It would have been too risky after all: Berlin cancels the big travel fair ITB, which people from all over the world wanted to come to. The reason for this is the dangers posed by the corona virus.

The organizers of the world’s largest travel trade fair ITB Berlin have canceled the event because of the new type of corona virus. A spokesman for the fair said on Friday to the German Press Agency. The fair should open its gates in the capital from March 4 to 8. In the days and weeks before, more and more exhibitors had withdrawn, not only from China. The fair management continued to hold on to the ITB. The fair was already fully booked.

According to the trade fair company, the responsible health office in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf has increased the requirements significantly. “Among other things, the authority orders: Every trade fair participant must prove to Messe Berlin that they do not come from the defined risk areas or that they have had contact with a person from the risk areas,” said Messe Berlin. “The conditions as a whole cannot be implemented by Messe Berlin.”

Of the 10,000 expected exhibitors from all over the world, 22 would have come from China, 25 more from Hong Kong and Taiwan. The organizers originally expected around 160,000 visitors, but had lowered expectations somewhat in the days before due to the virus.

The ITB is an important meeting point for the international travel industry. Just a few days before the cancellation, Messe Berlin and the ITB operators had expressed confidence. The fair would take place as planned, it was said at the beginning of the week. In the further course, the requirements in front of exhibitors were tightened. For example, participants who were in high-risk areas or who show typical symptoms of Covid-19 lung disease, which can be triggered by the virus, should not be admitted.

The organizers had already canceled the ITB planned for May in China last week. The crisis team of the Federal Ministry of Health and the Federal Ministry of the Interior also dealt with major events such as the ITB in the sign of the coronavirus outbreak on Friday.

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Venkkat Prannit Nissankara

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