16 January 2023
The ITB concept of the host country clearly focuses on the traditional supra
This year’s host country of ITB Berlin 2023 is Georgia, a small country with a huge history. Being rich in cultural and natural treasures, the country has a lot to share.
30 December 2022
Perhaps you planned a trip to Georgia but still thinking about the perfect dates
Don’t worry! You can't go wrong, as Georgia, the Host Country of ITB Berlin 2023, is a destination of unforgettable adventures throughout the year. Georgian streets are full of hidden stories and interesting architecture from various ages; nature is fascinating.
29 December 2022
The Official Host Country of ITB Berlin 2023, Georgia, is home to the highest permanently inhabited villages in Europe: Ushguli and Bochorna
Ushguli is a spectacular village in Upper Svaneti, nearly 2119 meters above sea level. It is a unique example of mountain scenery with medieval-type villages and tower houses. Thanks to its isolated location, Upper Svaneti has preserved unique, centuries-old traditions.
28 December 2022
The so-called Hidden Gem of The Caucasus, Georgia, has been increasingly attracting visitors lately
The official host country of ITB Berlin 2023 offers diverse, breathtaking experiences and is on the bucket list of adventurers worldwide at any time of year. Due to its favorable geographical positioning, the country has direct access to European, Middle Eastern, and Asian countries within 4 hours of flight time.
28 December 2022
The celebrations in the host country of ITB Berlin 2023 begin in early December
Streets are full of busy people walking with shopping bags. Everybody is thinking about Christmas presents, New Year’s resolutions, and of course, the main feast of the year. The main streets of Tbilisi are sparkling with Christmas lights and are full of outdoor handicraft markets, where you can find the most unique and emotionally precious gifts for loved ones or just for yourself.
23 December 2022
Unknown arguments for a visit to ITB Berlin’s Host Country 2023
Would you experience all 4 seasons in a single day?
Each period of the year has its beauty, but Georgia lets you experience it all at once. You can ski in the highest mountains in the morning and sunbathe on the tropical beaches in the afternoon.
22 December 2022
Georgia, the ITB Berlin Host Country 2023, is showcasing its wide-ranging cultural heritage and historic attractions
From 1184 to 1213, Georgia was ruled by a female king. That’s right, a female king: mepe, the Georgian word for ‘sovereign’, is not gendered, which allowed Tamar to be styled as ‘King of Kings’. Tamar was not only to be Georgia's female ruler, but also one to become one of the most powerful monarchs of the country.
20 December 2022
Georgia to host 2023 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championship
It was officially announced that ITB Berlin’s Host Country 2023, Georgia, will be hosting the 2023 Freestyle Ski and Snowboard World Championship in Bakuriani. The country’s snow-capped mountains, spanning 1,200 kilometres, are one of its greatest assets, along with its ancient culture, delicious food and winemaking tradition and hospitality.
14 December 2022
Equality in Tourism honours gender equality work at ITB Berlin 2023 for the first time
A new award that sends a clear signal: in partnership with Equality in Tourism International, ITB Berlin is for the first time presenting an award for gender equality work. Its aim is to drive improvements and encourage tourism actors to take action and incorporate gender equality measures in their operations. The award will be presented at ITB Berlin 2023.
12 December 2022
What are the reasons for a winter trip to the official host country of ITB Berlin?
Did you know that Georgians celebrate a second New Year? Just when much of the world has packed away the last of the decorations and returned to everyday life, Georgians have another holiday feast. On January 14th, locals celebrate “Old New Year” complete with fireworks, sparkling lights, generous feasts cheerful music, and dancing. So if you can never get enough of holiday celebrations, extend the festivities in Georgia, where smiling faces, concerts, food & crafts markets, and sumptuous dishes will warm your heart.
November 18, 2022
ITB Berlin becomes a B2B-only event, and Berlin Travel Festival is featured at BOOT & FUN for the first time
ITB Berlin goes into 2023 with a new concept - an event aimed exclusively at trade visitors. Berlin Travel Festival will welcome the consumer public, premiering at Messe Berlin at the end of November as a part of BOOT & FUN. Meanwhile, ITB Berlin will be held from Tuesday to Thursday for the first time (March 7-9, 2023) - and thus one day earlier than usual.
