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ITB Deep Dive: Deborah Rothe provides an insight into the ITB Berlin Convention 2024

“Pioneer the Transition in Travel & Tourism. Together.” is the slogan of the ITB Berlin Convention, which from 5 to 7 March 2024 will be held parallel with ITB Berlin. In the latest episode of the Travel Hero Podcast with Charlotte Lamp Davies from A Bright Approach, Deborah Rothe, director of ITB Berlin, previews the highlights and topics at the convention.

The convention’s slogan reflects the guiding principle of the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. Rothe says: “Pioneering ideas, tomorrow’s trends, best practices, discovering new business models and bringing them onstage, the slogan says in a nutshell what ITB Berlin has always been about.”

Attendees at the convention can look forward to high-profile speakers and experts from the global travel industry who will be sharing their expertise, providing orientation and a clear outlook during the programme of events. “There will be a total of 17 theme tracks on four stages – the structure of this industry is so diverse it is important to have a wide-ranging programme so that there is something for everyone. We are also expecting some 400 speakers from around the world“, says Rothe. Her personal highlight is the Responsible Tourism track, which focuses on biodiversity and where attendees can find out about the latest best practices and how destinations are becoming sustainable and promoting the conservation of biodiversity.

Deborah Rothe, standing with her right shoulder against the wall and looking into the camera.

Deborah Rothe, director of ITB Berlin

Focus on industry challenges and opportunities – from climate action to AI

According to Rothe, complex geopolitical situations, the green transformation and the development of new technologies are only a few of the big challenges facing the global travel industry. These are topics the ITB Berlin Convention will also be addressing. “In the tourism sector we are already on the right track, but there is still great potential. That is why the platform ITB Berlin represents is so important. This is where everyone comes together to discuss and present solutions to these challenges.“

Climate change and climate action will be among the key topics at the ITB Berlin Convention, says Rothe, and points to the intricate nature of climate action in tourism. She underlines the need for the industry to work together to overcome the complex challenges. Rothe regards the congress as an ideal opportunity to prompt genuine debate and find joint solutions. “We will present a scenario in which net zero is possible. It will take a global effort, but will also be a huge opportunity for our industry. This will be a great topic and I am really curious to see what the attendees will present and the projects it will result in.“

The AI track, to be held for the first time next March, will examine the transformative effects of AI on the travel and tourism industry. Asked by Davies how AI is impacting the industry and how jobs can be secured, Rothe emphasises the potential that technology has – both to create new jobs and reduce the skills shortage. The Future Work track will also examine AI, she adds.

From 5 to 7 March the international tourism industry is gathering at ITB Berlin, the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in a show ticket, which can be purchased now from the ticket shop.

You can listen to the full episode here: