Roland Conrady is happy: this year’s ITB Berlin Convention is taking place at the City Cube. The halls are bigger, feature better technical equipment, and the new venue reflects growing demand. “ITB Berlin needs more space for exhibitors. That is a good thing.” With the City Cube he has been able to find a nice new home for 150 sessions and 360 high-ranking speakers, 65 per cent being CEOs, board members, ministers, state secretaries etc., of whom 70 per cent are from abroad, (33 per cent from Europe, 37 % from international markets), as well as for what will most likely be a record number of guests.
This year’s convention features four key topics:
- Sustainability - and how climate change will change the way we travel very soon.
- Mobility scenarios of the future – and the search for new technology and business models that will meet our changing personal transport needs.
- Overtourism – a look at the pilot projects to date as well as technology and strategies that can help to redirect the flow of tourism from popular major cities to surrounding regions.
- Luxury travel – understanding the shift in customer demands in the luxury travel market, and new concepts that take this into account.
Together with Conrady, the convention partners Li Baochun, secretary general of the World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) and Datuk Mohamaddin bin Ketapi welcomed the guests. For the Malaysian tourism minister it was important to highlight what makes his country special as a destination for medical tourism (in 2017 one million travellers came for treatment), eco-tourism and business travel. He is supported by 83 private and public sector organisations. With their help, the aim is to increase arrivals from 26 million in 2018 to over 30 million in 2020.
“Malaysia is a safe country to travel in“, said Ketapi. “For us, a person’s sexual orientation and identity are private matters – and we do not ask about people’s private affairs. All travellers are equally welcome.”