ENTER 2003 Conference Attracts Record Speaker Turnout

Over 100 of the world`s leading travel, tourism and information technology experts are to deliver speeches at next January`s ENTER 2003 conference in Helsinki (29-31 January 2003), conference organisers IFITT (International Federation for IT and Travel & Tourism) announced today.

IFITT (www.ifitt.org), the world`s leading think tank on IT in the global travel and tourism industry, has revealed a record speaker line-up for ENTER 2003, the world`s foremost travel technology conference which has attracted a turnout of over 500 delegates for the past three years.

Keynote speakers include the European Commissioner for Information Society and Enterprise Erkki Liikanen; Dawid de Villiers, Deputy Secretary General of the World Tourism Organization and Graham Wason, Vice President of the World Travel and Tourism Council. A great number of industry speakers have also confirmed their participation, including top executives from Nokia, Opodo, Pegasus Solutions, Active Hotels and Tiscover.

At the event - the 10th annual ENTER conference - a total of over 100 presentations will be delivered at Helsinki`s Finlandia Hall during the conference`s three days of sessions, organised into three tracks focusing on research, industry issues and destinations. These will include the latest developments in 10 current European Commission projects together with the publication of over 60 cutting edge research papers.

Called `Technology on the Move`, ENTER 2003 will explore the global m-travel revolution and consumers` growing desire to make bookings and obtain local information while on the move. The technologies under the spotlight support the `always-on` society of people who require real-time interaction with tourism enterprises and destinations.


Said IFITT`s president Josef G. Margreiter, CEO of the Tirol Werbung Group & Tourist Board: “M-travel is predicted to be the next revolution in travel technology. ENTER 2003 will go to the heart of how travel providers will sell in future to customers on the move. Waiting for the customer to come to you is no longer enough.

“ENTER has grown from strength to strength and every year we have attracted a growing number of top speakers and delegates from around the world. This year`s line-up is our best ever, and we expect a huge turnout from across the global travel and tourism industries.”

This year`s ENTER conference will spotlight how travel providers, intermediaries and tourism boards can profit from the next generation of mobile applications, with Helsinki`s position as the centre of the global mobile technology industry a key factor behind IFITT`s decision to choose the city as its conference venue.

ENTER 2003 will investigate the leading technologies shaping the evolution of the tourism industry and new business models emerging in the marketplace, with the conference always attracting a strong turnout from Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) and tourism boards seeking new electronic tools for branding and promoting their destinations.

The role of destinations and how they market themselves in an increasingly competitive global arena will come under review in presentations covering the mobile web revolution, smart cards, wireless services, SMS alerts and iDTV. Tourist boards and destination companies will hear how to attract a return on investment from new technologies by personalising content to individual customers, while cooperation between destinations, sellers and suppliers to collectively exploit the use of intranets, internets and extranets will also be considered.

In addition the conference will build on ENTER 2002`s theme of multiple distribution strategies by examining how travel providers can maximise their profitability by harnessing new and emerging distribution channels from the internet to iDTV.

Solutions to be featured at the event include internet access across mobile devices and 3G applications, and Location Based Services, enabling travel providers to send information to mobile users based on their geographic location, offering users visually-rich, internet-style content direct to their handset.

ENTER 2003 will be chaired by Dimitrios Buhalis, IFITT vice-president and Course Leader of the MSc in eTourism at the University of Surrey and Inkeri Starry, of IFITT Finland. Andrew Frew of Queen Margaret University College, Alison Dombey of Partners in Marketing and Anna Pollock of Desticorp are the research, industry and destination track chairs respectively.

The event also features a full social programme with pre-and post-conference tours to Lapland and extensive networking opportunities, with a record delegate turnout expected.

Headquartered in Innsbruck, Austria, IFITT operates regional chapters in Australasia, North America and Scandinavia, each one dedicated to addressing issues specific to that region.