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Travel & Hospitality 03.25.21 BLOG 

Travel and Tourism Trends: ITB Berlin 2021 Recap

By Kyle McAleavey, Senior Account Executive


Travel and Tourism Trends: ITB Berlin 2021 Recap

With in-person tradeshows off the cards for all industries, virtual events are still king in 2021.

Our team attended ITB 2021, the world’s biggest travel and tourism fair, which is typically held in Berlin. Of course, the hot topic was how the travel industry will recover from 2020 and what trends travel and tourism businesses will need to take note of going forward.

What’s Happening in Greece

As part of one of the panel discussions, we saw Greece’s tourism minister, Harry Theocharis, who explained the Greek National Tourism Organisation’s road to recovery. The plan featured extending the usual season outside of April and October, diversifying their destination and product offering, and targeting more markets.

By doing so, they hope to ensure that if current key source markets go into lockdown, there are others to tap into.

Greece will be looking to target more global travelers than ever before for both the short and long haul, and we expect other destinations to follow suit.

The Future of Travel

In terms of the future of travel, there was a lot of discussion around how long it will take to recover to pre-pandemic levels. However, most agreed that 2023 is the year to watch. 

The travel industry has been through terrorism, disease, and economic declines, including 9/11, SARS, bird flu, a financial crisis, swine flu, MERS, Zika, and now COVID-19. The industry has always come out of each one stronger.

While COVID-19 has had the biggest impact on the travel industry, we saw that people still really wanted to travel in 2020. For examples, destinations like the Maldives and Dubai saw an influx of travelers over fall and winter.

10 Takeaways from ITB Berlin 2021

In no particular order, here are the top 10 topics we took away from the conference:

1) Uneven Recovery

There will be an uneven recovery due to the nature of vaccine rollouts around the world.

2) Leisure versus Business

Leisure travel will recover much quicker than business travel.

3) Domestic Travel

Right now, domestic travel is key and should not be overlooked once things open up, as many people plan to replace international travel with domestic travel in 2021.

4) Conscious Travel and Sustainability 

Travelers are more conscious about their environmental footprint and supporting local businesses.

5) “Workcations”

Working from typical holiday locations will boom in 2021, and therefore long-term rentals will thrive.

6) Urban Travel

People will crave being around others, so trips to the city will skyrocket.

7) Airlines

Going forward, there will be a need to develop a larger network to serve more international traffic and limit future risk.

8) Agility

Travel companies need to be more agile to future-proof their businesses, in case anything like this pandemic happens again.

9) Brand Loyalty

For both employees and customers, it is incredibly important to ensure both internal and external brand loyalty.

10) Travel Searches

Immediate searches for travel indicate extended vacations (workcations), short booking windows, and staycations.

Moving Forward

Expert advice says to plan for multiple scenarios, seek opportunities in unexpected places, and remain agile by leveraging digital platforms.

If you would like to know how TransPerfect can help your business target new markets and ensure you’re putting your best digital foot forward, contact us today.

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