RateHawk’s 9 Highlights of the 2024 ITB Exhibition in Berlin

RateHawk’s 9 Highlights of the 2024 ITB Exhibition in Berlin

RateHawk was delighted to join fellow industry leaders and professionals at the recent ITB exhibition in Berlin, which took place from March 5th to 7th, 2024. 

At this incredible event, our dedicated RateHawk team had the chance to meet, learn, and share insights with travel professionals worldwide. Events like this open new doors for our business and allow us to continue to grow and learn to offer a super platform for our partners to serve their clients. 

This latest ITB exhibition held conferences and talks from some of the world’s most well-known travel brands, many of which were top highlights for our RateHawk team. If you didn’t make it to ITB this year, this latest article shares our top moments from the event and aims to inspire you to get a ticket for the next one! 

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The tourism industry direction: Glenn Fogel’s perspective

Glenn Fogel, CEO of Booking Holdings, the world’s leading provider of online travel, shared incredible insights into the direction he sees the tourism industry taking. 

He points out that the “interconnectedness of travel is both an opportunity and a challenge.”

Glenn Fogel shares the opinion that by travel professionals working together to drive the progress of our industry, we will be able to succeed. A driving force behind this growth comes from our reliance on and understanding of technology.

When we learn to use technology to bolster our existing skills, we will quickly grow the industry as a whole.

Glenn continued: “Technology is accelerating access to information, and it’s important that everyone in the travel ecosystem is moving forward together. This is particularly critical with respect to technology because if one area of the industry lags behind, it could inhibit progress across the entire customer travel journey.”

Photo: Andrew Grauman

These points resonated deeply with RateHawk and soon became one of our top event highlights, echoing our beliefs on what it takes to succeed in the travel industry. As a company, we have always been user-oriented and dedicated to providing travel professionals with friendly, easy-to-use, and comprehensive tools to make their work easier. 

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High-end travel trends: Luxury travelers crave purpose

At ITB Berlin, RateHawk learned that luxury travel is having a moment. Immune to the threat of the global cost-of-living crisis, luxury travel is thriving and already back to pre-pandemic levels. Despite this, expectations for luxury travel have changed.

Caroline Bremner, Senior Head of Travel Research at Euromonitor, provided fascinating insights into the luxury travel industry’s key trends from 2024 and beyond. 

We learned that luxury consumers are becoming more attracted to purpose-driven brands that prioritize people and the planet as well as profit.

Caroline said: “Sustainable features should also be central to the traveler experience, weaving in local to ensure a truly authentic immersion in a place and its culture. Helping their customers make the right choice requires a holistic approach to sustainability, from back-end operations, mitigating negative environmental impacts and adopting strong social criteria to boost diversity, inclusion, and equality.”

Caroline’s insights here show that as the travel industry develops and new trends emerge, the most important action a brand can take is to continue to adapt. They should listen to what their customers need and want and provide services and experiences based on that. 

Brands need to engage differently with younger luxury travelers

The face of luxury travel is changing, too. As the younger Millennials and Gen Z generations grow up and their interest in travel grows, we have seen big changes in where they focus their interests. More than any other time in history, the target audience for luxury travel is getting younger, and brands need to bear that in mind with their marketing and service offerings. 

Caroline Bremner explains: “[this] requires a total transformation in how luxury travel brands engage with potential demand. For example, the use of AR/VR is much more engrained in younger generations, looking to visualize their hotel room or destination before they travel. Equally there is higher adoption of next generation web 3.0 practices such as NFTs (non-fungible tokens) from these younger luxury cohorts that can be integrated into marketing and loyalty campaigns.”

Photo: Andrew Grauman

Caroline’s talk at ITB highlighted the necessity for luxury travel providers to be more open to change. Just as their target audience has developed, they must grow with them and make the changes required to capture their intended audiences successfully. 

Wellness is becoming a more popular motivation for travel

In our post-pandemic world, it has become evident that people’s motivations for travel have evolved. People seek experiences that promise to rejuvenate them. This development goes hand in hand with how luxury travel has adapted to suit its younger audience better. 

As we move into 2024, wellness retreats and longevity programs will be pivotal for expanding the luxury industry. We have already seen a rise in hotels and resorts worldwide, introducing specialized programs and packages to attract this niche.

Caroline Bremner explained: “Luxury travel brands will need to continuously review and refresh their wellness offers and expertise to keep up with the latest innovations and trends.”

