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ITB Berlin Convention

Silk Road makes a comeback: Even freight trains are promoting the Silk Road

The Silk Road tourism project represents an astonishing international comeback for this historic route. More or less as the “new Silk Road“, this network of historic trading routes with its many different branches is not only helping to boost tourism but is also having an impact on business and science in the region, as well as encouraging political cooperation and easing visa restrictions. This is one of the important outcomes of the 9th Silk Road Ministers’ Meeting at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention: Is China setting the example for online payment?

The average Chinese user spends seven hours a day in mobile wallet apps such as WeChat and Alipay. They serve as much more than mobile wallets: they include to-do lists, tickets, travel reservations – and all kinds of information on personal preferences, daily travel, and habits.

As the partner region of ITB Berlin 2018 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern took an important step towards attracting more international tourism

Wolfgang Waldmüller, Präsident des Tourismusverbandes Mecklenburg-Vorpommern

As the partner region of ITB Berlin 2018 the federal state in the north of Germany attracted an unprecedented amount of attention from international buyers, opinion-formers, the media and potential visitors. In the following interview Wolfgang Waldmüller, president of the Regional Tourism Association of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, gives an assessment.

What is the long-term impact of your appearance as the partner region of ITB Berlin 2018?

ITB Berlin Convention: more cultural tourism and marketing for Turkey

ITB Berlin Convention: more cultural tourism and marketing for Turkey


Turkey has countless attractions. It aims to attract more visitors with better marketing and management, as well as new segments within tourism. Increased attention to cultural tourism would be a good approach, and the anniversary of Troy offers a great opportunity. This is an important event from the Turkey Forum at the ITB Berlin Convention.


Automatic translators and a seamless travel experience: Tourism meets hi-tech

New technology for tourism providers – two fascinating applications are unveiled at the eTravelWorld at ITB Berlin

Artificial intelligence takes over tourism marketing

Silk Road: A highway for the whole world

The historic Silk Road “has made enormous progress in recent years”. These were the words of the Secretary-General of UNWTO, Zurab Pololikashvili, speaking during the project’s 8th Ministers’ Meeting at the ITB Berlin Convention.

ITB Berlin Convention: “Hardware” is out – luxury hotels need to gain “software”

Luxury, as we learned long ago, is, for many, no longer about material possessions. The need to show visible status symbols is a sign of the nouveau riche. Old money seeks value elsewhere: privacy, security, time – for oneself and one’s family, clean water, fresh air, culinary delights, space instead of confinement, health, and the feeling that something special has been created for them and the people around them.

The mysteries underlying the database

Data is the name of the game in tourism marketing. For a long time now it has no longer been a matter of simply presenting one’s business on one’s own website. During the customer’s journey and at the destination too, all those involved will in future expect mixed reality experiences, whether seated in front of a screen or at the travel agency.

Travel agencies are still important

WTCF study on urban tourism names opportunities and challenges

In the ten years prior to 2017, city tourism grew by more than 50 per cent worldwide said Esencan Terzibasoglu, Special Advisor to the General Secretary of the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), in her keynote at the ITB City Tourism Forum. Whereby Ms Terzibasoglu prefers to speak of ‘urban’ over city tourism, as the trend is to include the respective hinterland. This happens in order to offer tourists more diversity, but also to provide some relief to the cities themselves, which already accommodate about 55 per cent of the world’s population.

UNWTO presents key trends in global tourism

In 2017 the industry reported close to two billion tourism arrivals worldwide, or put another way each person on the planet undertook 1.6 trips. What does that figure mean in the context of the global economy and what trends can be deduced from qualified and in-depth studies? In her keynote speech at the ITB City Tourism Forum Dr. Song Rui, director of the Academy of Social Sciences of the People’s Republic of China, summarised the findings of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and outlined the key global tourism trends which she forecasts for 2018.

Facial recognition at airports

Facial recognition does not have the best reputation in this country. It is generally associated with issues like surveillance, security checks, and border controls. In addition, many people have concerns about their privacy if they were able to be scanned in a public place.