Start of the latest ITB Berlin Podcast series on the skills shortage and lack of young people in the tourism industry
November 10, 2022
In the first episode presented by elevatr co-founder Laura Schmidt, two twenty year-olds talk about their “new work” demands in their role as potential employees
It is an issue that from now on will probably always be of concern to the industry: the skills shortage and lack of young people is affecting every area of the tourism sector. The pandemic was not the cause, but it certainly had a big impact. Beyond that, demographic change is taking its toll. What is more, the industry is not necessarily known for being the nicest place to work. Shift work is only one of many aspects that are increasingly deterring people from this sector.
September 26, 2022
In the latest ITB Podcast episode Rika Jean-Francois talks to Virginia Corraze from Amadeus about the growing importance of “green IT“
When there is talk in the travel industry of reducing carbon footprints, attention turns usually to aviation or the emissions caused by cruises. The tech industry, however, also contributes substantially to global emissions. In the latest podcast episode Rika Jean-Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB Berlin, talks to Virginia Corraze from Amadeus, a leading travel tech company that combines all the relevant actors in one system.
September 20, 2022
Well, try Georgian.
Situated between East and West, Georgia brings a perfect marriage of both cultures. Offering diverse, breathtaking experiences, the country has been attracting more and more travelers lately.
September 6, 2022
Futurist Max Thinius on the positive impact of digitality on travel behaviour and on liveable cities of the future
In his lecture on ’The biggest future for all travel’, futurist Max Thinius painted a fascinating picture of how we will travel in the future. ITB Berlin had curated the lecture as Content Partner of the BESTIVAL in the German capital. Thinius explained how in future digitality would make it possible to bring technology and society together in beneficial ways.
September 6, 2022
At the BESTIVAL, Dr. Markus Heller (Fried & Partner) provided a fascinating insight into the booking situation in Germany’s three largest cities.
What is the current situation regarding hotel bookings in Berlin, Hamburg and Munich? Dr. Markus Heller, a tourism and hotel consultancy expert, offered answers in his lecture at the Berlin BESTIVAL on 25 August. The lecture was curated by ITB Berlin, the Content Partner of the event.
The key to Generation Z? – How tourism organisations in Cologne and Bremen are using TikTok to approach young audiences
August 17, 2022
New episode of the ITB Podcast: how the tourism industry can use TikTok to successfully promote destinations and products
In 2020 TikTok was the most frequently downloaded mobile app. What originally began as a dancing and lip syncing app has now evolved into a serious platform for information, debate and discussion. In particular, the app plays an important role among members of the much talked-about Generation Z, the audience currently being targeted by more and more companies and organisations.
Sustainability and carbon offsetting in tourism are no longer just fads- The pandemic of the last two years has made this clearer than ever
August 3, 2022
The Deep Dive in the latest ITB Podcast episode takes a close look at sustainability and carbon offsetting in tourism
Humanity will face ever-increasing challenges due to global warming. Consequently, there is no way to avoid drastically reducing our carbon footprint. The travel industry has a significant impact on nature and global warming, so it is no surprise that urgent action is required here.
June 27, 2022
Inspiring stories along the way: Let’s Talk podcast explores the Sinai Trail and the topics of sustainable tourism and empowerment
In recent years sustainable hiking trails in the Middle East have become more and more popular. This is where, besides the Jordan and Red Sea Mountain Trails, one can also find the Sinai Trail.
June 10, 2022
In the latest ITB Podcast episode Sabine Bierlein, senior product manager at ITB Berlin, talks to Thomas Bösl, managing director of the travel agency cooperative RTK and of QTA (Quality Travel Alliance), Europe’s largest travel agency alliance
Travel agencies faced huge challenges even before the Covid crisis, with the growth of digitalisation placing ever-greater demands on the market’s established players. The last two years did not make life any easier for travel agencies, and the Covid pandemic pushed many agencies to the brink.
June 10, 2022
Eight weeks of one-on-one and peer-to-peer coaching by selected international experts await the ten teams who reach the finals. In addition, they will have access to specialist eLearning and online training courses normally costing 10,000 euros to attend.
In 2022 the Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism enters its fourth round. As of 1 June applications to take part are invited until 18 July. In the competition participants can submit an idea for social entrepreneurship in tourism, thereby helping to shape its sustainable future through innovation. The concept of the Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism is the first of its kind in the world. Another “must” is the kick-off event on 13 June, which provides an opportunity to meet this year’s partners. The awards ceremony will take place on 28 November 2022.