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Travel across Asia is finally growing again

It was interesting for RateHawk to learn that travel in Asia is gaining momentum again. After some growth in 2023 following the slow reopening of some countries, Asia is set to have a successful 2024 as it is on track to return to pre-pandemic levels of tourism very closely. 

In 2023, Asia and the Pacific reached 65% of pre-pandemic levels, according to UN Tourism, and the countries are due to exceed these percentages this year. 

Learning this was a highlight for RateHawk as we are currently expanding into this region. Jennifer Chua, RateHawk’s Head of Business Development for Southeast Asia, explains: “The rising demand and room rates, alongside the effort to meet this demand, signify RateHawk’s pivotal role in adding value for travel partners and, ultimately, travelers.” 

Photo: Andrew Grauman

We are excited to see how this develops and continue to offer value to this region as we expand. 

If you want to join our APAC teams and make your mark in our new territory, take a look at our latest job offerings and apply. 

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German travelers are returning to their old booking habits

ITB showed RateHawk that 2024 is the year for many countries to return to their old traveling habits. In particular, Germany is set to reunite with its favorite destinations and booking habits this year after a few years of uncertainty after the pandemic.

Norbert Fiebig, President of the German Travel Association Deutscher Reiseverband, explained: “During the COVID-19 pandemic, Germans tended to book their holidays with short notice because of the uncertainty. This went against their usual booking behavior.” He explained that last year was the first year post-pandemic that we saw a return to their old behaviors, and they reclaimed the title of travel booking early birds. 

He provided some figures that emphasized the growth the travel industry has noticed with Germany back in the game: “This year, early bookings are even stronger than in 2023. Summer trips worth around EUR 3.6 billion were already booked in January, representing 42% of all last year’s summer bookings.”

Europe is regaining post-pandemic popularity

ITB 2024 focused heavily on the travel industry’s success in 2023. RateHawk was delighted to learn that arrivals into Europe fell just a small percentage below the numbers of 2019. Southern Europe performed best, surpassing 2019 numbers by 1.1%.

Photo: Andrew Grauman

These figures show that travel is on the up, and our role at RateHawk is more important than ever as we strive to ensure our partners benefit from the increased desire to travel. 

Travel to Italy is booming

While tourism to Europe as a whole is thriving, Italy, in particular, has become the most popular destination for European travelers. 

In fact, in 2022, Italy recorded 37 million European visitors out of a total of 55.09 million international visitors.

This number grew in 2023, and Italy’s international visitor arrivals reached 62.8 million, although details on the European share have not yet been communicated.

RateHawk was delighted to be in the presence of many of Italy’s incredible hotels and tourist boards at ITB 2024. This proved why the destination has remained popular since tourism boomed in 2022. 

The most popular Italian destinations for travel were revealed:


A region where you can find Rome’s breathtaking beauty, art, and culture. The region also boasts incredible tourist attractions that celebrate the local environment and communities.


A home to captivating beaches, timeless villages, and delectable gastronomy that encapsulates the romance of an Italian holiday.  


Lombardy is where you can experience the other side of a typical Italian experience. Nestled in the North of the country, you can sail down snowy piques and be mesmerized by the incredible mountains and lakes that epitomize the region.


The city represents Italy’s rustic charm, with rugged landscapes and architecture perfectly complementing the local delicacies to tantalize the senses. 

San Marino 

The city is the meeting of Italy’s greatest adventures, from venturing back in time to medieval castles to hiking across the incredible Mount Titano.


The home of 24 of Italy’s most beautiful villages and the region that epitomizes the world’s perspective of this incredible country, where culture and history are high on any agenda.

The rise of sports tourism is growing fast

RateHawk was intrigued to learn of the massive growth that sports tourism is set to bring to the travel industry as we move further into 2024. 

This year is a big year for sporting events, including the Olympic and Paralympic Games taking place in Paris this year and the Louis Vuitton 37th American Cup being held in Barcelona later this year. Sports tourism stands to see an estimated growth rate of 17.5% by 2030.

However, sports tourism isn’t a new trend; it’s just that the industry is waking up to how profitable it is. Earlier this year, for example, we saw a spike in travel to Australia for the Australian Open 2023, which took place in Melbourne. As well as the 2023 Fifa Women’s World Cup, co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, brought in more than €524 m in revenue.

The growth of sports tourism with this year’s events is predicted to help many destinations boost their tourism and attract visitors outside their usual seasonal offerings.

If you want to gain insights into the travel industry and learn what you can expect from the future of travel, don’t miss all of the latest events. Sign up to RateHawk so you can stay up to date on the events we will be present at. 

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