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ITB Berlin Convention 2016

ITB Berlin Convention: it is not Google but the user that determines the success of a website

Kaspar Szmanski

Google's secrets are not really secrets at all, because many of their details have been published and can be looked up. Anyone interested in designing or improving their website can obtain the necessary advice from official publication such as the Google Webmaster Guidelines or the Google Webmaster Central Blog ( Another recommendation: the Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide, which can be downloaded free of charge from Google.

ITB Berlin Convention: Maldives – do iron, but please not at night

Necessity is the mother of invention!  The Maldives, ITB Berlin's Partner Country, needs to use drinking water and electricity sparingly, and because of that the islanders need good ideas.  Its people have been seeking and finding new solutions for the careful handling of scarce resources since 1972.  That was when the development of tourism began, said Hussain Afeef, Vice Chairman of the Maldives Association of Tourism Industry at ITB Berlin.  The expert named a few examples: natural waste is turned into compost.

ITB Berlin Convention: Encouraging women in tourism also promotes peace

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.

ITB Berlin Convention: Tinder dating for hotel rooms - from digitalization to Travel 4.0

Smart products that market themselves: with the advent of Digitalization 4.0 not only will computers become so small that they can no longer be seen, but the era of the Internet of Things and the Internet of Services will create a demand for entirely new business models. The essential feature is that the focus should be on users and not on the technology. This was the thesis proposed by Prof. Wolfgang Henseler, founder of the company Sensory-Minds, in his keynote speech for ITB Mice Day at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention: Myanmar aims to promote tourism in previously unknown regions

How can a massive growth in tourism happen in a sustainable way?  This is the challenge currently faced by Southeast Asian country Myanmar.  Previously called Burma, the country had one million visitors just five years ago, and this past year they have already had over three million.  "We need to manage growth, and we need to manage it sustainably," proclaimed Mario Hardy of PATA at ITB Berlin Convention.  Getting away from the "bucket list” phenomenon is important.  "We want to encourage tourists to go beyond the main sights, because that is what will help improve the lives of the people,"

ITB Berlin Convention: the Maldives – the sunny side of life that comes with great responsibility

Malediven Forum

In his welcome address Moosa Zameer, the tourism minister of the Maldives, underlined the story of his country’s economic success which he had already talked about at the opening of the Destination Day at the ITB Berlin Convention: “Despite the many obstacles we have managed to become a holiday destination.“

ITB Berlin Convention: digitalization in tourism – consumer power

As a result of the internet and social media consumers, hotel guests and travellers are increasingly able to take control, offer criticism and shape developments. In the age of digitalization, companies and governments cannot afford to ignore the latest trends. Rapid developments, such as that of the sharing economy, often make it difficult for legislators to set out the legal framework in time. These were the results of a ministerial meeting at the ITB Future Day at the ITB Berlin Convention which examined new business models in the digital age.

Side by side with robots: Travelzoo survey reveals high acceptance among travellers around the world

As yet, a robot welcoming tourists or business travellers at the hotel reception is not an everyday occurrence. However, according to the first global survey by Travelzoo on the subject, willingness among travellers to accept robots as service staff appears to be high. 6,200 people in nine countries took part in the survey. The findings were presented by Richard Singer, president of Travelzoo Europe, at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention: how do you get digital attention?

How do destination marketers face digital change?  By introducing a live search engine to compete with Google, for example.  "Don't ask Google, ask Gudmundur" was the advertising campaign for the "first human search engine."  Promote Iceland caused a stir with this campaign, as men and women from Iceland directly answered the queries of interested parties.  The destination's current online campaign, presented at ITB Berlin Convention by Inga Hlin Pálsdóttir from Promote Iceland, is also exceptional: with the Iceland Academy (http://inspired

ITB Berlin Convention: for Chinese tourists activities are often more important than destinations

Despite a slowdown in China’s economic growth Chinese people remain keen to travel, especially to destinations further afield than Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan. According to Charlie Li of TravelDaily China speaking at the ITB Berlin Convention, this is due to the continuing growth of the middle classes and improved transport links in China’s second-string mega-cities. Whereas last year around 120 million Chinese went abroad, in 2020 that figure is expected to reach 200 million.