Business travel and climate change – can the two go hand in hand? That was one of the issues at the industry round table discussion under the heading ’Germany wants to be green – how is the business travel industry handling the ambitious climate targets?’, to which the travel management platform TravelPerk had extended an invitation on 30 March 2022.
At an event moderated by Ludger Bals from the German Business Travel Association (VDR) – leading the way with the VDR NxT initiative – Eugen Triebelhorn, Country Manager DACH TravelPerk, Lutz Nauert, Senior Vice President, BCD Travel, Christian Holler, AVP Business Rental Mobility Germany, Enterprise Autovermietung Deutschland, and Maximilian Behr, Commercial Sustainability Manager, ClimatePartner GmbH took part in the discussion.
Leading market players paved the way at ITB India for a recovery and new opportunities in the travel industry
Virtual ITB India 2022 comes to a close
Leading representatives of the travel industry and international exhibitors this week attended a virtual gathering of ITB India, MICE Show India and Travel Tech India, which from 5 to 7 April took place at ITB Community in Asia (ITB Community). The three-day ITB India Conference featured close to 100 online lectures with over 80 industry experts. Leading market players and industry heavyweights including Agoda, Airbnb, Booking.com, FCM Travel, GIATA, HRS Group, Tourism Australia, Tripadvisor, Uber, Wyndham Hotels & Resorts and many others talked about key travel and tourism topics and offered valuable insights and perspectives on shaping corporate strategies and measures.
About digital wallets and verifiable, decentralized identities
“Digital wallets and verifiable, decentralized identities” is a subject which really should be of interest to anyone working in travel and hospitality, or any industry where buyers and sellers need data from each other for the transaction to take place, or any industry which supports an ecosystem which has allowed intermediaries to earn a cut by connecting those buyers and sellers.
Members see the pandemic as offering lots of opportunities for growing tolerance
For many tourism destinations, the LGBTQ+ travel community is a solid and reliable market. In his keynote speech, David Paisley, senior research director of Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) declared “his“ community was ready to travel. Even after the other major crises of 9/11 and SARS, this community was the first to travel again. Perhaps that was the case now too. “Maybe because we have high vaccination rates, maybe because we want even more contact after frequently experiencing social isolation.“ Afterwards, at a panel moderated by Rika Jean Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB Berlin, and Thomas Bömkes, managing director of Diversity Tourism GmbH, the following took part in the discussion: Giovanna Ceccherini, advisor for AITGL – Associazione Italiana del Turismo Gay & Lesbian, Felipe Cardena, president, Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce, board chairman of IGLTA, Janette Carter, vice president of Marketing at VISIT TAMPA BAY, Kristi Kavanaugh, vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Aspen Snowmass, and Frédéric Boutry, LGBT coordinator at Visit Brussels.
Glasgow declaration as the starting point for re-opening tourism
According to Malcolm Roughead, CEO of Visit Scotland, after various Covid-19 lockdowns the Scottish tourism authorities are aiming to make the most of the necessary recovery by fully aligning with the criteria of the 2021 COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Highlights of the upcoming tourism season include the queen’s platinum jubilee, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival, and numerous other tourism firsts.
Companies are often insufficiently aware of their responsibilities
The coronavirus crisis has affected the entire tourism industry, but its informal workers have suffered most of all. From taxi drivers to independent tour guides and cultural performers, they are an important factor in tourism all over the world and account for a large proportion of the industry. The pandemic has highlighted the precarious situation of these people. Experts attending a panel discussion discussed possible solutions for creating a greater respect for the human rights of informal workers.
How women are creating pragmatic and supportive solutions in times of crisis
In recent days Natalia Turcanu, head of the tourism authority of the Republic of Moldova, has offered an impressive example of successful female leadership in times of crisis. She abruptly converted her local authority, exclusively staffed by women, into a centre welcoming refugees from Ukraine, which surrounds the small southern European country on its northern, southern and eastern flanks. At the panel discussion Turcanu presented her country in a keynote speech. Women from India, South Africa, Jordan and Indonesia also presented their projects.
The pressure mounting on the industry demands further measures
The pressure is mounting on the tourism industry to introduce effective climate protection measures. That is why an integrated approach that goes beyond merely reducing the carbon footprint is very important. That was the essence of the discussion entitled “Carbon neutrality is not enough“, at which the panel also presented findings and suggestions for dispensing with short-haul flights as well as carbon capture and geological storage. Taking part in the discussion moderated by Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) were Dr. Susanne Etti, environmental impact specialist at Intrepid Travel, Céline Olesen, of Corporate Partnerships at Climeworks, Christian Delom, executive director at A World for Travel, EVORA Forum, and Jane Ashton, sustainability director at easyJet and easyJet Holidays.
