Europe's Largest Travel Trade Show ITB Berlin Cancelled Due to COVID-19
***UPDATE 7:00pm BST: ITB Berlin has been cancelled***
Europe's largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin, has been cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. A statement on the trade show's website reads:
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 Göke, CEO of Messe Berlin GmbH, said: '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 explains: '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'.
Original article below:
Europe's largest travel trade show, ITB Berlin, may be cancelled this evening due to fears about the spread of the coronavirus known as COVID-19.
The possibility of the event's cancellation had initially been dismissed by the show's organisers, however, Horst Seehofer, Germany's minister for the interior, has led calls for the event to be postponed as the coronavirus spreads across the world. Due to start on 4 March, ITB Berlin's cancellation would be one of the largest events to be affected by the coronavirus and a massive blow to the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
A statement on the ITB Berlin Twitter feed reads: 'Messe Berlin is currently coordinating with the public authorities at federal and state level on how to proceed with regard to ITB Berlin 2020 and COVID-19. It is expected that more detailed information will be available in the evening of February 28th at the earliest. We will inform you as soon as we have new information.'