ITB Travel Technology section still growing

Travel Technology at ITB Berlin 2009 is still enjoying growth despite the recent economic downturn with a number of new smaller companies taking the opportunity to market their products to the industry at large.In times of economic crisis playful innovations are likely to be the main victims. The focus is shifting in travel technology too. In the short term experts anticipate attention being directed towards applications that will help reduce costs and increase revenues. Improving sales efficiency and streamlining back offices will be more important than visionary solutions for mobile applications, social networks or a semantic web.

Thus Travel Technology at ITB Berlin 2009 occupies an interesting role in a contradictory environment, determined by economic recession and market consolidation as well as consistently dynamic growth in e-business and travel technology. As a result there are highly dynamic developments going on in this section at the global travel industry’s leading trade show.

“There has been considerable fluctuation and we have seen many new arrivals”, said David Ruetz, Senior Manager ITB Berlin. Overall the organisers have registered substantial growth. Many small and innovative technology companies are taking part. Out of approximately 130 exhibitors in the Travel Technology section one-sixth will be at ITB Berlin for the first time. Among them the number of international exhibitors is increasing, with Sweden, Australia and Turkey also participating in this section.

The main products and services will comprise software and search engines for hotels as well as portable applications. “Travel blogs focus on hotels, more so than on any other service provider,” said David Ruetz. “Nowadays almost every hotel has ratings, images and even videos on the web, which are put up by one or more users. Hotels and search engines must make intelligent use of this content. This social networking capability and the ability to network with various sales channels determines their quality and performance potential.”

Furthermore, the transparency of prices and services offered on the web as well as the integration of mobile services and the increasing relevance of personal recommendations will give both online and offline travel technology, travel agencies and service providers a boost. Thus a leading platform such as ITB Berlin is indispensable in order to maintain an overview of current market trends.

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The Travel Technology Conference [email protected] Berlin on 12 March 2009 will also be showing ways to make specific use of technology to achieve success in the travel, tourism and hospitality sectors. On 11 March the tourism industry’s successful Bloggers Summit will be taking place for the second time. Additional information is available at www.itb-convention.com/phocuswright.
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