IHIF and ITB Berlin Cancelled/Postponed Due to Coronavirus

Main Photo: The largest global travel-trade show that everyone attends each year…except this year

Date: March 2020

Location: Berlin, Germany

Name: ITB – so well-known it doesn’t need the full name and IHIF – The International Hotel Investment Forum, similarly THE event in everyone’s diary

What Did They Say: Due to the global concern regarding COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak, Questex today announces it will postpone the International Hospitality Investment Forum, the world’s largest and most influential hospitality investment event, and its co-located event Adjacent Spaces@IHIF. The shows were set to take place this week – 2-4 March 2020 – in Berlin, Germany and will be moved to the 4th-6th of May at the InterContinental Hotel and Pullman hotel respectively.

“The health and safety of attendees is of the utmost importance to Questex. We have been in constant communication with our key partners, sponsors and delegates and it has become clear that the most prudent action for the industry and the greater public health is for us to postpone the event. The hotel investment community has urged us to reschedule the event as soon as possible and the InterContinental and Pullman hotels in Berlin have been very accommodating.”

“This was a very difficult decision as many in the community were asking us to proceed with the show. Ultimately there is no greater importance than the health and safety of our community members and that will always be the guiding principle that drives our business,” said Paul Miller, CEO of Questex.

“We are sorry to disappoint our delegates but their safety and well-being, as well as that of our presenters and staff has to come first”, commented Alexi Khajavi, Managing Director EMEA “We have the support and commitments of our industry partners and IHIF will be back as always better and bigger.”

IHIF connects the ambitious, brave, curious and disruptive professionals that shape the world of hospitality investment globally. During this time of uncertainty, we will ensure that we continue our discussion of the deals and opportunities and continue to connect the community through our digital platforms.

This follows hot on the heels of ITB – the equivalent event for hoteliers and a wider range of travel-trade companies, cancelling their show, also in Berlin..

Organisers of the ITB travel trade fair, have cancelled the event over the same coronavirus fears. 160,000 visitors were expected to attend this year’s event.

“We take our responsibility for the security and the health of our guests, exhibitors and employees very seriously. It is with a heavy heart that we have to look at the necessary cancellation of the ITB Berlin 2020.”

The travel fair was due to open this Wednesday (4th March) but concerns grew after Germany recorded a jump in the number of infected residents this week. Of the 10,000 exhibitors expected at ITB from all over the world, 22 would have come from China and 25 others from Hong Kong and Taiwan.

With confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Europe’s biggest economy rising above 60, more than 1,000 people remain in quarantine. Schools and kindergartens were also shut in the district until Monday as the number of cases linked to the cluster reached 20.

With cases now detected across several further German states including Hesse, Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria, Health Minister Jens Spahn said this week that Europe’s biggest country was “at the beginning of a coronavirus epidemic”.

The German governments ordering local authorities in the country’s 16 states to update their pandemic readiness plans. From Thursday authorities in German are also requiring travellers arriving from China, South Korea, Japan, Iran and Italy to provide contact details in case their movements had to be traced over possible infections.

Just a few days before the cancellation, the venue Messe Berlin and the organisers of the ITB had expressed their confidence that the fair would take place as planned. But over the last week requirements for exhibitors were tightened.

Meanwhile, the ITB in China, the fastest growing regional travel trade fair, planned for May, has already been cancelled by the organisers last week.

THPT Comment: My gosh…just a few weeks ago if you had told us that these two events were going to be cancelled….a reflection on the chaos descending on tourism as a whole, hotel companies, airlines and the general commercial world.

We have also just heard that MIPIM will also be postponed to June 2nd – 5th

First Seen: The Thaiger and IHIF website

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