Making sustainability accessible through well-told stories
Sustainability is a megatrend and one that tourism marketing cannot avoid either. One thing is certain as the sector starts up again after the pandemic: the days when more people and more hotel beds were the only success factors are definitely over. The ways in which destinations can use storytelling as a tool in order to attract environmentally aware travellers and to stimulate their enthusiasm, and the advantages for the destinations themselves, were explained by Rob Holmes, founder and Chief Strategist | GLP Films in “Sustainability Storytelling for Destination Management”.
Sustainability champion presents itself as a “green sports hall”
Whether it is skiing and ski jumping in Planica, kayaking on the Soca or hiking along the Alps – Adriatic trail – Slovenia is a paradise for lovers of the outdoor life, as well as being one of the world’s most sustainable destinations. Even well before the coronavirus pandemic the country was fully committed to green tourism, and is now developing this aspect further. This view was shared by those attending the press conference “SLOVENIA – presenting one of the most sustainable and safest countries in the world”, organised by the Slovenia Tourist Board. Those attending included Simon Zajc, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology, Ilona Stermecki, CEO of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Rebeka Kumer Bizjak, Director of the Slovenia Tourist Board in Germany, Matej Kampare, President of Slovenian Outdoor, and Ilka Štuhec, a Slovenian competitive skier and an ambassador for Slovenian tourism.
Innovation, partnerships and transparency for a carbon-neutral future
The lion’s share of the carbon footprint caused by tourism is in the journey itself. A high-level panel with sustainability experts under the heading “It's the Journey that Matters: Challenges and Opportunities in Sustainable Mobility“ discussed the opportunities and challenges of making future journeys sustainable and carbon-neutral. Two of the panel members, Fatima da Gloria de Sousa, vice president, Sustainability at Air France-KLM, and Dr. Thomas Becker, vice president, Sustainability, Mobility at BMW, emphasised the need for partnerships and innovative technologies. Two other participants, Andrea Koepfer, senior director of Communications, Public Affairs & Responsibility at FlixMobility, and Sebnam Erzan, head of Travel Sustainability at Google, stressed the importance of information and transparency.
Virtual Reality as a supplementary and exclusive travel experience
Travel that expands space and time, creating advertising and marketing possibilities, and discovering new customer bases: all this can be accomplished with technology-based and digital solutions, thereby ensuring a seamless, exciting, sustainable and barrier-free travel experience. This convincing presentation was made by Robert Eysoldt, Creative & Strategy Consultant at XPRO Berlin, and Laura Hirvi, Managing Director for the Virtual Reality Association Berlin Brandenburg (VRBB). XPRO is a new European B2B market place for experience technologies, products and services. The ARapp MauAR, for example, offers impressions along the former Berlin Wall, depicting them on a screen at the actual sites. Travellers experience the destination interactively, augmented by a spatial and temporal component.
CEOs report on the companies‘ environmentally friendly activities
Hotels can implement their environmental objects both top-down and bottom-up. But they have to do it, and do it now. This urgent appeal, combined with a four-stage concept, from basic measures through carbon neutrality to “net positive” tourist facilities was issued by the Chairman of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Wolfgang Neumann, to a panel of international CEOs from hotel chains. At this event they described how they intend to put words into action.
Women and people of colour are still under-represented in boardrooms
The world is diverse and many-faceted – and it is what tourism thrives on. Travellers want to explore every corner and aspect of the planet, and tourism companies have the corresponding products. But where diversity in the industry is concerned, white, European (male) faces still dominate the boardrooms and dictate hiring decisions. That must and will change – the panel members discussing diversity, equity and inclusion were aware of that.
Communicating makes it easier for customers to choose corresponding products
Carbon-neutral tourism is becoming an increasingly important issue for companies and customers alike. At the session entitled ’From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation’, moderated by Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand and Xenia zu Hohenlohe, the focus was on achieving carbon-neutral targets. Taking part in the discussion were Sally Davey, CEO of Travalyst, Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, Petra Thomas, managing director of forum anders reisen e.V. – association for sustainable tourism, and Jennifer Koskelin Gibbons, campaign manager for The Palau Pledge at the Palau Legacy Project.
