the emirate will be placing a greater emphasis on cultural and MICE tourism, as well as introducing a more general diversification of its tourism offer. The emirate attracted eleven million international visitors in 2019, and plans to more than double this figure by 2030 to a remarkable 23 million. QUALITY TRUMPS QUANTITY MANUEL ANTONIO BEACH, QUEPOS, COSTA RICA LGBT+ LEADERSHIP SUMMIT: “THERE IS STILL WORK DO BE DONE” Many goals have already been reached in the LGBT+ community. In many parts of the world, one finds general acceptance, antidiscrimination laws and gay marriage – but how far have we really come? This was the question that moderator David Downing from United Landmark Associates asked the panel at this year’s session. General consensus is that there is still considerable discrimination in everyday life, at the workplace and on trips to many places around the world, including Europe. DJ Doran, president of Aequalitasmedia and coinitiator of the brand Outvoices in the US, said that one could not generalise, as there were big According to Al Shaiba, there will be a particular focus on the entertainment sector over the coming years. For example, the world’s first Warner Bros. themed hotel will be opening in the city, the largest aquarium in the Middle East will be created in Al Qana and, as an additional attraction, the city is planning an 11,660 square metres snow park, the largest indoor snow park anywhere in the world. Experts at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention sketched out “city tours of the future” in a panel discussion, chaired by Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt, CEO of the China Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) and a member of the Committee of Experts of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF). The session outlined that it will be necessary to “reinvent” city tours following the coronavirus pandemic. In so SHEIKH ZAYED GRAND MOSQUE, ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES VISIT BR AND CARD doing there will be important roles for digitalisation and quality – whereby the word “quality” should also be seen in the context of significance and reason. Mass tourism will be replaced by tourism with a real significance, or tourism for a reason, a conviction held by Kum Hong Siew, COO of Airbnb China: “Traditional mass tourism is basically a form of isolation, but people want to feel connected and to belong, and they want to achieve this through travel” differences between East and West (and not only there). “We have to emphasise our everyday image more, as lawyers, pilots, chefs, hardworking members of the population, who are not just obsessed by fashion”, DJ Doran said. “We are part of everyday society – we need to show that more often” ©Junhan Foong / Unsplash © Quino Al / Unsplash 8 ITB BERLIN NEWS • WEDNESDAY 17 TH MARCH 2021

I NEWS I Global travel trends: ITB Berlin & IPK International After dramatic slump, high chances for a fast recovery of tourism industry ITB Berlin has published the latest World Travel Monitor findings of IPK International on global travel trends in the year of the pandemic and on travel intentions in 2021. Following strong growth rates over the past 10 years, the tourism industry, a flagship of the economy, has experienced a dramatic slump and is one of the worst-hit sectors in the year of the pandemic. Globally, outbound travel in 2020 declined by 70%. The losses varied depending on continent and travel segment. Thus, nature-oriented holiday types and trips by car performed significantly better during the pandemic than air travel or city breaks and round trips. Despite the drastic global decline in 2020, the latest survey results give hope for the upcoming year: two-thirds of outbound travellers worldwide intend to travel abroad again in 2021. CORONAVIRUS LED TO CHANGES IN TRAVEL BEHAVIOUR The segments worst-hit by the global decline in outbound travel are holiday trips (minus 71%). By comparison, business travel (minus 67%) and other private trips (minus 62%) have not been impacted as badly. In the holiday travel market, round trips and city breaks have suffered above average losses (minus 75%), while beach holidays and nature oriented holidays (minus 53%) have weathered the crisis much better. As expected, air travel has been particularly hard-hit by the pandemic, where in outbound travel the decline is minus 74% worldwide. By comparison, international travel by car (minus 58%) has fared much better. In accommodation, declines are above average in the hotel industry (minus 73%), while other accommodation types - including private lodgings - have suffered less badly. HIGH INTEREST IN OUTBOUND TRAVEL IN 2021 The results of IPK’s global survey from January of this year give reason for hope, indeed starting with travel in 2021: 62% of international travellers worldwide intend to travel abroad this year. Those not aiming to travel abroad do not indicate financial reasons for this, but with a large majority the infection risk. A combination of vaccines now being available and a high willingness among outbound travellers (90%) to be vaccinated has nullified the main reason for not traveling, meaning that nothing stands in the way of a rapid and widespread recovery of the tourism industry. TRAVEL AND HOLIDAY PLANS FOR 2021 When asked about outbound travel plans this year, respondents focus on holiday travel. Compared with pre-pandemic travel, there is above-average interest in visiting friends and family. Interest in business travel is higher among Americans and Asians than among Europeans. In terms of holiday trips abroad in 2021, there is a high level of interest in sun & beach holidays. City breaks rank second among holiday types (first among Asians) and © Yousef Alfuhigi / Unsplash 62% OF INTERNATIONAL TRAVELLERS WORLDWIDE INTEND TO TRAVEL ABROAD THIS YEAR nature-oriented holidays comes third, a considerable rise in popularity compared to before the pandemic. The latest surveys also reflect continuing high interest in air travel abroad and a recovery of the hotel industry appears likely. GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR A RAPID RECOVERY The chances for a rapid global recovery of the international tourism industry are very good. Worldwide, there is a strong desire to travel, as evidenced by the travel intentions for 2021. With vaccines now increasingly available, the main reason for not wanting to travel is being nullified. Assuming high percentages of the population are vaccinated quickly around the world, this will contribute to a rapid and comprehensive recovery of global demand for outbound travel. This goal could be reached in 2022, at latest 2023 ITB BERLIN NEWS • WEDNESDAY 17 TH MARCH 2021 9

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