Tourism Minister Ibrahim Faisal has announced the Maldives’ intention to host the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin (ITB Berlin) in 2026 to bolster its global tourism profile. The ITB Berlin, the premier event in the global tourism industry, is held annually in Germany but extends the opportunity to other nations to serve as the host nation, offering a global stage to showcase their unique tourism offerings.

Oman hosted the ITB Fair this year. The Maldives, represented by the Maldives Marketing and Public Relations Corporation (MMPRC) and the tourism ministry, made a significant impact at the fair with the participation of 107 co-exhibitors from the Maldivian tourism sector.

After his visit to Berlin, Faisal expressed optimism about the Maldives’ prospects of becoming the host nation for the ITB Berlin in 2026. He attributed this confidence to the Maldives’ recognition as the ‘World’s Leading Destination’ for the fourth consecutive year by the World Travel Awards.

Faisal underscored the potential benefits of hosting the fair, stating it would significantly enhance the Maldives’ ability to promote itself as a top tourism destination. He stated, “The entire MMPRC team will engage with stakeholders on preparations to host the ITB fair in 2026. The financial implications of hosting the ITB Fair are substantial. I am optimistic that we can accomplish this through the collective efforts of all involved.”

The selection process for the host nation of the ITB Berlin Fair is meticulous and involves several steps and considerations. Countries aspiring to host the fair must express their interest and ambitions to the organisers, usually through the country’s tourism ministry.

Once a country has expressed its interest, extensive discussions regarding logistical and organisational arrangements are held between the country’s representatives and the fair organisers. The host nation is expected to assume responsibilities, such as conducting the opening ceremony and coordinating various activities throughout the event. Therefore, the country must demonstrate its ability to handle these responsibilities effectively.

The selection process considers both the country’s status as a tourism destination and its presentation of the tourism sector. These aspects hold significant sway in determining the host country. The selection process is highly competitive, requiring countries to develop strong cases to secure hosting rights.