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Which highlights to be expected at ITB Berlin Convention 2020?

Smart Tourism for Future: sustainable, digital and relevant

The ITB Berlin Convention takes up topics of the global travel and tourism industry that will change and shape the structures of the industry in the coming years. The ITB Berlin Convention analyses market trends and highlights best practice examples. It serves the global travel and tourism industry as a compass in dynamic, challenging times. The ITB Berlin Convention is also a platform for decision-makers from the tourism industry, politics and science.

Global tourism has been growing at impressive rates for decades. Vacations and travel have become an integral part of human life. We are currently experiencing the beginning of the "tourist age". No one wants to do without travel any more - in fact quite the opposite is true: in the next ten years almost half a billion more people will participate in international tourism. However, infinite growth in finite spaces does not work. We are experiencing the limits of growth more and more painfully.

The climate emergency is omnipresent due to increasing CO2 emissions and excessive resource consumption, the threat to ecosystems and biodiversity, marine pollution, overloaded traffic systems in the air and on the ground as well as the overload of more and more tourism destinations imposes problems. And last but not least, the travel experience of tourists is suffering massively. Tourism endangers the very basis of our existence. Continuing like this will not work. Without reorientation, tourism will not be sustainable and its existence as we know it today will be endangered. Tourism needs a new growth paradigm.

Tourism must be managed more intelligently and run more efficiently. Travel offers must become more relevant for people so that they can meet future customer needs. Tourism must therefore become "smarter" in order to be prepared for the future and to make valuable contributions to a better future.

The motto of the ITB Berlin Convention 2020 is therefore: "Smart Tourism for Future: sustainable, digital and relevant".

Other exclusive studies will deal with the phenomenon of travelers becoming more political. One's own political attitude is becoming an increasingly important component of the purchasing decisions of tourists.

In a multitude of innovative sessions in the new on-site location “CityCube Berlin”, the status quo will be highlighted, challenges will be clearly identified and constructive solutions will be presented. Speakers are thought leaders and top executives from politics and business as well as renowned scientists. As in previous years, many ITB CEO interviews will enrich the convention. In the new deep dive sessions, the main topics of the convention will be explored in smaller groups.

Sustainability

Sustainability is a clear focus of the ITB Berlin Convention. In addition to the ITB CSR Day and the ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day, the ITB Responsible Destination Day will take place for the first time.

The ITB Berlin Convention offers answers to very fundamental, existential questions: In view of the 1.5-degree target, can we still travel as much and in the same ways in the future as we do today? If we take climate protection seriously, will we still be able to travel to long-haul destinations in the future? How must the triangle of political framework conditions, strategies and measures of private actors and the financial world be readjusted for tourism to develop responsibly? How can tourism contribute to the positive development of countries? We can also look forward to the argumentation of the Fridays for Future movement at the ITB CSR Day.

The ITB Berlin Convention will also highlight a number of important and cutting-edge phenomena. Can we undertake expedition cruises into fragile ecosystems? How can we better manage tourist flows in terms of time and space so that we avoid over tourism? What significance does the development of smart cities have for city tourism? What sustainability contributions can the hotel industry make and are wooden buildings a solution? At the ITB Ministers Roundtable, tourism ministers from pioneering countries will show how they have implemented sustainability successfully.

Digitalization

Digitalization can make a significant contribution to sustainability. Digital solutions make information, monitoring and control more intelligent and efficient - in other words, smarter.

But digitalization is an integral part of future tourism, regardless of sustainability issues. In the information age, digital platforms are shaping customer behavior and market developments in tourism. Artificial intelligence, big data, robots, social media, virtual and augmented reality are transforming the customer journey into a digital customer journey. Digitalization in the form of Search Engine Optimization, Youtube, Video Marketing, Instagram and Influencers plays a central role in destination marketing.

Digitalization has impressive potential to optimize the customer experience and offer the customer exactly the right vacation and tailor travel offers according to the customer’s needs. Tours & Activities in the destination are also an important part of tailor-made offers.

On all days the ITB Berlin Convention, especially in the eTravel World, offers a large number of sessions on the topic of digitalization. In addition, the eTravel World presents exciting new products and latest innivations from the startup scene.

Critical topics such as ethics and dark sides in the information age will also be addressed, providing valuable food for thought outside of day-to-day business.

Changing customer demands

The focus will also be on changing customer demands. Standardized mass products are no longer in demand; they are increasingly leading tourism providers into bankruptcy. Tomorrow's customers demand travel offers that are tailored to their living environment, lifestyle and goals. They’re striving for very personal travel experiences. Changing the traveler in a positive way is more and more becoming the future demand on travel. The pioneers of the future tourists even demand that travel gives a deeper meaning, only then do journeys become really relevant. Such journeys enjoy esteem and high price readiness. Mass products, on the other hand, are increasingly regarded as banal and worthless, and are struggling to survive.

Luxury segment

Recently, the luxury segment has made particular demands on meaningfulness. This segment is pointing the way to the future of tourism. Sooner or later, upmarket segments will develop in the direction of the luxury segment model. The ITB Berlin Convention illuminates and analyses the new understanding of luxury with exclusive global studies, new empirical findings and stimulating best practice examples.

Curious who will be on stage at ITB Berlin Convention 2020? Check out this page in January 2020 for an update.