Another event, ITB Berlin 2020, has been cancelled as a consequence of Coronavirus’ rapid spread across Europe. The decision came after the responsible health authority of the district of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf in Berlin imposed significantly tighter restrictions on holding the event.
“Among its requirements the authority stipulated that each participant would need to prove to Messe Berlin that they were not from a designated risk area or had not been in contact with a person or persons from a risk area,” the statement by ITB reads. “It is not possible for Messe Berlin to satisfy these requirements overall.”
Messe Berlin’s CEO Christian Göke commented: “With more than 10,000 exhibitors from over 180 countries ITB Berlin is extremely important for the world’s tourism industry. We take our responsibility for the health and safety of our visitors, exhibitors and employees very seriously. It is with a heavy heart that we must now come to terms with the cancellation of ITB Berlin 2020.”
This is the first time in a 54-year history of the event that ITB Berlin and Messe Berlin have experienced a similar situation. “We would like to thank all exhibitors and partners from all over the world who over the past few days and weeks have stood by ITB Berlin,” Wolf-Dieter Wolf, the chairman of the supervisory board of Messe Berlin, added. “We look forward to continuing the trusted relationship with our partners in the market.”
In February, organisers also announced to postpone ITB China 2020, originally scheduled to take place from the 13th to 15th of May at Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Center. ITB planners said the deferred show dates will be further announced, while IBTM Asia Pacific has been rescheduled for the 13th and 14th of April next year.
Here is a list of events cancelled for the same reason, as put together by Quartz.
The Coronavirus epidemic reached 90,663 cases, among which 2,495 in Europe alone, and 3,124 deaths at the time of writing (March 3).
ICCA also put together a COVID-19 liveblog to help readers find reliable information and to share meetings industry-related resources.
HQ invites again their readers, especially those travelling a lot, to wash their hands often and thoroughly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. HQ also reminds event organisers to pay special attention to the hygiene issue when planning their next event - by providing sanitisers and a good ventilation system, for instance. Alternatively to in person meetings, online conference calls are a proper choice.
A good and informative Q&A can be found here.
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