Driverless vehicles in tourism

Driverless vehicles: the technology exists and internet companies and carmakers are already testing them everywhere on public roads. For the transport sector as a whole they promise vast cost savings as well as greater safety on the roads. Speaking at the eTravel Stage at ITB Berlin, Alex Bainbridge, pioneer and founder of the networking platform TourCMS, forecast that “as early as 2027 driverless cars will be the main choice of transport for local transit systems.“

The robot says “Hello“

“Good Morning, Pepper“, said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, welcoming the interactive service robot at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show. David Ruetz and Pepper the friendly, whirring robot struck up a human/humanoid conversation to open the eTravel Stage at ITB Berlin, the platform for showcasing and debating digital innovations. “There can hardly be another place like ITB Berlin where there are so many experts gathered in one place“, said a delighted David Ruetz.

As the Convention & Culture Partner of the ITB Berlin Convention 2017 Slovenia was able to hugely promote its image

Als Convention & Culture Partner des ITB Berlin Kongresses 2017 konnte Slowenien seinen Bekanntheitsgrad enorm steigern

In an interview Majda Rozina Dolenc, director of the Slovenian Tourist Board in Germany, gives a positive assessment of the Convention & Culture partner at the ITB Berlin Convention 2017. The main aim of promoting awareness and Slovenia’s image in the B2B market was fully achieved.

How did your participation as Convention & Culture Partner at the ITB Berlin Convention 2017 go? What results did you achieve?

Working where others go on holiday

Digital nomads are setting a new trend - the travel industry recognises big market opportunities - positive reactions to a paper at the ITB Berlin Convention

Botswana: No place for poachers

Botswana-Stand, ITB Berlin 2017

“A rhino’s horn belongs to a rhino and no one else. What is there not to understand?” Speaking at the Botswana Forum at ITB Berlin 2017. Tshekedi Khama, Minister for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Tourism, never strayed from his main topic: Botswana’s efforts to promote nature conservation and eco-tourism. In Africa no other sector of the economy creates so many jobs as tourism. However, without big game the country’s national parks are not very attractive to tourists.

Latin America: A different sort of cruise destination

Mexiko-Stand, ITB Berlin 2017

Latin America is becoming an increasingly popular cruise destination, but never a high volume destination for this market. Those who have taken a ship to the Galapagos or the Amazon, who have undertaken an expedition to Chile or Argentina, traversed the Panama Canal or tied up in Havana and Cartagena are primarily interested in the destination. Encounters with the locals, history, nature in its purest form, and real life are all important, but there is no call for a fancy programme of on-board activities.

A disruptive challenge: UNWTO investigates offers of new platforms

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Generalsekretär der UNWTO

Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of the UNWTO, was unequivocal about the situation in the travel sector: “We have a problem with innovation and with thinking outside the box“, he said at ITB Berlin, and briefly outlined how the tourism industry should react to the new P2Ps and platforms on offer: “We should not fight them, because they contain many positive elements, but we should know how to deal with them“, explained Rifai, who pointed out that these are commercial services offered via digital platforms, and not a case of unpaid exchanging or sharing.

China’s lust for travel – Europe is highly popular

Yan Han, Deputy Secretary General WTCF (World Tourism Cities Federation)

China has become a major power in tourism. Over the last ten years travel abroad has increased steadily. Yan Han, Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), said: “Earnings have risen and television and the internet have made Chinese people more curious to explore other cultures and countries. The government has made it easier to travel abroad.” The Chinese want to find out about culture and history, visit historical buildings, museums and art. However, they also want entertainment and when in Munich to be able to watch Bayern play, the WTCF manager said.

Minister Müller appeals to tourism professionals’ conscience

Dr. Gerd Müller, Bundesentwicklungsminister

Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation Dr. Gerd Müller appealed to the tourism industry to actively address the lack of sustainable tourism. “This luxury sector must be capable of getting to grips with the issue,“ the CSU member said in a stirring keynote speech at the ITB Berlin Convention. Müller confronted his audience with three demands: Tourism had to conserve and protect while offering benefits, it had to ensure fair employment and it had to do more to protect the environment.