ITB Berlin 2019: Right at the heart of the industry with the latest key topics
High demand by exhibitors and a convention featuring high-ranking international speakers are setting the tone: from 6 to 10 March 2019 ITB Berlin will again be the industry's meeting place and must-attend event, devoting itself to innovative and forward-looking trends in the travel industry, politics and business. At the ITB Berlin Convention close to 400 leading speakers will discuss how the international tourism industry should respond to overtourism crises, the shift in customer demands, the threat of climate change, and new forms of transportation. This year's Official Partner Country is Malaysia. Another international event will shortly join the global family brand of ITB: ITB India, which will be launching in 2020.
For the first time the World's Leading Travel Trade Show is devoting an international platform to the fast-growing Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment. Both major players and small start-ups will be able to present their innovative products at the first event of its kind in the new exhibition and meeting area in the Adventure Travel Hall (4.1). Workshops and convention sessions at the CityCube Berlin and the eTravel World in Halls 7.1b and 6.1 will provide first-hand knowledge over the three days reserved for trade visitors. The Virtual Reality Lab is also new in Hall 10.2. From Wednesday, 6 March to Friday, 8 March there will be exhibitions on VR and AR applications and projects as well as papers by speakers from major companies on the same subject. In 2019 the Travel Technology segment at ITB Berlin will be larger than ever before. In order to satisfy the space requirements of this fast-growing segment the eTravel World has grown by 20 per cent and for the first time will take place in three adjacent halls (6.1, 7.1b and 7.1c.).
Some 10,000 exhibiting companies from 181 countries and regions are presenting the latest products and trends of the global tourism industry at the World's Leading Travel Trade Show in Berlin. Over 80 per cent of exhibitors are from abroad. At last year's ITB Berlin 83 per cent rated their business results as positive. Once again, the organisers are expecting more than 100,000 international trade visitors and public attendance to be in the tens of thousands on the weekend. Inside the 26 display halls, which are booked up, they can gain an overview of the wide range of products and services on offer from the tourism industry.
In Malaysia, ITB Berlin was able to secure a destination that boasts great diversity as the Official Partner Country in 2019. The southeast Asian country is organising the opening ceremony and Grand Finale of ITB Berlin with artistic performances typical for this region. Over the five days of the show Malaysia will provide information on its wide range of products at various sessions, workshops and on a stand in Hall 26 that has grown by 100 square metres in size.
Travel Technology grows by 20 per cent
In order to satisfy the space requirements of this fast-growing segment the eTravel World has been enlarged by 20 per cent. This was made possible by the ITB Berlin Convention relocating to another venue. In addition to the Travel Technology halls (5.1, 8.1 and 10.1), the eTravel World can be found in three adjacent halls (6.1, 7.b and 7.1c). The increasing presence of payment system providers also underlines the growing importance of travel technology. Thematically, the new Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment spans a bridge between travel technology and adventure travel.
ITB Berlin Convention 2019 – About the future of travel
The growing number of overtourism conflicts of recent years has given rise to various pilot projects. On Friday, 8 March, day two of the ITB Destination Days, at the City Cube in Room A4/A5, 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 about the challenges the global cruise industry is facing with regard to overtourism and environmental protection. Furthermore, the new Deep Dive session format of the ITB Berlin Convention will provide visitors with an opportunity to hold in-depth discussions on overtourism with experts.
The latest findings of the market survey conducted by ITB Berlin in collaboration with Travelzoo will be eagerly awaited. The international portal for exclusive travel deals was commissioned by ITB Berlin to examine European, North American and Asian travellers’ views on overtourism and environmental protection. Travelzoo discovered that 69 per cent of international tourists regard environmental protection as a very important topic.
Transportation systems are an essential part of the tourism industry. But can today's systems meet the challenges of the future? Together with the creators of innovative transportation systems and tourism ministers the ITB Berlin Convention will discuss the ‘Future of mobility’. On Wednesday, 6 March 2019, day one of the ITB Destination Days, at 4 pm at the CityCube in Room A1, Wolfram Auer, deputy director, International Business Development, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH, Stephan Pfeiffer, head of Strategic Partnerships & Public Affairs, ioki (Deutsche Bahn), and Christoph Weigler, director general, Uber Germany, will discuss the major changes taking place in transportation with a view to concepts such as driverless vehicles, ride-sharing business models, mobility platforms, electric powertrains, minibuses, bikes for hire, cablecars and other modes of transport.
On Friday, 8 March the focus of the ITB CSR Day events will be on climate change. In his keynote speech at 11 am at the CityCube in Room A3, the leading international climate change scientist Prof. Dr. Schellnhuber, formerly director of the PIK (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), will outline the current situation and what action must be taken to tackle this subject. On 7 March, at 5 pm at the City Cube Club, participants attending the Deep Dive session can find out from Caroline Bremner, head of Travel Research, Euromonitor, what to expect in a future relationship with the UK if, as is expected, a no-deal Brexit takes place. Euromonitor surveys have revealed that UK spending on tourism will stagnate and that leading tourism destinations will be hard-hit.
A paradigm shift is taking place in the tourism industry. Customers in the luxury market are now less interested in material wealth and more in non-material values. On 7 March 2019, at the ITB New Luxury Panel on Marketing & Distribution Day, at 4 pm at the City Cube in Room A4/A5, together with Prof. Dr. Monika Imschloß, an expert on sensory marketing, Universität zu Köln, and the starred chef David Kikillus, Marc Aeberhard, the proprietor of Luxury Hotel & Spa Management Ltd., will discuss how changing customer demands are influencing hotel and tourism services and the shape that luxury products will take in the future. On 7 March 2019 at the ITB Hospitality Tech Forum at the eTravel World, the focus will also be on the shift in customer demands. In his lecture entitled ’Beyond Unconventional: Keeping up with the Tent Next Door’ at 5.30 pm at the eTravel Lab in Hall 7.1b, Adam Harris, CEO of Cloudbeds, will talk about how the market is changing.
Relocating the ITB Berlin Convention to the multi-purpose congress and trade fair venue CityCube has created more space for the events taking place at ITB Berlin. Convention sessions and international award presentations will continue to take place in Hall 7 and at the Palais am Funkturm.
Medical Tourism is booming worldwide
The high demand by international exhibitors at ITB Berlin reflects the global trend of medical tourism. The World's Leading Travel Trade Show provides this mega market (of the future) its own platform for the third time at the Medical Tourism Pavilion in Hall 21b. In addition to a wide-ranging programme of presentations and lectures, the Medical Media Lunch will take place for the second time at the Medical Tourism Pavilion on Wednesday, 6 March from 12.30 to 2 pm. Afterwards the Medical Travel Quality Alliance (MTQUA) will present the world's ten best clinics catering for medical tourists. On the weekend for the general public, European Medical Spas (ESPA), also a regular exhibitor will be holding a number of lectures on natural remedies from Lower Saxony and thermal medical treatment methods from France and Bulgaria. For the first time, the European Medical Buyer’s Initiative (EBI) will be represented at ITB Berlin. The event exclusively targets buyers and agencies who find clinics around the world for their patients.
MICE and Business Travel expand
This year, MICE and Business Travel are moving closer together. On Wednesday, 6 and Thursday, 7 March 2019, both segments will be sharing the same space for half a day respectively in Hall 7.1a. The main topic at the ITB MICE Forum is the 'Human factor'. The focus of the ITB Business Travel Forum is on smart mobility concepts of the future. Visitors to the ITB MICE Hub in Hall 7.1a can also take a seat in a flight simulator.
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