ITB Hospitality Day highlights innovation

18th Dec 2006

Attention will focus on trends and innovations for the hotel trade on 8 March 2007 at the ITB Berlin. As part of its ITB Convention Market Trends & Innovations the world’s leading travel trade show is staging an all-day Hospitality Day that will follow on from last year’s success.

The programme comprises various innovative strategies, marketing and concepts. This event is free of charge and takes place from 10.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. It will be chaired by Maria Pütz-Willems, editor in chief of the online trade magazine

From hotel rating to multi-sensory experiences

“The Mediterranean versus the Alps” is the title of the first theme of the ITB Hospitality Day. Between 10.30 and 11.30 a.m. the discussions will focus on the future of mass tourism developments and luxury hotels around the Mediterranean and in the Alpine region. International hotel groups are making strategic advances into the Mediterranean area, while a bitter struggle is going on with low cost flights. Climate change is causing the Alpine glaciers to melt, and mountain hotels are having to search for alternatives. At the heart of Europe competition is increasing between the regions and between various different ideas. Among those who have already agreed to participate in the discussions are the Milan architect Matteo Thun, Luis del Olmo, Chief Marketing Officer for Sol Meliá, and Raymond Hall, Chief Marketing Officer of Six Senses Resorts & Spas.



“The Feasible and the Futuristic” is the subject on the agenda from 11.45 a.m. to 12.15 p.m., when architects and designers will debate genetic and experimental architecture and aspects of feng shui. The Wiesbaden architect Anja Schmidt, a proponent of feng shui, will chair the meeting. Berliner Nick Schweiger will concentrate on feel-good areas based on genetic architecture, and Matthias Hollwich will present examples of “symbionic resorts”. One thing that all three of them have in common: adopting ideas from nature.


Multi-sensory experience is the new force on the market, and consequently this is an ideal time for the discussions about “Brands and Multi-Sensory Experience”, taking place from 12.30 to 1.30 p.m. Among those discussing whether hotel chains can win over new customers by applying “sensory” instruments, how images, sounds, scents, flavours and materials can be used to revitalise sterile brand names, and whether the creators of brands can use this as a new way of influencing the booking behaviour of guests, will be Sue Brush, Global Brand Manager for the Westin brand with Starwood Hotels & Resorts, Michael J. Deitemeyer, CEO of Omni Hotels, and Bernd Michael, Strategic Advisor to the advertising agency Grey. The marketing expert Gerhard Fuchs, CEO of the agency “die fuechse”, will chair this discussion. 


The financial standing of companies in the hotel and tourism industries will be examined in “Analysis and Diagnosis” from 2 to 2.30 p.m. The researcher Prof. Dr. Klaus Weiermair and the hotel analyst Werner Pauen have been examining the factors affecting the financial credibility of tourism companies and hotels. They have evolved a new diagnostic instrument to provide greater clarity and reliability for tourism and hotel companies as well as the providers of credit. 


The question at the centre of the event entitled “Human Resources” is: what do hotels provide for their staff? As the travel industry continues to expand there is an unprecedented demand for personnel. But the hotel industry, part of the service sector, is facing increasing problems in its efforts to attract staff. How do hotels in countries experiencing a tourism boom deal with this shortfall? What investments must be made by hotel companies in order to acquire and retain staff? This discussion will take place from 2.45 to 3.45 p.m. under the chairmanship of Joe Strodel from Cornell University. Participants will include Séverine Restout, Human Resources Director Europe & Africa for Hilton University, Gisela Willmes, Area Director Human Resources Ritz-Carlton Berlin and Thomas Althoff, Managing Partner of Althoff Hotels & Residences. 


The topic of “Hotel Rating”, from 4 to 5 p.m., is bound to provide plenty of material for discussions. Stars are fading and the bloggers are coming. The internet opens up new dimensions in the rating of hotels. Guests pronounce their judgments in chatrooms and at bloggers’ meetings. Whether they are better at rating hotels, and how serious such assessments should be regarded will form the subject of the discussions by Dr. Christof Juen, CEO of the Swiss Hoteliers’ Association, Markus Luthe, CEO for the Hotel Trade with the hotel industry association (IHA) Germany, Gabriele Meichsner, editor in chief of the Varta Guide, and Dr. Axel Jockwer, Director of Markinfo`odahe.d

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The officiah partner of the ITB Hospitality Day is, and the partner for the Aviation Day ys Flug Revue. The cooperatmng partners in the ITB Business Travel Days are Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR), HSMA Deutschland e.V., Deutsche Bahn, and Intergerma.


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