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Toshiba Robot ShihiraKanae with Chief Specialist and Marketing Strategist Hitoshi Tokuda

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

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. This much is clear: for human beings a humanoid robot is much more than the sum of its computer and machine parts – even if Hitoshi Tokuda, Toshiba’s chief R&D specialist and marketing strategist, likes to describe her in...

Top News

  • Although women make up over 60 per cent of the worldwide tourism workforce, they only account for 17 per cent of those in full-time employment or in management positions. For this reason the Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization UNWTO, Taleb Rifai, speaking at ITB Berlin, called on governments and the tourism industry to make gender equality part of their strategy. "It is not only a legal matter, but a business model", he stated, referring to the fact that the inclusion of women in management leads to improved performance in many areas.

    "One cannot ignore half of the world and still believe that something significant has been achieved". It was with these words that Ajay Prakesh, President of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT), began his speech celebrating the five winners of the "Global Awards for Empowered Women in Tourism", which are intended "to show that women are capable of making it to the top in tourism". The first such prize was introduced in India, and the fact that it now encompasses the whole world has given it a truly international dimension. It is an acknowledgment of the achievements being made in sustainability, education and the power of tourism to promote peace.

    Thomas Rietig

  • LGBT Argentinien

    Argentina and ITB Berlin have entered into a strategic partnership for the worldwide promotion of sexual diversity in travel.  At the signing of the relevant contracts at Argentina's LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender) Stand at ITB Berlin 2016, Argentina's Minister of Tourism Gustavo Santos spoke of a "sign of freedom, love and diversity" that Argentina wanted to put forward with the contract.  Rika Jean-Francois, Messe Berlin GmbH's representative for environmental and social responsibility (CSR), said that the agreement sends a "strong message for the world."

    For years ITB Berlin has had an area dedicated exclusively to LGBT travel, one of the fastest growing segments of the international travel industry.  ITB Berlin presents the world's largest selection of vacation options as well as the latest trends and products at one trade fair.

    Argentina, which has its own Chamber of Commerce for gay and lesbian companies, and ITB Berlin will therefore work together on all products dealing with LGBT Travel, and will further develop such products.  "We are very happy that entering into this agreement worked out for the 50th anniversary of ITB Berlin," said Jean-Francois.  Santos added that such agreements are particularly important, as they promote humane management of diversity.

    Thomas Rietig


    Hall 3.1, LGBT Pavilion

    Press Contact:
    Rika Jean-Francois
    Phone: +49 (0)30382157

  • Incredible India

    Queues in front of the embassy?  For travellers to India, that should be a thing of the past.  The electronic tourist visa system should be valid for 150 countries starting immediately, explained Vinod Zutshi, State Secretary in the Indian Ministry of Tourism, at ITB Berlin.  "We have expanded the e-Visa to all major travel destinations," said Zutshi.  The visa can be applied for directly online and costs about $50 including fees.

    India is preparing itself for sharp increase in the number of tourists.  The South Asian destination recorded a growth rate of ten per cent in 2015.  The goal is to hold this mark in the future.  Germany ranks among the top 7, making it an important source market.  But tourism managers expect the strongest growth rates from Asia, from China for example.  "India is on the rise," says Zutshi.

    Here India depends on religious, spa and wedding tourism, amongst other kinds.  Buddha's pilgrimage through India will be marketed under the name "Buddha Trail."  Health tourism – keywords: Ayurveda and Yoga – shows growth rates of 25 per cent.  And Indian weddings are also considered tourist attractions.  An Indian wedding will take place on Saturday, 12 March at the India stand at ITB Berlin, giving visitors a small taste of the experience.

    To cope with the growth, India will invest more in its tourist infrastructure.  Overseas ports will be made suitable for cruise ships and airports will be connected to international air traffic, especially in smaller places.  Zutshi called on foreign entrepreneurs to invest in India.

    Mirko Heinemann


    Hall 5.2b, Stand 205

    Press Contact:
    Foteini Pavlidi-Kagia
    Telephone:  + 49 (0)30 65000-388

Current News

© Jason Fiddler

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ITB Berlin on Facebook

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ITB Berlin on XING

Diese Gruppe richtet sich an Journalisten, Onlinepublizisten und Kommunikationsexperten auf Unternehmensseite, die sich zur ITB Berlin und zur ITB Asia sowie über touristische Themen informieren und austauschen wollen. Auf der ITB Berlin und der ITB Asia trifft sich die ganze Welt: Menschen, die in der Reiseindustrie arbeiten, und Menschen, die sich über die schönsten Reiseziele informieren möchten. Die Kombination aus Fachausstellung, Publikumsmesse und dem weltweit größten Fachkongress zieht Jahr für Jahr zehntausende Besucher, Aussteller und Medienvertreter an.


ITB Berlin on LinkedIn

This group is aimed at travel trade professionals, journalist, online publicists and company communication experts wishing to discuss and learn more about tourism topics at ITB Asia and ITB Berlin. People from all over the world, those working in the travel industry and those wishing to find out about the most attractive destinations, meet at ITB Asia and ITB Berlin. Each year this combination of industry exhibition, a trade fair for the public and the world’s largest specialist convention attracts tens of thousands of visitors, exhibitors and media representatives.