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6,000 expected at Berlin trends congress

One of the world’s largest tourism congresses at Messe Berlin is expected to attract over 6,000 trade visitors.

These are expected to come from all over the world at the third ITB Congress Market Trends & Innovations (MTI) which takes place from 8 to 12 March 2006.

Due to the interest that has been shown in this congress, which is being held on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds at the same time as the International Tourism Exchange ITB Berlin, it has been extended and will now run for the whole five days of the ITB Berlin.

Making their debut at the MTI Congress 2006 will be the “Hospitality Day” and the “Marketing & Sales Day”.

The event known in the past as the Travel Technology Congress will be developed further in March 2006 as the TRAVDEX@ITB. Messe Berlin has been successful in acquiring the services of a leading international consultancy, PhoCusWright Inc. from the USA, as its partner for this new and demanding format. For many years PhoCusWright has been setting the standards in the travel technology sector in the USA with its outstanding event TRAVDEX.


At the start of the ITB Congress on 8 March a number of high ranking representatives of the international aviation industry will be explaining some of the current issues affecting the Airline, Aircraft and Airport sectors.

Among those who have agreed to speak during this “Aviation Day” will be prominent figures from the airlines such as Christoph Franz, President and CEO of Swiss, and Tim Clark, CEO of Emirates.

The rising price of oil will be one of the subjects discussed by various experts including Axel Arendt, Chairman and Member of the Board of the aero engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce Deutschland. Also on the agenda at the “Aviation Day” will be the issue of consolidation in the skies over Europe as a result of mergers, and questions about the types of aircraft that will be used in the years to come, as well as the continuing prospects for low cost flights.

Low cost travel will also feature during the second day of the congress at the newly introduced “Hospitality Day”.

In addition to trends like new luxury and the search for new customers, pricing structures in the hospitality industry and energy efficiency in hotels will also have a significant part to play.

There will also be discussions about the difficulties facing the hotel trade in Berlin and what makes London such a unique location. A number of leading personalities from the international hotel trade have announced their intention of participating, including the head of Accor, André Witschi, Jürgen Fischer from Hilton, Markus Lewe from Mariott and Bernold O. Schröder from Banyan Tree. These events will be chaired by well known journalists specialising in business and other areas.

The “Marketing & Sales Day” will be making its debut on the Saturday at the ITB. The focus will be on mega-trends in marketing and on the right strategies for pricing, distribution, communication and brand management. Experts will discuss whether tourism still needs tour operators, and why, whether there is a future for the traditional tour operator.

The fourth section of the world’s largest tourism congress consists of the “Future and Innovations Forum” on the third day, when the contributors to the discussions about the future of travel will include Professor Peter Wippermann from the Hamburger Trendbüro and Professor Felizitas Romeiss-Stracke from the Technical University Munich. The ITB Congress will also feature events dealing with specific destinations in Asia, Africa, Austria and the partner country of the ITB, Greece.

Dr. Martin Buck, Director of the Competence Centre Travel & Logistics of Messe Berlin: “The first two congresses over the past two years met with a strong and positive international response, and this has encouraged us to develop this area by including separate days devoted to Aviation, the Hospitality Industry and Sales & Marketing, and to extend it from three days to five. The congress is already a major component of the ITB Berlin and also emphasises our role as the pre-eminent trade fair for the world’s travel industry.”

Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady, academic director of the ITB Congress Market Trends & Innovations: “We are delighted that, just like last year, the speakers and panellists will include some prominent figures from business and politics.” In view of the attractive programme for this congress we are expecting a record attendance.”