Increased demand for travel offers, and more awareness
The latest findings of the “Sustainable Travel Index” reveal that the awareness of sustainability and environmental protection is becoming an increasingly important factor, and one which has intensified and become more apparent as a result of the pandemic. The report by the market research company Euromonitor International, which was presented at the keynote speech “From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation” by Carolin Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research, clearly shows the effects within the tourism sector. Among countries Sweden ranks first, followed by Slovakia and Austria. First among the cities is Madrid, ahead of Stockholm and Dublin.
Climate researcher advises tourism industry to make greater efforts to reduce CO₂
Humankind is currently on a “path to disaster”, but if, instead of slow changes, there is a radical response to climate protection, it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This was the positive view expressed by Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research and Professor of Earth System Research at the University of Potsdam, in his keynote speech at the Responsible Tourism Track on Thursday. And the tourism sector can also be part of the solution.
ITB Berlin Convention 2022 presents and promotes socially oriented tourism startups
Tourism is not just about making money. In addition to purely commercial enterprises, socially oriented companies are playing an increasing role. On Wednesday, Rika Jean-Francois, commissioner for Corporate Social Responsibility at ITB Berlin, presented three innovative startups whose ideas and concepts were so convincing that they received support from Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, Travel Massiv, ITB Berlin and TUI Stiftung. They were the Khusvegi English and Nomadic Cultural Camp in Mongolia, the Khwela Womxn initiative from South Africa and the Getaboutable project from Australia.
Innovative technologies will change business travel management, however personal contacts remain important
Nothing can replace a business trip, because a Zoom session does not build trust. When a competitor pays the customer a visit that is when, at the latest, every company has to react by meeting in person. On that basic point there was general agreement at this debate on the future of business travel. All the same, the world of business is likely to change, not only because of the pandemic, but as a result of new technologies and the debate surrounding sustainability.
The inexorable advance of decentralised digital wallets
The decentralised electronic wallet is coming, agreed the participants in a panel discussion about “Digital Wallets” at the ITB Berlin Convention. Especially in a highly fragmented travel market they offer a high degree of security and make life easier for travellers and service providers as well as border control personnel.
Employing personalised data and AI is the key to success
Especially during and after the pandemic, the industry must stay focused on technology as a key element of travel and tourism. On Wednesday, a panel of experts discussed how technologies can determine the future of travel. The tourism professionals were unanimous that there would be an increasing use of AI and that employing personalised data was the key to success.
An industry on its way to a new normal after the pandemic
At the C-Level Interview entitled ‘What is next for travel? An industry in transformation’ moderated by Lea Jordan, Axel Hefer, CEO of trivago, was convinced that few things will be the same as before. The tourism industry had faced unprecedented challenges and to a certain extent now had to deal with irreversible changes. At the same time the crisis was an opportunity for a transformation that promised improvement – such as a new appreciation of the value of travel, destinations and local residents.
Awards for Himalayan Ecotourism and AguiKat
“Responsible tourism is necessary and possible – and is being presented with an award for the 27th time at ITB Berlin”, announced Rika Jean-François, Corporate Social Responsibility Officer for ITB Berlin at the digital award ceremony. The Study Group for Tourism and Development has been presenting the international “TO DO Award” since 1995 to initiatives that enable local inhabitants to share in tourism projects. In 2022 the “International Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism” prize went to the Indian trekking project Himalayan Ecotourism. In addition the AguiKat initiative received the TO DO Award “Human Rights in Tourism”.
The Convention & Culture Partner Georgia has numerous treasures to offer
The origins of the human race lie in Africa, but the first hominoid remains found by scientists outside Africa were discovered in Georgia. The country with a surface area of 60,000 square kilometres, which with two 5,000 metre peaks boasts two of Europe’s highest mountains, not only has a long history but a hugely diverse one as well. At a press conference, Irina Koshoridze, an art history professor from Tbilisi, and Vakhtang Licheli, an archaeology professor, presented some of the highlights of this year’s Convention & Culture Partner at ITB.
There are still discrepancies in the hotel sector in the digitalisation of added value
Whereas tourism’s end customers are becoming used to a growing number of digital processes for reservations and payment, there are still large digital gaps between the various players in the value added chain. This was made evident during the panel discussion between spokespersons from Voxel, Mastercard and PayPal about future digital payment methods and the trends and developments in this context.
