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ITB Berlin Convention

Service robot Pepper shows what he can do

Roboter Pepper von SoftBank Robotics

He's a cutie, Pepper the robot. He looks up to you like a trusting dog, and if he didn't speak in such a jarring manner, you might forget that he is a machine.

And so it should be. Pepper is, in fact, one of the humanoid robots, because he looks human. "But he should clearly differ from people," explains Nicolas Boudot SoftBank Robotics, the company that brought Pepper to ITB Berlin Convention. "Humanoid robots resemble zombies more than living people. They scare us."

Silk Road: an example for the world

The Silk Road, a tourism project that brings together nations of, in part, completely different systems and worldviews, is being met by increasing interest worldwide. At the 7th Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting at ITB Berlin Convention, Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), said that the success of the 31 member states of the tourism-enabled caravan route "is a reason to celebrate."

A topical report on Safety & Security by Travelzoo und ITB Berlin

Richard Singer, President Travelzoo Europe

Of the more than 6,000 people from nine countries who were questioned, 97 per cent stated that safety was a consideration when making a travel decision. This also applies when they have already booked a journey and have been disconcerted by the latest news. This was reported at the ITB Future Day at the ITB Berlin Convention by Richard Singer, a member of the board of Travelzoo Europe, with regard to the findings of a global research project on the subject of travel safety.

With green hearts and a great deal of commitment. An example to the world: Sustainable tourism in Slovenia

Slowenien

The green heart of Europe is inhabited by many people with green hearts. This was evident during a debate at the ITB Berlin Convention, where environmental activists and tourism decision-makers discussed ways in which the world’s first green destination could continue to develop in the future. The debate began with a review of the current situation: with sixty per cent of the countryside protected and with a basic right to clean drinking water that is even stipulated by the country’s constitution, Slovenia is already showing the way.

Travelling for a better world: World Legacy Awards for sustainable tourism projects

ITB World Legacy Awards 2017

“It is possible to have the best vacation of your life and at the same time help to make the world a better place – that is what lies at the heart of sustainable tourism”, explained Costas Christ, Editor in Chief of the National Geographic Traveler, at the presentation of the World Legacy Awards for sustainable tourism companies on Wednesday at ITB Berlin. Together with Dr. Taleb Rifai, Sectretary General of the UNWTO, Christ called for travel to be recognized as a human right.

John C. Kornblum: “Western values will be retained”

John Christian Kornblum, Senior Counsellor, Noerr LLP ehem. US-Botschafter in Deutschland

“We are entering a period of irrationality, but western values will survive because they work”., John C. Kornblum. the former ambassador of the United States and now a political advisor, issued this message of optimism at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB App: Relaunch and new features for planning, searching and networking

ITB App tablet_ handy_ mockup

The ITB App lets users organise everything to do with their visit to the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show and access any information and services anywhere and anytime – New interactive features help to organise one’s visit. Features following the app’s relaunch provide expanded business contact data.

Dubai: New attractions and hotels on the Persian Gulf

Fachbesucher sitzen beim Gespräch am ITB-Stand von Dubai Tourism

Dubai, a leading destination for visitors from around the world, will be at ITB Berlin and present new hotels, attractions and the Dubai Calendar App.

eTravel World at ITB Berlin: Call for papers enters the final phase

eTravel World

The deadline for submissions is 31 October 2016 – best practices and case studies on digital marketing, chatbots and influencer marketing

ITB Berlin Convention: 2023 travel – digital is mobile, wearable and personalized

Greg Webb

Massive growth, unprecedented amounts of data and real-time expectations, mobile devices at the centre of the universe: that is how Greg Webb, Sabre Vice Chairman foresees development in the travel industry in the coming five to ten years.  The young generation of 2023 will have as much purchasing power as they do today.  Signs point to "mobile only."  And travel companies need new skills in order to turn data into manageable information and to derive digitally based, relevant, personalized experiences for their customers. 

