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Press Release

January 19, 2018

A wealth of expertise at the ITB Berlin Convention 2018

Leading international speakers will respond to the big future challenges – Focus on overtourism, revolutionary forms of transport and digitalization in the travel industry – Admission is free for trade visitors, exhibitors and media representatives of ITB Berlin

From 7 to 10 March 2018 at the ITB Berlin Convention leading international speakers from industry and science will present valuable ideas and suggestions and provide first-hand expertise and information. Fascinating lectures and panel discussions and topical, exclusive surveys as well as reports on best practices will await visitors to the leading think tank of the international travel industry. Admission is free for trade visitors at ITB Berlin.

Forward-looking ideas for the travel industry

On 7 March at the ITB Future Day, kicking off events at the leading think tank of the global travel industry, leading scientists and practitioners will outline future scenarios within the tourism industry. Together with Zambia, the Convention & Culture Partner, and the WTCF, the co-host of the event, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partner region of ITB Berlin, will officially open the convention. Afterwards, in a keynote speech Jane Jie Sun, CEO of Ctrip.com International Ltd., will examine the much-discussed topic of ‘Tourism: the Gateway to Global Peace and Prosperity’.

In the afternoon attention will focus on an up-to-the-minute topic: 'The Revolution of Travel'. Traffic levels are increasing all the time and in the long run cannot be handled by existing transport systems. Innovative technology and apparently revolutionary means of transport such as driverless flying taxis, high-speed hyperloop systems and fully automated electric shuttles will make it possible to implement completely new concepts. Dirk Ahlborn, CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies Inc. (HTT) and founder and CEO of JumpStarter Inc., will talk about tomorrow’s transport system and the future role of Elon Musk’s hyperloop technology. Another session will discuss the reality of the ‘Revolution of Travel’. Technology pioneers including Dirk Ahlborn and Alexander Zosel, co-founder of Volocopter GmbH, will provide an update on their revolutionary projects, and discuss commercial prospects and business models. The latest findings of the market survey conducted by ITB Berlin in collaboration with Travelzoo will be eagerly awaited. In this survey for ITB Berlin the international publisher of exclusive travel deals researched the opinions of travellers from Europe, America, Asia and Australia on new forms of transport and the approval ratings they gave.

Rounding off the ITB Future Day will be two other fascinating sessions. In an ITB CEO interview Gillian Tans, president and CEO of Booking.com, will provide valuable insights into the world of online hotel booking platforms and give tips on how to improve one’s own strategies. A panel discussion entitled ‘Blockchain: the next Technology Disruption in the Travel Industry’ will examine what Blockchain really is and the impact of this innovative technology on the structures of the global travel industry.

Overtourism – update and outlook

On Wednesday, 7 March, ITB Destination Day 1 will look at ’Overtourism’, now a highly controversial topic. Kicking off the event, a market survey conducted by Deutsche Gesellschaft für Tourismuswissenschaft (DGT) and Internationale Vereinigung wissenschaftlicher Experten im Tourismus (AIEST) for ITB Berlin will provide the latest update on overtourism and describe measures and best practices at European tourism destinations. At the session to follow Mato Franković, mayor of Dubrovnik, a representative of the city of Barcelona and Frans van der Avert, CEO of Amsterdam Marketing, will reveal their recipes for success and lessons to be learned by those managing tourism destinations. They are regarded as pioneers of solutions for regions impacted by overtourism.

Gloria Guevara Manzo, president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council, will talk about ‘Best Practice Solutions. From Setting Quotas to Pricing to High Tech’. In her lecture she will present the latest findings of a study published by McKinsey in December 2017, and based on the initial experiences of particularly affected destinations will highlight the solutions that have met with success and those that have not.

Sharing economy, big data and challenges facing the hotel industry

On Thursday, 8 March at the ITB Marketing & Distribution Day high-ranking representatives of the international tourism industry will discuss future trends such as the sharing economy and big data. In his keynote speech on ’The Evolution of Airbnb and how Global Travel is Changing’ Nathan Blecharczyk, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Airbnb and chairman of Airbnb China, will provide an update on the latest developments at Airbnb and an insight into the changing travel market. At the ITB Hospitality CEO Panel in cooperation with PhocusWire leading CEOs representing hotel groups around the world will debate successful corporate and distribution strategies.

Afterwards, in an ITB CEO interview with Philip C. Wolf, founder of Phocuswright and serial board director, Mark Okerstrom, the new CEO of Expedia will respond to a number of questions: 'What are the global growth strategies of this travel industry giant? What new technologies and market challenges does Expedia face? Which future trends concern the new CEO most? Dr. Alexander Tayler, another leading figure, is also scheduled to speak at the ITB Marketing & Distribution Day. In an ITB executive interview the chief data officer of the data analysis specialist Cambridge Analytica will talk about ’Big Data and Intelligent Data Analysis: the Death of Traditional Advertising?’ and the lessons that companies can and should learn from the US elections he accompanied.

Sustainable tourism is on the rise

The ITB CSR Day has been firmly established at the ITB Berlin Convention for many years now and is regarded as the biggest driving force of sustainable tourism. On Friday, 9 March experts will present innovative concepts and the prospects for future-oriented sustainable tourism. Michael Lutzeyer, Owner & Managing Director, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve South Africa, Prof. Dr. Niko Paech, Professor for Pluralism in Economics, Siegen University, Post Growth Economy Expert, will debate the nature and extent of the ambivalent relationship between tourism and sustainability. The two will be ’Hot Seat’ adversaries presenting their fact-laden best arguments and will hold a controversial debate offering new insights and uncomfortable truths.

Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors, exhibitors and media representatives.

Numerous sessions at the ITB Berlin Convention will be streamed live on the internet. Full details of the programme at the ITB Berlin Convention 2018 are available for downloading at www.itb-convention.com.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2018 will be taking place from Wednesday, 7 to Sunday, 11 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2017 a total of 10,000 companies and organizations from 184 countries exhibited their products and services to around 169,000 visitors, who included 109,000 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the Leading Travel Industry Think Tank, will be held from Wednesday, 7 to Saturday, 10 March. Zambia is the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin 2018. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is Co-Host of the ITB Berlin Convention. Ctrip.com International, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey are Platinum Sponsors. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors, media representatives and exhibitors. More details are available at www.itb-berlin.com, www.itb-convention.com and at ITB Social Media Newsroom.

You may obtain your accreditation for ITB Berlin 2018 online at www.itb-berlin.com/Press/Accreditation/.

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