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ITB Berlin Convention

Die Pandemie als Weckruf

The pandemic as a wake-up call

Where the industry discusses tomorrow’s trends:

The ITB Berlin Convention is the international tourism industry’s leading think tank – science head Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady gives his verdict three months after the event.

The ITB Berlin Convention is the international tourism industry’s leading think tank – science head Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady gives his verdict three months after the event.

Prof. Dr. Conrady – the ITB Berlin Convention has become the international tourism industry’s leading think tank. What do you think makes it so unique?

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.

8th Conference on Barrier-free Tourism at ITB Berlin

Democracy needs inclusiveness

Brexit has already started: There are thousands of vacancies in tourism

There are five of them and they are baffled: When we were planning this session we thought we would know by December what was happening with Brexit and would be able to offer good advice”, said the CEO of Autoura, Alexander Bainbridge. “But now we are totally confused and nobody knows what to expect.” But the panelists at today’s eTravel World Session all agree that this situation cannot go on. So there is nothing else they can do but accept it with typical British humour.

Other compliance and data protection regulations

Medical tourism: How should clinics advertise?

“Do clinics need the services of a tour operator or is it sufficient to be active in social media?” This question gave rise to an interesting panel discussion in the Medical Tourism Pavilion. Irena Rapoport, HTI Regional Manager CIS from Israel described herself as “old-fashioned”,  and expressed her preference for B2B meetings like ITB Berlin, where personal contacts can lead to immediate and quantifiable success. The internet and social media have produced an “information tsunami”, although their use is fully justified as advertising channels.

Well positioned and focused: Expedia is set for more success

He radiates self-confidence, does not fear the competition, and is full of ideas about how to continue developing the Expedia group. Mark Okerstrom, with the company since 2006 and its president and CEO since 2017, is convinced that, after making many acquisitions over the past years, his company is now fully equipped to pursue its strategies. The intention is now to apply all its energy to the job in hand.

How do domestic tour operators benefit from the Chinese source market?

More and more Chinese tourists are travelling abroad. The number of Chinese people who can afford to travel internationally will double to 600 million in five years, outlined Prof Dr Wolfgang Arlt, Director of the COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute. This is the fastest growth in the Chinese source market.

Electrically powered, in the air and self-driving: The mobility of the future

How will we cope with an increasing volume of traffic in the cities of the future? How can alternatives be found in the face of permanent, everyday congestion? How can rural areas share in new transport concepts? These were some of the questions raised by participants in the panel discussion about the future of mobility during the Destination Day at the ITB Berlin Convention. 

Don’t cut the branch you are sitting on: tourism sector needs a strategic plan to protect the climate and reduce CO2 emissions

Tourism accounts for ten per cent of the global gross national product and is responsible for eight per cent of all CO2 emissions worldwide. “One could say that this is a fair share, but on the other hand tourism is cutting off the branch on which it is sitting by contributing to climate change”, explained Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, former director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Change Research (PIK), at the ITB Convention in Berlin.

Humans or machines? Experts see AI benefiting big data management – not the service sector

They talk about AI, big data and the role humans will play in the digital tourism world of the future. But when there is mention of robots they do not mean humanoids bringing towels or offering room service. They are referring to smart bots – self-teaching programs capable of evaluating an unbelievable amount of existing data and exploiting it for the tourism industry. They are thinking of automation.

LGBT+ seminar: We exist - everywhere

Rika Jean-François, CSR Officer ITB Berlin, said at the LGBT+ seminar held at the ITB Berlin Convention that the statement by the Malaysian Minister of Tourism at the start of the trade show in which he denied homosexuality in his country has given her a headache. “However, we have decided as a trade show not to boycott this stance, but instead to discuss it,” emphasised Jean-François.

Luxury travel is being redefined

Holidaying in Iceland is expensive. Is the island therefore a luxury destination? “No”, said First Lady Eliza Jean Reid, speaking at ITB Berlin. “The island’s beauty is what makes it a luxury.” Born in Canada, the wife of the Icelandic president and United Nations Special Ambassador for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals, said what made Iceland so impressive. “Pristine nature, clean air, not many people.“

Ifo Institute: Experts expect the world economy to cool down in 2019

When the ifo Institute conducts its research into world economic trends the questions that it asks well over 1,000 experts include the following two: What is your present economic situation? And what do you expect over the coming six months – will it be better or worse? Until mid-2018 the monthly response for Europe and North America was clearly positive. The economic barometer indicated “boom“. However, there has been a significant change since the beginning of 2019.

Is overtourism becoming a threat?

In many cities, opposition to the increasing amount of tourism is growing. Yet travellers in many places also have a growing feeling of being part of an anonymous mass. Every participant in the “Overtourism revisited” keynote panel at ITB Berlin could share similar experiences.

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.

In-destination services: the race for the 170 billion US dollar market has begun

In-destination services – the digitally supported marketing of local activities – is currently the travel industry’s largest growth segment. Experts estimate its volume to be 170 billion USD. This raises the question of why, in the past 20 years, no one has dared reach for a slice of the big pie.