In search of the killer app for a communication android: Toshiba’s ChihiraKanae at the ITB Berlin Convention

Toshiba Robot ShihiraKanae with Chief Specialist and Marketing Strategist Hitoshi Tokuda

ChihiraKanae almost looks like a human being. She is ’daughter number 3’ of Toshiba’s ’communication android family’. Standing 165 centimetres tall, featuring 47 pneumatically controlled actuators and with a weight that remains her secret, she was much in demand at the ITB Berlin Convention. Moderators and developers are enthralled by her quasi-female design features.

ITB Berlin Convention: Robots as the new colleagues in the service sector

Hotelroboter Mario

Experts estimate that 50 per cent of all jobs could be automated, and this applies to the hotel industry too. According to a study conducted by DICON there is a 94 per cent probability of being replaced by a machine at the reception, and even in the kitchen. "Fast and convenience foods are taking over from the preparation of fresh food", explained Roland Schwecke, Managing Director, DICON Marketing and Consulting, speaking during the ITB Hospitality Day at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention: China’s largest hotel group relies on its own IT solutions

Pletano Group CFO Eric Wu

Size offers many advantages. That is something that Eric Wu, CFO and executive director of the Plateno Group knows all about. This Chinese hotel group has been competing in the market since 2005. A decade on, it runs over 3,000 hotels under 14 brand names in 300 Chinese cities and nine countries – and still has plans for extensive growth.

ITB Berlin Convention: Mario, the humanoid hotel robot, makes a big impression as an entertainer

Hotelroboter Mario auf dem ITB Berlin Kongress

He is small, has adorable eyes and a high voice, and charms everyone: Mario, the first humanoid hotel robot, is well on the way to becoming the number one brand ambassador of the company he represents and from which he derives his name (’Marriott’ Hotels). “I am 57 centimetres tall, weigh six kilos, and speak 19 languages“, says this mobile figure made of plastic. “I can dance, sing and if you want I can call the cat.“ Immediately, and mysteriously, he unfolds to his full height and begins to gyrate his hips to a Latin rhythm.

ITB Berlin Convention: Booking.com CEO presents the digital recipe for success for complex, dynamic travel markets

Darren Huston

Digitalization stands for rapid growth but without rushing. Above all this requires having the right staff and an agile structure. At least, this was how it was summed up by Darren Huston, President and CEO of The Priceline Group and Booking.com, speaking during the ITB Future Day at the ITB Berlin Convention. And he then added a few more ingredients to his recipe for success: anyone who neglects the mobile market and fails to develop value-enhancing apps is missing out in a big way.

5G and pan-European directives: Oettinger introduces the next stage of digitalization at the ITB Berlin Convention

Günther H. Oettinger

Digitalization is a revolution, changing all the factors involved in added value and impacting on everyone's workplace. And this applies to tourism too. For the EU Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, Günther Oettinger, illustrating this fact, and the enormous challenges accompanying massive technological changes throughout the world, is a vital feature of the ITB Future Day at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention:

Prof. Hans Werner Sinn

A cold wind is blowing: head of the ifo Institute on world market trends in 2016

ITB Berlin Convention: travel guides, technology partner, provider of payment services: Google can offer it all, but no OTA

What do people use their smartphones for? They look at them – Google tracking reveals that in just two months a person will have 40,000 "digital moments", 78 per cent of which is on mobile terminals. And what is so remarkable about this is that most of these virtual contacts are very brief. The challenge facing all providers is therefore to ensure a convincing and trouble-free digital experience in this world of "brief moments.

ITB Berlin Convention: travel guides, technology partner, provider of payment services: Google can offer it all, but no OTA

Oliver Heckmann

What do people use their smartphones for? They look at them – Google tracking reveals that in just two months a person will have 40,000 "digital moments", 78 per cent of which is on mobile terminals. And what is so remarkable about this is that most of these virtual contacts are very brief. The challenge facing all providers is therefore to ensure a convincing and trouble-free digital experience in this world of "brief moments.

How will tourism fare in 2016?

The tourism research institute IPK International presented the latest forecasts for the global and European tourism industry at the ITB Convention in Berlin.