“Expanding E-Travel Across Europe” is the overarching theme of the Travel Technology Conference, at
ITB in Berlin which is held on 12 March 2009 using English as the conference language. The programme has been drawn up by PhoCusWright from the USA, internationally acknowledged market researchers and consultants specialising in the travel sector. The findings of the European Online Travel Overview from PhoCusWright show that the selective application of technology is indispensable for the success of the travel, tourism and hospitality sector: “Today more than a quarter (28%) of European travel is booked online, and by 2010 the number of online bookings will have risen by a third”, according to Michaela Papenhoff, Senior Market Analyst for PhoCusWright und CEO of h2c consulting gmbh. In a series of keynote speeches, executive round tables, CEO interviews and brief “Five Minutes of Fame” presentations, [email protected] Berlin will provide comprehensive insights into developments, innovations and new services.
Prominent speakers on current developments in travel e-business.
Highlights of the programme will include the session “Technical Innovation Re-Invents Train Travel Distribution”. In future buying rail tickets should be as easy as purchasing flight tickets online already is. The keynote address by Eberhard Kurz, CIO Deutsche Bahn AG, will provide an informative introduction to the discussion about technological and economic barriers and the possibilities for making reservations via the internet.
Another keynote speech, “Luxury and Romance Meet Technology”, is also bound to stimulate debate. Tamara Heber-Percy, co-founder of the web portal “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, and James Lohan, Managing Director of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith”, will explain about the wide-ranging online field of luxury brands, both in boutiques and in the travel industry.
A series of interesting executive round tables will provide plenty of material for discussion throughout the day. For example “The Semantic Web Meets Travel” will give an indication of just how fast-moving the internet is. No sooner does the full potential of the web appear to have been exhausted when the next generation appears: the “Semantic Web”. Another round table entitled “The Power of Local” promises to be quite contentious too. Despite the worldwide expansion pf large OTAs (online travel agencies), many regional OTAs continue to thrive on their own domestic markets. Their competitive advantages at a local level are the key to their success. The discussions about “Best Practices in Mobile Applications for Travel” will take a closer look at mobile travel communication. This includes new wireless technologies, convergent next-generation devices and user-friendly applications such as mapping. And the round table dealing with “Economics of Pay Per Action (PPC) and Pay Per Click (PPA)” will reveal that hybrid business models are becoming increasingly attractive due to the inclusion of price excess among search terms (e.g. Google Adwords), thereby presenting a new challenge to traditional reservation methods.
In the four sessions entitled “Five Minutes of Fame” CEOs of recent start-ups in the travel industry will provide some brief insights into their successful business models. “The most important feature of this extensive programme is that the deployment of travel technology will be explained by prominent speakers, using practical examples from the business world”, according to Michaela Papenhoff. “Experts in sales, marketing and corporate development in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors will be able to learn how to make best use of techno-logical progress in order to achieve earnings, improve margins and attain operative efficiency.”
And 11 March 2009 will see the start of the second PhoCusWright Bloggers Summit which began so successfully last year. Bloggers from the travel industry will exchange ideas about current and future trends in the field of user-generated content. There will be free workshops presenting numerous case histories, addressing such aspects as fragmentation and consolidation in the areas of social media, Twitter and SEO.
[email protected] Berlin will be taking place on 11 and 12 March 2009 in Hall 7.3, Europa Room, during the ITB Berlin Convention. More details about the events are available at www.itb-convention.com/phocuswright. Advance applications to attend PhoCusWright [email protected] can be made online. The participation fee is 350 euros and covers all the sessions, snack, lunch and a cocktail reception following the conference. An Early Bird rate of just 300 instead of 350 euros applies until 31 January.