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ITB Berlin: Travel technology continues to boom

Always one step ahead: at ITB Berlin numerous topical themes and informative examples of best practices await visitors to the eTravel World from 6 to 9 March 2019. Visitors interested in travel technology can find out more in the exclusive area featuring new technologies, digital marketing and social media, the eTravel World in Halls 6.1, 7.1b and 7.1. Companies representing global distribution systems (GDS), tour operator databases, reservation systems, payment systems, travel agency software and calculation programmes will also be displaying their products in Halls 5.1, 8.1 and 10.1. The short distances between all these areas means that interested visitors can gain a quick and easy overview of the entire tech industry.


Lectures and workshops at the eTravel Lab and on the eTravel Stage


From Wednesday, 6 March to Saturday, 9 March at over 70 sessions, panels and workshops, first-hand knowledge on trendsetting technological solutions will be available from travel technology experts on the eTravel Stage in Hall 6.1 and at the eTravel Lab in Hall 7.1b. At the eTravel Lab payment system specialists will look at how the trend towards online payment solutions is impacting on destinations, tour operators and the hospitality industry. On 6 March Jörg Möller, managing director of Wirecard, will present his best case study showing how integrating payment systems from China leads to sustained increases in sales. Afterwards, Thomas Gmelch, head of Travel & Mobility Amazon Pay, will show how Amazon is optimising payment procedures to make life more convenient for connected travellers.


On Wednesday, 6 March, on the eTravel Stage, destination managementprofessionals can get an overview of the progress taking place in digitalisation at destinations. Travel tech companies from Spain will report on their experiences and solutions in a highly competitive market, for example. The session entitled ’When tourists are more of a curse than a blessing’ will highlight the issue of overtourism. In that context and based on actual cases, Kristine Honig, a consultant and network partner at Tourismuszukunft, and Andrea Schneider, an independent marketing communications consultant for tourism professionals, will highlight the influence of social media and how regions and companies can deal with this situation. On Friday, 8 March events at the eTravel Lab will focus on social media, storytelling and community. In her lecture on ’Power of community – now more important than ever before’ Sally Davey, global director of Industry Relations at Tripadvisor, will explain how user-generated content can be used to overcome the challenges in developing tourism. 


In the hospitality industry, efficient technology is becoming an increasingly decisive factor for establishing successful business models. A number of sessions will highlight solutions, including how chatbot services can overcome language barriers, how revenue management can improve hotel performance, and how hotels should prepare themselves for the digital revolution in the hotel room. On Thursday afternoon, the 2nd ITB Hospitality Tech Forum is a must for all hotel industry decision-makers, where digitalisation and technologies in the hotel industry will be analysed with regard to AI, distribution and payment systems. International specialists will talk about new trends and developments in guest communications, upselling and hotel revenue management strategies.


At various sessions experts will have information on how technical innovations can help to improve marketing systems for tour operators and travel agencies. For example, travel agency staff can find out how AI can be used to recognise customer requests in order to generate more sales. In his lecture on the EU Package Travel Directive, Dennis Zimon, managing director of Passolution, will show that the implementation of the pre-contractual information requirement which has now become a routine part of everyday travel agency and tour operator work also offers numerous opportunities.

Startups from around the world take the stage at ITB Berlin


On Friday, 8 March, the focus of the eTravel Start-up Day will be on up-and-coming tech companies. Investor panels and discussion rounds moderated by industry experts will be combined with brief startup pitches. At group events on the topics of aviation, mobility, hospitality, travel and booking software, more than two dozen startups will be critically judged by experts. At the same time, startups will be invited to present their products which have won competitions both at home and abroad. Furthermore, this year’s edition of the Start-up China Panel will offer an insight into Asia’s Silicon Valley.

New: BarCamp for hotel owners and hotel tech companies


On Saturday, 9 March the BarCamp for hotel managers and hotel tech companies will celebrate its debut in Hall 7.1b. At the workshops participants will be able to choose their own topics, develop solutions and exchange practical knowledge. Attendance at the ITB HotelCamp, which is sponsored by the Hospitality Industry Club, is included in the price of a ticket to ITB.

Brexit: a nail-biter – daily tips and predictions


Brexit is just around the corner. Regardless of the final outcome, upheavals and uncertainty are likely to affect European travel. Thus, on 8 March at 2.30 p.m. at the lab in Hall 7.1b, a special event will take place at the eTravel World at which experts will give their best possible predictions of where the main problems may occur. Under the heading ’Confused by Brexit. Emergency stunts and first aid’, tourist board representatives and travel technology experts will debate the risks of what will happen on 29 March and immediately afterwards. A lively public debate will be welcomed.


From 6 to 9 March in Halls 6.1 and 7.1b the eTravel Lounges sponsored by Travelport and the Hospitality Industry Club will provide free networking areas where visitors can meet and hold talks. More information on the eTravel World can be found at www.itb-berlin.com/etravel and on the ITB HotelCamp at www.hospitalityindustry.club/en/hic-hotelcamp-itb/.


The full programme of eTravel World events is updated daily and can be downloaded under www.bit.ly/2D60s9A.

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