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ITB Marketing & Distribution Day

Future, Marketing

March 8, 2018

10:45 - 17:45

Convention Hall 7.1b, Auditorium London

The ITB Marketing & Distribution Day provides valuable know-how for innovative marketing and distribution strategies. The focus of this day of the convention is on the keynote from Airbnb founder Nathan Blecharczyk and the Hospitality CEO panel. The important luxury hotel segment will be the focus of another panel discussion. There will no doubt be a great deal of expectation around the ITB CEO Interview with the new CEO of Expedia – the interview will be about future trends in global distribution. As for a key topic of the ITB Berlin Convention – Artificial Intelligence and Personalization – we expect another highlight: The Chief Data Officer of legendary technology pioneer Cambridge Analytica will offer us a glimpse into the future of customized advertising. The ITB Marketing & Distribution Day will be rounded off with an additional session about the application possibilities of artificial intelligence and an outlook-keynote about the future of destination marketing.

Hosted by:

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker


10:45 - 11:00

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker

With more than 4 million home listings in 191+ countries and Airbnb Experiences in 40+ cities, Airbnb is redefining travel with a world of hosts - welcoming 260+ million guests to authentic, local, and unique travel experiences. In this keynote, Airbnb Co-Founder Nathan Blecharczyk will share the latest updates from Airbnb and how travel is changing.

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker

Keynote Speaker & Interview guest:
Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-founder & Chief Strategy Officer, Airbnb, Chairman, Airbnb China

The hotel industry is facing huge challenges in sales & distribution: Digitalization and new technologies, the power of online travel agencies and the transformation of sales channels are all making it necessary to re-develop distribution strategy. Renowned CEOs of global hotel groups will discuss successful business and distribution strategies at the ITB Hospitality CEO Panel.

Moderated by:
Kevin May, Editor-in-Chief, PhocusWire

Panel guests:
Maud Bailly, Chief Digital Officer, AccorHotels Group
Chinmai Sharma, Chief Revenue Officer, Taj Hotels Palaces Resorts Safaris
Carole Tahar, Chief Digital Officer, Louvre Hotels


Bling bling is out! Luxury has been defined through intangible values for a considerable time. But our industry is having a hard time: The definition of luxury is becoming increasingly difficult to grasp – everyone is puzzling out their own definition. Many studies fail to go below the surface, and scientific approaches are lacking. Furthermore, a hardly-noticed change is taking place: the definition of New Luxury is slipping towards Hidden Luxury, a parallel universe characterized by incognito guests, paparazzi-free zones and living discretely in true luxury. Insiders let us peep through the keyhole.

Moderated by:
Marc Aeberhard, Owner, Luxury Hotel & Spa Management Ltd.

Panel guests:
Arnaud Girodon, General Manager, The Datai Langkawi, Malaysia
Pierre Guggenheim, Advisor to Royal Houses, Administrative Board and Director, Middle East International Group AG
Marcus Krall, Director New Business, PR & Marketing D.A.CH, OCEAN INDEPENDENCE GmbH
Al Merschen, Principal, Myriad Marketing/MMGY Global

Meet Expedia’s new CEO: Mark Okerstrom. Previously the global OTA’s CFO and head of M&A since 2006, he has some big shoes to fill! He sat six feet to the right of his boss, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi — without a wall — for more than five years, affording him a unique perspective and natural transition. Khosrowshahi’s September 2017 departure to run Uber left Okerstrom to lead the company that includes HomeAway, Egencia,, Hotwire, Travelocity, Orbitz, and a majority stake in Trivago. This lively one-on-one discussion will span global expansion, new technologies, competitive challenges and emerging trends along with some personal insights on the future.

Interview guest:
Mark Okerstrom, President & CEO, Expedia, Inc.

Philip C. Wolf, Founder, Phocuswright Inc., Serial Board Director

Big Data and artificial intelligence are turning the advertising world upside down. Innovative data analyses are being used to create sophisticated personality profiles. Highly individualized advertising messages are being produced and communicated for this purpose. The results: A quantum leap in advertising effectiveness and entirely new dimensions of target marketing. The Chief Data Officer of Cambridge Analytica, the illustrious data-analysis company, explains which lessons companies can learn from his experience in the recent US presidential election.

Interview guest:
Dr. Alexander Tayler, Chief Data Officer, Cambridge Analytica

Andy Owen-Jones, Co-Founder & CEO, bd4travel

Massive investment in artificial intelligence is having an impact: In a few years all decisions and existing business processes will be supported by artificial intelligence. Artificial intelligence makes companies more productive and customer-oriented, offers become more individualized, service becomes more personal, sales processes become simpler and more intuitive. What is the status quo of artificial intelligence, and in what areas does it have the greatest potential to prove beneficial to the travel industry? Which applications have already proven to be truly successful?

Moderated by:
Philip C. Wolf, Founder, Phocuswright Inc., Serial Board Director

Panel guests:
Andreas Bitterer, Chief Analytics Evangelist EMEA, SAP
Noreen Henry, CEO, Wayblazer

Due to digitalization, new forms of travel and overtourism, traditional destination marketing has become obsolete. Destination marketing organizations need to completely revise their philosophy. In the future, they will need to tackle important issues, practice active management of destinations, become experience-designers, and they require totally new performance indicators. This is the only way for them to be able to develop into “smart destinations”. 

Keynote Speaker:
Doug Lansky, International Tourism Thought Leader, Keynote Speaker, Travel Journalist and Author