Medical tourism prepares to offer post-pandemic treatment
As tragic as the serious human and economic consequences are, there is a positive outlook on the horizon after the coronavirus pandemic, one example being medical tourism. The quicker destinations are able to prepare for rehabilitating those who have recovered, the better they can overcome the crisis. That became clear in the presentation of platforms for the wellness and spa industry. Rika Jean-François, CSR commissioner of ITB, presented the ITB Medical Tourism Award to the Slovakian Spa Association for its quick response to the latest challenges.
Introducing hotel technology start-ups
There is still an enormous gap in the hotel sector between customers’ expectations and what they are actually offered. This was the conclusion drawn by David Soskin from the business consultancy Howzat Partners about the current digitalisation situation as it applies to hotel stays. However, he is encouraged by the sense of a new beginning at the ITB Berlin Convention 2022 and the presentations of various start-ups seeking to improve customer relations and internal processes.
Travel Compass 2022 confirms customers‘ need for flexibility and security
The coronavirus crisis has led suppliers and customers to reconsider the question of online payments. This is one of the main findings of the Travel Compass 2022, presented by Jörg Kablitz, Managing Director DACH at PayPal, and Markus Heller, Managing Partner at Dr. Fried und Partner. Other well known effects have been shorter reservation deadlines, the desire for increased flexibility and a willingness to spend more on travel.
Digital assistants now accompany the entire customer journey
Artificial intelligence as an opportunity for a new form of brand communication – this was the subject addressed by Denise Böhm, Technical Lead, Social Media at the German National Tourist Board (DZT) and Alexander Wahler, CEO and co-founder of Onlim GmbH. “Artificial intelligence has now arrived in tourism”, commented Denise Böhm. Using digital assistants as an example, the DZT showed how technology is already changing brand communication throughout the entire customer journey, and bringing progress with it.
How Big Data is transforming tourism
Data is the new oil, but how can it be used in tourism? On Wednesday three professionals gave insights into their strategies at the ITB Berlin Convention. Within the framework of the eTravelTracks and at the panel discussion entitled “The Power of BI: New Data Trends and Data Skills for the Travel Industry” Andreas Wulfes, CEO of Neusta Data Intelligence, Hayley Berg, Head of Price Intelligence at Hopper, and Mathias Gerber, Regional Director Central Europe at Sojern, showed what they have in store.
The Balearics are focusing on environmental awareness and social responsibility in tourism
Francina Armengol, president of the regional government of the Balearics, intends to focus on quality rather than quantity in tourism, as she explained in an interview on the future of this destination. That way, one could turn the pandemic into an opportunity to take on the market with new, improved products. “Tourism tomorrow will be sustainable“, Armengol emphasised. “Nature is our only future. That is why “less is more”, to the benefit of humans and nature.
Inspiration, tips for events and numerous fascinating stories about Saxony-Anhalt
“UNESCO likes to take a look before it awards the title of ’World Heritage Site’“, said Matthias Ulrich from IMG Sachsen-Anhalt during his presentation. Thus, it was all the more amazing to look at Saxony-Anhalt, where there were all of six World Heritage Sites. In Naumburg, Dessau-Roßlau, Wörlitz, Quedlinburg, Halle (Saale), Lutherstadt Eisleben and Lutherstadt Wittenberg one could visit buildings, properties and architectural ensembles of unique historical importance. In 2022, visitors can look forward to numerous events and festivals.
How the company behind Facebook is building a virtual universe
Building the virtual metaverse may still take a few years, but Jan Starcke, Travel Industry lead of Meta, the company behind Facebook, was inviting everyone from startups to global players to contribute. As an example of how it could benefit the travel industry, he said that customers could collect information on their destination in a 3D-animated / digitalised space before booking their trip. It would also be a giant leap forward for providers.
Airbnb observes a trend towards longer stays and is helping 100,000 Ukrainian refugees
Creating a strong community and strengthening the brand instead of spending on search engine marketing – this successful concept has enabled Airbnb to achieve higher sales than before the coronavirus pandemic. One of the platform’s main advantages is its ability to adapt well to new trends. This adaptability is currently enabling Airbnb to provide an unprecedented degree of assistance by offering free accommodation at short notice for up to 100,000 Ukrainian refugees, as the company reported in an interview.
How Condor generates bookings with personalized and interactive videos
80 per cent of global data traffic stems from data videos. Hardly any other medium is as well suited to triggering an emotional reaction as a video clip. The Condor airline is using personalised sales videos to significantly increase the response to its customer emails. Jens Boyd from Condor and Sebastian Beck from ISO Travel Solutions GmbH were able to explain how this works.
