Trade exhibitions shuttered by virus

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Last updated on May 6th, 2021 at 07:49 am

Trade exhibitions, once a growth driver for tourism, are in retreat as events are cancelled or postponed in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is keeping a close eye on the most prominent marketplace, ITB Berlin 2020, as the health and interior ministries of Germany discuss whether they will hold the event, scheduled for March 4-8, said TAT governor Yuthasak Supasorn. To deal with the impact of the disease on tourism trade shows, the agency will intensify online marketing support for operators, which is considered a safer and more efficient method for the industry.

The organisers of ITB China in Shanghai have indefinitely put off the show this year, originally scheduled for May 13-15 at the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center, to ensure the safety of exhibitors and visitors.

The China Outbound Travel & Tourism Market 2020 in Beijing, which originally was to take place April 1-3, was postponed to Sept 9-11. Other leading travel trade shows cancelled this year include the Japan Golf Fair 2020 in Yokohama, scheduled for March 19-21, and the luxury travel trade show ILTM Asia Pacific 2020 in Singapore, scheduled for May 18-21.

As of Saturday, Messe Berlin informed that ITB Berlin 2020 will not take place. Due to the rapid spread of the coronavirus, the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of Economics have stated their opinion that ITB Berlin be cancelled. In the cancellation statement, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of Messe Berlin Wolf-Dieter Wolf said not once in the 54-year history of the event have ITB Berlin and Messe Berlin experienced a similar situation.

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