Reflecting on ITB Berlin 2024

Daniel Colling
Strategy & eCommerce Specialist






As we reflect on the bustling atmosphere, insightful discussions, and innovative ideas that shaped our experience at one of the world's premier travel events, one thought keeps coming to mind: Business as Usual.

It was something that everyone remarked on as the crowds of attendees hustled and bustled around the convention halls. It was also the antithesis of the conversations we had with the majority of people we met - all of whom were seeking out innovative ways to grow their business following the post-COVID boom of the past two years, acknowledging that business as usual won’t get it done.

All in all, our team spent three days engaged in fantastic conversations with innovators and industry leaders, coming away with well-worn soles and plenty of optimism about the future of the sector and Holibob’s ability to drive its growth as the eCommerce Engine for Experiences.

Adventure Isn’t Just a Travel Category

At ITB Berlin, the energy was palpable, with attendees buzzing around and excitement in the air. Holibob’s Revenue VP, Alejandro summed it up perfectly: "There was a vibrant atmosphere and bustling crowds filled with the top players and innovators in the travel industry." With the challenges of Covid now firmly in the rear-view mirror, there was an unmistakable urge to return to embrace the opportunities ahead with a spirit of adventure and innovation.

Not surprisingly, those innovations were led by AI, personalisation, and digital transformation, making it clear the future of travel is being shaped by consumer-centric implementations of cutting-edge technologies. Coming away from the Messe Centre, we are more confident than ever that our vision for the future of selling experiences by delivering the hyper-personal context and convenience travellers crave is growing hand-in-hand with the ambitions of travel brands and other innovators in the industry.

Insights That Left a Mark

Amidst the hustle and bustle of ITB Berlin, we were treated to a plethora of insightful presentations and discussions. Alejandro was captivated by talks on sustainability and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), while Ralph Mrad, a long-time industry veteran and our Senior Director of Business Development, found inspiration in discussions on innovation.

Specifically, emerging technologies like Generative AI (surprise) and blockchain-based solutions showcased the immense potential to reshape the travel landscape. Whilst the hype around Gen-AI has definitely subsided since last year, it has been replaced with a more grounded pragmatism that actually seeks to use it for what it is best at (processing and relaying large amounts of data), and is now actually solving challenges at business and consumer levels rather than being lost in blue-sky thinking.

Navigating the Journey Together

As always, networking opportunities abounded at ITB Berlin, providing us the chance to connect with industry leaders and forge valuable partnerships. From the global OTAs to technology-focused startups, everyone wanted to discuss our commitment to customer-lead innovation and unearthing the true potential of AI in the travel space: simplifying buying decisions through the delivery of hyper-relevant offerings.

Of course, no adventure is without its challenges. Navigating the public transport strikes in the city was a challenge for all attendees and left a mark on the overall attendance in the conference halls. Despite this, everyone we spoke to carried the same optimism and enthusiasm that defines the travel industry.

Insights and Future Strategies: Charting Our Course

As we reflect on our journey at ITB Berlin, we're excited to incorporate our learnings to partner more deeply with players across the industry to further the online discovery and booking of Experiences. Unlocking a multi-billion dollar experiences opportunity for any and all travel brands who wish to tap into it. From developing ecosystem strategies to leveraging data partnerships, we're committed to staying ahead of the curve and generating unique value for travellers..

Ultimately, our time at ITB Berlin reaffirmed our belief in the power of innovation, collaboration and experiences to shape the future of travel. We’re already looking forward to next year’s show and all the events still to come in 2024. To know where we’ll be or keep up-to-date with the Holibob latest, make sure to follow us on LinkedIn.

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