Website provides concise travel information in ten languages
A new digital platform by Turkey aims to make researching easier for travellers and tourism professionals both ahead of a trip and when they are there. Concise information is available in ten languages all in one place on goturkiye.com. At the convention, the Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency is presenting Turkey as a sustainable destination. All four seasons and the five senses are covered by corresponding products.
Trip.com Group CEO Jane Sun encourages women: “Be optimistic”
At the start of the C Level interview “Global Trends in Travel & Technology: Learnings from Asia”, Jane Sun, CEO of the largest Chinese travel company, Trip.com Group, encouraged women to enter the travel industry. On the occasion of World Women’s Day, responding to the question of what advice she would offer young women seeking career success, she named four criteria: integrity, optimism, curiosity and conscientiousness. “Be optimistic! We would not have made it through the pandemic without optimism”, according to Jane Sun. But of course, modern technology, including artificial intelligence, also played a major role.
Paraguay presents itself to visitors as an insider’s tip
In the age of the pandemic many travellers are suspicious of large gatherings. In Paraguay, which borders on Bolivia, Brazil and Argentina, mass tourism is unknown. What is more, in Chaco in the country’s west lies one of the most sparsely populated areas of the planet. Instead of an official representative, Oscar Rodriguez, a tour guide, birdwatcher and tour operator, presented the country’s highlights.
Danger of overtourism looms
Adventure travel is among the first industry segments currently recovering from Covid restrictions. At the same time, all stakeholders are increasingly confronting it with demands for sustainability and resilience. In an interview with Gergana Nikolova, regional director, Europe & Central Asia at the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), David Beurle from the consultancy Future iQ noted that tourism responsibilities are shifting from operators to municipalities.
Corona has cost the tourism industry 16 million jobs worldwide
Throughout the world the pandemic has exacerbated an already difficult staffing situation in the travel sector, where it is estimated that 16 million jobs have been lost during the past two years. Employees have departed and it will be difficult to attract them back, as explained by Sophia Krekel, Head of Sales Hospitality Solutions at Stepstone, during a panel discussion on the subject of ‘HR Trends in 2022: Future of Human Resource Management in Tourism’. She joined other panellists to discuss the current challenges.
Increasing importance of online reservation possibilities for tours and on-site activities
Experiences and organised on-site activities are a decisive component of travel, on which vacationers are also prepared to spend money. In particular in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic people are desperate to be on the move again. However, many travellers do not want a traditional city tour but to experience their destination with all their senses. Questions about ways in which the providers of tours and of reservation systems react to this situation, and whether there will be a revival of over-tourism were discussed by Douglas Quinby, Brad Weber and Emil Martinsek, together with Charlotte Lamp Davies, Founder of A Bright Approach, at an event entitled “Tours and Activities Sustainable Return”.
School pupils and students are resilient, set the trends and communicate about them
The participants in a panel discussion with David Chapman, Director of the WYSE Confed-eration, gave insights into a particularly resilient group of travellers, young people and school pupils. It was pointed how important this generation is for the future of travel. “Young travellers set the trends, communicate in depth about them, and most importantly: they re-turn time and again, spending more each time”, was the conclusion by Vicki Cunningham, CEO of BUNAC & USIT.
The tourism industry is recovering from the dip in business caused by the pandemic and sees itself as part of the solution in combating climate change.
Coronavirus restrictions are being lifted and people are increasingly keen to travel – but it will take until the end of 2023 before tourism industry turnover returns to pre-pandemic levels. Speaking at the virtual opening conference of the ITB Berlin Convention, that was one of the messages offered by Norbert Fiebig, president of the German Travel Association DRV. Martin Ecknig, CEO of Messe Berlin, emphasised ITB’s traditional role in promoting dialogue.
Julia Simpson emphasises effective cooperation for overcoming crises
“All our hearts are with Ukraine“, said Julia Simpson, since 2021 president and CEO of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) and keynote speaker at the ITB Ministerial Roundtable. She emphasised the significance of strong cooperation for reviving the travel and tourism industry. What had once again become clear was how vital it was to make the travel and tourism industry crisis-proof and more resilient. “I believe that crises can only be overcome by cooperating and trusting in one another“, Simpson said.
