ITB Berlin: the latest knowledge directly from the experts

12th Feb 2014
ITB Berlin: the latest knowledge directly from the experts

Once again, people who have a lot to say will be gathering at this year’s ITB Berlin Convention, and from 5 to 8 March will be airing though-provoking opinions at the leading think tank of the international travel industry. Leading speakers from the field of research and with practical experience will be lecturing on the latest developments in the tourism industry and related sectors. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free of charge for trade visitors and exhibitors.

On Wednesday, 5 March the Convention will open with an address by the Hon. Dato‘ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, the Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia, which this year is the Convention & Culture Partner of the ITB Berlin Convention. His address will be followed by three keynote speeches offering insights into the future of travel. Nils Müller, CEO of Trend ONE will be giving his predictions on how people will travel in 2025. In his keynote speech, Lee McCabe, head of Travel Strategy at Facebook, will be offering the audience a look behind the scenes at the company which operates the world’s largest social networking site. Afterwards, Harald Eisenächer, senior vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa Sabre, Travel Network will be talking about big data and its role as a key resource for understanding customer behaviour and generating added value. The members of the Airline CEO Panel, among them Alex Cruz, CEO of Vueling, will be discussing how low-cost carriers have changed the leisure industry. Jean-Claude Biver, president of the administrative board of Hublot, will be offering fascinating insights into an entirely different sector, taking a look at established luxury markets and showing how the travel industry can learn from them.

At the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day Percy von Lipinski, an award-winning travel writer at CNN, will be recounting his experience of press trips and providing tips for tour operators on how to successfully organise them. Afterwards, the Innovation Forum will be focusing on new business models and target groups. Katrin Saternus, communications manager, moovel, Daimler Mobility Services, and Dr. Ulrich Eichhorn, managing director of the German Association of the Automotive Industry (VDA), will be talking about “Networked cars, networked mobility: the travel and city guides of the future?“.

Day one of the ITB Destination Days will open with a keynote speech by Christine Duffy, president and CEO of CLIA,  who will be explaining how destinations can participate in the cruise industry boom. Afterwards, Loveleen Tandan, co-director of the Oscar-winning film Slumdog Millionaire, will deliver a keynote speech on “Slums, war zones and extreme regions: development potential and tourism destinations”.

Day two of the ITB Destination Days will open with a keynote speech by H.E. Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain, on the topic of “Cultural heritage: Bahrain as an example of valorisation and tourism marketing“. Speakers at the session entitled “Destination Arabia“ will include Samih Sawiris, chairman of Orascom HD, who will be talking about future developments in the various regions of the Arab world. The award-winning travel writer Doug Lansky will be talking about “How to fix overcrowded destinations and attractions with new intelligent visitor management technologies“. Dr. Christoph Engl, managing director of Brand:Trust and formerly director of South Tyrol Marketing, will be lecturing on the “The laws of brand management at destinations“ and presenting twelve basic guidelines. Nicolas Georges Trad, managing partner of the Reputation Institute, will be highlighting the winners and losers in his lecture on the “Image rankings of tourism destinations in 2013”.


On 7 March at the ITB CSR Day the discussion will be about every aspect of sustainability. This year’s event will focus on human rights in tourism. In his keynote speech Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO, will be outlining his vision of sustainability in tourism over the next fifty years. Afterwards, experts including Tom Koenigs, a member of the German Bundestag and chairman of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, will be discussing “Human rights at tourism destinations: Problems, causes and practical recommendations“. This will be followed by a panel discussion on “Human Rights due diligence: challenges and opportunities for companies“. Among the guests will be Wolfgang Weinz, senior technical specialist, Hotels, Catering, of the Tourism International Labour Office ILO. The day’s events will conclude with Dr. Henning Brauer, principal consultant at DNV GL and formerly head of Neubau Europa 2 Hapag Lloyd Kreuzfahrten, outlining the prospects for sustainability in the cruise industry.

Visitors to the ITB workshops will be able to obtain practical advice. On Day two, Ralph Beisel, managing director of the Airport Association ADV, will be talking about “The major changes facing regional airports“. Afterwards, Benjamin Ampen, manager of New Markets Europe Twitter, will be discussing “Twitter: Key resource for travel decisions?“


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