In times dominated by the global economic and financial crisis, business travel represents a challenge to the entire tourism industry. According to the ITB World Travel Trends Report, commissioned by ITB and compiled by the consultancy IPK International, during the first eight months of last year business travel around the world fell by seven per cent. David Ruetz, Senior Manager ITB Berlin: “This year, both the quality and the number of events at the ITB Business Travel Days will receive a boost yet again, in an aim to highlight solutions and explore existing potential in these difficult times.“ Travel managers, business travellers, suppliers and event planners will be able to receive the latest first-hand expert knowledge on travel management at the ITB Business Travel Days, which will take place from 10 to 14 March 2010. Career starters can find out more and receive training.
New – a day devoted to MICE
On Wednesday, 10 March, for the first time at ITB Berlin, the focus will be on controversial MICE topics for an entire day. The programme has been closely coordinated with the Association of German Event Organisers. Key topics include the main criteria focused on by event agencies during the decision-making process, and the capabilities of participant management systems. Both the topic entitled “Conferences – real versus virtual“ and a panel discussion on the significance of conference business in the context of developing tourism destinations are certain to spark debate.
New strategies and ways to manage expenses
On Tuesday, 11 March senior executives and experts will discuss which strategies hold most promise for travel management when the crisis is over. On Strategy Day specialist papers will dwell on a number of topics: calculating opportunity expenses and returns on investment in business travel, the benefits and problems of buyer alliances in the travel management sector, and the services offered by eco-agencies operating in Germany. A case study and panel discussion will deal with the topic of virtual conferences. On Friday, 12 March the Hands-On Day (with a focus on economics) will show business travel managers from small and medium-sized enterprises viable ways to improve expense management, for instance by specifically focusing on company promotion programmes, buying strategies and statistics. Panel discussions under the heading of ”Travel agencies help you save“ and ”Mobile Solutions in travel management processes“ will highlight possible alternatives.
Mobile Travel Services – debut at ITB Berlin
Business travel managers can now find out in detail about how companies are able to benefit from technologies offering mobile services. With its centrally located presentation stage and adjacent exhibition area in Hall 7.1c and a convention discussing topics which target both newcomers and professionals, ITB Berlin has a new, forward-looking platform for the growth market which the Mobile Travel Services sector represents.
Business Travel Young Professional Day
The Business Travel Day for career starters is a well-established fixture at ITB Berlin. On Wednesday, 10 March discussion will focus on new courses, qualifications and scientific training, and sustaining these changes in the long run. On the Saturday of the fair, for the first time, the DRV conference for vocational teachers will be held in cooperation with ITB Berlin and the Travel Management Association (VDR). Participants will be looking at the need to focus more on travel management issues when training travel agents.
Exclusive meeting place for the travel business sector
The ITB Business Travel Lounge sponsored by VDR & HSMA in Hall 8.1 has become well established as a secluded location ideal for holding confidential meetings. This is where decision makers and senior executives from business travel management can withdraw to a quiet place away from the bustle of the fair to maintain their existing contacts and build new networks.
Early Bird offer – ITB Business Travel special
Travel managers who book by 5 February can save money, as Messe Berlin is offering a limited number of ITB Business Travel specials costing only 159 instead of 209 euros. The Business Travel Buyer Package comprises a first- class return ticket to Berlin with Deutsche Bahn, a one-night stay and breakfast at the Seminaris CampusHotel Berlin Science & Conference Center, admission to the seminars offered, and a bus shuttle service to and from the hotel and exhibition grounds. Travel managers wishing to book this exclusive Business Travel Package, valid from 11 to 12 March (with the option of an extra overnight), should apply by 25 February at: www.itb-kongress.com/businesstravel.