Leading figures from the international travel industry at the ITB Berlin Convention
BERLIN – The world’s largest tourism convention is attracting numerous heavyweights. From 6 to 9 March 2019 at the ITB Berlin Convention, 400 leading figures from tourism, politics and business will be speaking about the future of travel at a total of 200 events.
As well as forward-looking transport systems, a shift in customer expectations and luxury travel, key topics at the ITB Berlin Convention 2019 will include the rise in conflicts caused by overtourism and the imminent threat of runaway climate change. On Wednesday, 6 March at the Keynote Executive Panel at the ITB Future Day, together with other top-level players, Autoura and Klook Travel, an online portal specializing in in-destination services, will debate the extent to which tours & activities services, among others, can help to solve the fundamental problems affecting the industry, such as overtourism. On the Wednesday of ITB, day one of the ITB Destination Days will also focus on overtourism. At the Keynote Panel, under the heading of ’Overtourism revisited: Best Demonstrated Practices instead of Business as Usual’, experts will discuss at what point it is best to limit access and prices, activate smart technology, provide information, select tourists and control visitor flows. On Friday, 8 March, on day two of the ITB Destination Days, the keynote speaker and interview guest Adam Goldstein, vice chairman, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD and future chairman of the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in 2019 will answer questions on the challenges the global cruise industry is facing with regard to overtourism and environmental protection. The new Deep Dive session format will also provide visitors with an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on overtourism with small groups of experts.
On Friday, 8 March, the ITB CSR Day will focus on climate change. In his keynote speech the leading international climate change scientist Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber, formerly director of thePotsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK), will outline the current situation and the courses of action that need to be taken. Afterwards, a panel discussion featuring high-ranking members will discuss one of the key questions facing the tourism industry: in view of the current 1.5 degree global warming target, can we still travel as before or is this the end of the industry’s growth? Discussion will also center on the pressing issue of plastic waste. Eight million tons pollute the oceans every year, for which the tourism industry is in large part responsible. Leading experts from politics and the tourism industry will talk about how polluting the oceans with plastic waste can be avoided and in that context what shape the best practices of tourism companies are taking. Furthermore, Dr. Louise Twining-Ward, senior private sector specialist, Tourism Markets and Technology, Worldbank, will present new ways in which the sharing economy can develop sustainable tourism.
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On Thursday, 7 March, at the ITB Marketing & Distribution Day, leading international figures will also share valuable expert knowledge. At the ITB CEO Interviews, Friedrich Joussen, CEO TUI Group and Mark Okerstrom, CEO of Expedia, the travel industry giant whose brands include HomeAway, Egencia, Hotels.com, Hotwire, Travelocity, Orbitz and Trivago, will deliver an insight into the strategies of global market leaders. At the ITB Deep Dive sessions one of the key topics will be China, which is pioneering the future in more and more markets and technologies, particularly AI, online bookings, mobile devices and mobile payment systems. At the Deep Dive sessions on 7 March, Terry von Bibra, European head of Alibaba, will talk about how to successfully take on the Chinese market, and in which other markets in Asia and around the world Alibaba aims to expand.
Current topics and new sessions at the eTravel World
Payment systems will be one of the key topics at the eTravel World. On Wednesday, 6 March at the eTravel Lab, Amazon Pay and Wirecard will take a close look at payment solutions. Afterwards, the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) Forum will be celebrating its debut. At lectures and workshops visitors can find out the latest about this fast-growing new segment at ITB Berlin. The brand new Technology, Tours & Activities segment is the first of its kind in Europe and will bring the tourism industry’s most important markets together at ITB Berlin. They all have a common aim, namely to promote and sell in-destination services.
The eTravel World will also examine overtourism, the topic that will dominate the convention. On Thursday, 7 March on the eTravel Stage, Tourismuszukunft will raise the issue of ‘Overtourism and Social Media – More a Curse than a Blessing?’. On the same day the Hospitality Tech Forum (HTF) will take place at the eTravel Lab. At a panel discussion entitled ‘Guest communications’, the founders Ben Jost of Trust You and Marius Donhauser of hotelkit will be among those to talk about their success models. Afterwards, at the ‘Revenue Management’ session, Alexander Edström, CEO Atomize, Jens Munch, CEO Pace and Klaus Kohlmayr, chief, Evangelist Ideas,will present their best cases. Concluding the day’s events at the CRM Masterclass, CRM professionals will reveal their secrets on how to improve customer relations. On Friday, 8 March 2019 at the Start Up Day, new formats will include a ’Pitch’n Panel’ with themed sessions on hospitality, aviation, mobility, travel bookings and services, as well as the Hotel Camp, organized in cooperation with the Hospitality Industry Club, which will take place on theeTravel Stage on 9 March in Hall 7.1b.
New: ITB Berlin Convention at the CityCube – more room for the eTravel World
In future, the ITB Berlin Convention will take place at the CityCube, the multi-purpose congress and trade fair venue. That means more room for events, improved access and better transport links. Visitors to the CityCube will be directly next door to the fair halls and only a short distance from light rail public transport (S-Bahn) at Messe Süd. The departure of the ITB Berlin Convention means the expanding Travel Technology segment will gain more space. Visitors interested in new technologies, digital marketing and social media need only walk a short distance to find exclusive displays in Halls 6.1, 7.1 b and 7.1c. The eTravel Lab is also moving, to Hall 7.1b. The Palais am Funkturm, where the ITB Awards are presented, will also host ITB Convention sessions.