Italy’s tourism industry is well-positioned to re-open
An online-based tourism hub which makes use of AI and connects all kinds of different tour operators, a comprehensive marketing campaign, 70 per cent of whose funding flows into online participation, and the combination of Italian lifestyle and sustainability. Those are just some of the main targets which the Italian National Tourist Board ENIT has set itself for the near future and which were presented at a press conference with the Italian tourism minister Massimo Garavaglia and Roberta Garibaldi, CEO of ENIT. Maria Elena Rossi, global marketing chief of ENIT, moderated the event.
The largest state in Malaysia, on the island of Borneo, is a paradise for culture and nature enthusiasts
“Sarawak, the largest state in Malaysia, is an alternative for those who seek down-to-earth authenticity, avoiding all the clichés”, according to Sharzede Datu Haji Salleh Askor, CEO of the Sarawak Tourism Board (STB), at the Sarawak Travel Chat. It ideally complements a visit to the Malaysian peninsula and neighbouring countries, or can be a separate journey of discovery.
Tourism ministers focus on international cooperation to strengthen resilience
How to deal with crises? That was the question discussed by the participants in the ITB Ministerial Roundtable. Vassilis Kikilias, tourism minister of Greece, called for jointly strengthening resilience after each crisis. Maria Anthonette C Velasco-Allones of the Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines said it was imperative to make a quick recovery from a crisis. And Edmund Bartlett, tourism minister of Jamaica, appealed for a global tourism recovery fund.
Researchers call for an ‘ecosystem of hospitality’
The elimination of boundaries in current tourism thinking has been called for by researchers and marketing strategists in the publication Towards an Ecosystem of Hospitality – Location:City:Destination, which they presented on Tuesday at the ITB Berlin Convention. This has been created with the involvement of Tourismus NRW (representing tourism in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia), and focuses in particular on new perspectives in city tourism. “Maybe we should not even call it tourism, but instead treat it as an ‘ecosystem of hospitality‘”, stated, Professor Harald Pechlaner, the incumbent of the Chair for Tourism at the Catholic University Eichstätt, who led the conference that addressed this topic.
Robert Habeck hopes tourism will encourage international understanding and praises Georgia as a travel destination
In his keynote speech, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Climate Action Dr. Robert Habeck revealed himself to be a travel fan and an admirer of Georgia, the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB. At the same time he was visibly shaken by recent events – and said he was certain his welcome speech was the most difficult one a tourism minister had ever held at an ITB.
More customers are making domestic trips, are booking more package tours and want greater flexibility
Speaking at the opening of the ITB Berlin Convention 2022 about future global travel behaviour, Peter Kautz, MD of Statista Q, said that many of the travel habits to have emerged due to the coronavirus pandemic would remain even after infections have subsided. He also predicted that turnover will reach pre-pandemic levels in 2023.
Denmark’s oldest vacation rental company is celebrating its anniversary: The OYO subsidiary DanCenter is 65 and has big plans for the future
For the last 65 years DanCenter, Denmark’s oldest vacation rental company, has been bringing private house owners and vacation-hungry visitors together. The company has big plans for the future in this anniversary year and is launching a series of activities also aimed at attracting house owners.
On 11 March the German National Tourist Board (DZT) will hold its tenth Accessible Tourism Day
Presentation of the Green Destinations Story Awards 2022 and the show’s own ITB Earth Award at this year’s ITB Berlin
on 17 March, another show highlight awaits tourism professionals and interested visitors on Friday, 11 March 2022 at 1p.m.: the presentation of the Green Destinations Story Awards 2022
ITB Berlin’s expanded reading list on the subject of sustainable responsibility
Ms. Rika Jean-François echoes the view of ZEIT Wissen editor Fritz Habkuß, who in a recent interview in the turi2 edition #16 in late January 2022 emphasised the importance of science for political decision-making.
Social innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism: Unique Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism honours 2021 winners
The Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism is the world’s first and only competition dedicated to social innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism.
Airlines: Flexible crisis management
Due to the pandemic, many airlines are offsetting their business route losses with flights to popular coastal destinations in the sun
Eurowings head Jens Bischof recently made the following announcement: with vaccination rates on the rise, his airline is reporting growth in business travel again, and accordingly is expanding its city routes.
Encouragement is the way forward: Taking place in Frankfurt, the Travel Industry Club’s Award Night honoured innovative ideas in challenging times
On the evening of 13 September 2021, the Travel Industry Club’s (TIC) Award Night took place in front of a live audience comprising more than 100 industry members at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Frankfurt. ITB Berlin was a partner of the event.