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Meaningful encounters instead of mass tourism

When Antonio needed a second boat

The coronavirus has significantly accelerated digitalisation in the tourism industry. As Barbara Heinbockel from the tourism agency Schleswig Holstein commented at Friday’s panel discussion on Digitalisation at the online We Love Travel! event, the crisis had demonstrated to some organisers that “our visitors are much more advanced than us.“ One example she quoted was the internet traffic lights that showed visitors how full the beaches were at St. Peter-Ording or Lübecker Bucht.

Digital comfort: In the face of the coronavirus crisis many attractions around the world are promoting a virtual experience

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, photo by Václav Pluhař

Since the coronavirus crisis began there is one thing at least on which the world can agree: these extraordinary times are driving digitalisation forward in many areas of life. It also applies to tourist attractions, especially to cultural establishments. Be they museums, theatres or opera houses, many institutions are now focusing on digital content, making use of this period of closure and providing comfort to all the millions currently confined within their own four walls, who are unable to visit these global destinations and their attractions.

Digitaler Trost: Im Zuge der Corona-Krise treiben viele Attraktionen weltweit das Angebot an digitalen Erlebnissen voran

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, photo by Václav Pluhař

Seit dem Beginn der Corona-Krise ist sich die Welt zumindest in einem Punkt einig: Diese außergewöhnliche Zeit treibt die Digitalisierung in vielen Bereichen des Lebens voran. Dies gilt auch für touristische Attraktionen – insbesondere für kulturelle Einrichtungen. Ob Museum, Theater oder Opernhaus: Zahlreiche Institutionen setzen jetzt auf digitale Inhalte, überbrücken die Zeit ihrer Schließung und versüßen alldenjenigen die Zeit, die gerade zu Millionen in ihren eigenen vier Wänden verweilen müssen, ohne die Destinationen der Welt samt ihren Sehenswürdigkeiten besuchen zu können.

ITB MICE FORUM: Companies are somewhere between stability and disruption

The changes currently taking place have shaken up companies. According to Nicole Brandes, International Management Coach and partner of Zukunftsinstitut, companies are in a situation somewhere between stability and disruption. It is all about meeting the challenges of tomorrow’s competitive market, and most senior executives regard “progress as going from  A to B“, said Nicole Brandes. “Maybe it makes them happy but it is not sustainable.“ From her long-term experience she knew that “behind success lies emptiness and helplessness.“ He who sets off into the unknown unleashes energy.

ITB MICE FORUM: It is important not to explore the whole world, but one’s own too

Once upon a time discoverers set off into the unknown and were thought of as mad, was how Nicole Brandes, a partner of Zukunftsinstitut, began her keynote at the ITB MICE FORUM. People like James Cook or Jacques Piccard explored the world, and people and societies had time to take in new information and get used to it.

Supporting the brand experience: virtual reality in the trade show sector

Purely virtual trade shows will never be able to replace the human contact at the real thing – David Ruetz, Head of ITB Berlin, shared his conviction in a discussion at the ITB Virtual Reality Lab. “A handshake cannot be made digitally over the internet,” Ruetz explained at ITB Berlin. However, there are many stations along a trade visitor’s customer journey where digital technologies can be meaningfully implemented. These range from trade show preparation and navigation at the show through to follow-up.