Industry Insights

ITB Berlin 2023 Takeaways from the Leonardo Team

Last week, our team headed to Berlin for the world’s largest tourism trade fair, ITB Berlin. In between a few prosts with clients at the brauhaus, it was an amazing opportunity to connect and reconnect with partners and travel experts from around the world.   

This conference brings in hospitality and travel from every sector. When we weren’t talking with clients, we were walking the floor to see what the biggest trends and most common conversation topics were. Here are five of our key takeaways from ITB Berlin.  

Travel is Back and So is Optimism 

The atmosphere at the conference, as well as the meetings and presentations, was that travel is back! While business travel recovery has lagged behind leisure (as predicted), all sectors are on the rise.  

In addition to anecdotal evidence, insights from the data experts at STR show that travel is rebounding, with a strong start to 2023. They recently reported that two-thirds of countries’ with 50,000 hotel rooms had RevPAR higher this year compared to a similar period in 2019.  

Many of the industry experts we spoke to were happy with the numbers they were currently seeing and increasingly confident about the future.   

Staffing Shortages  

Of course, travel numbers are up—but so are open hotel positions. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are approximately 1.7 million open hospitality jobs. Staffing shortages continue to be a topic of conversation in nearly every sector of the industry, from hotel brands dealing with the shortages to technology vendors looking for new ways to help fill the gaps.  

Here at Leonardo, we’re having a lot of conversations about how distribution technology helps short-staffed hotels. Both by automating tasks that were previously done manually, as well as by centralizing knowledge so it doesn’t leave the building with the staff that set it up.  

Metasearch is Top of Mind   

Many of the hotel brands we spoke with were increasingly interested in the value of metasearch. Metasearch helps travelers see rates from multiple channels (third-party and direct) on one site, such as Tripadvisor, Google, Kayak or Trivago.  

According to recent studies, most travelers will consult at least one metasearch site before making a booking. We know how important metasearch is in hotel’s digital marketing toolkit, so stay tuned!   

Excitement for new products 

One of the main topics of conversation that we had at ITB was about the next generation of Content Manager. We have a lot to look forward to this year as we gear up to launch the new gold standard in distribution.   

Our new platform will distribute media and textual content selectively to internal and external channels based on hotel needs. At ITB and throughout this year, we’re excited to demonstrate the capabilities of our new platform to partners and clients.   

Wear comfortable shoes  

One of the most important lessons from ITB was the value of comfortable shoes! Our team averaged about 50,000 steps over the three days of the conference. The vast and varied world of hospitality takes up a lot of space, and we walked the whole floor to see what every sector was talking about. 

We’re looking forward to racking up more steps at future conferences this year. This year, we’re heading to: 

  • HEDNA Milan June 6-8 
  • HITEC Toronto June 26-29 
  • WTM London November 6-8 

If you’re heading to any of these conferences, drop us a line so we can chat with you there about our new products and predictions for the future!