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November 28, 2017

Future-oriented topics at the ITB Berlin Convention 2018

Revolutionary forms of transport, overtourism and digitalization in the tourism industry are the key topics of the Leading Travel Industry Think Tank – Admission is free for exhibitors and visitors to ITB Berlin

How to find out about tomorrow’s trends today: from 7 to 10 March 2018 the ITB Berlin Convention, the world’s leading think tank, will examine innovative and far-reaching trends in the travel industry, politics and business. At numerous sessions the global travel industry’s largest think tank will focus on key topics, including overtourism, revolutionary forms of transport for business and private travel, as well as the challenges posed by artificial intelligence and its future prospects in the travel sector. For trade visitors and exhibitors at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show ® admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free.

Digitalization and artificial intelligence are two topics virtually dominating society and business around the world. Tech giants and traditional industries are investing billions in improving manufacturing processes, products, how to reach customers, and marketing and sales. On 7 March 2018 the ITB Future Day will examine how the travel industry is affected by these developments and in what specific ways tour operators can make use of artificial intelligence. The focus this year will be on personalising products and the individual customer experience. Keynote speakers will include Dr. Oliver Heckmann, vice president, Engineering, Shopping and Travel, Google Inc. At the Hospitality CIO panel global pioneers of innovative technology will discuss prospects and the challenges posed by digitalization in the hotel industry. Topics to be addressed by these well-known CIOs include devices, virtual reality, big data, the impact of chatbots and robots and how to personalise the customer experience. They will also offer an insight into how this will change market competition in the hospitality industry.

At numerous sessions the ITB Future Day will also devote itself to another up-to-the-minute topic, namely the ‘The Revolution of Travel’. Groundbreaking forms of business and private transport such as electric automated flying taxis, flying cars, hyperloop transportation and supersonic flight are currently being tested and will soon be reality. In his keynote speech Dirk Ahlborn, co-founder and CEO of Hyperloop Transportation Technologies HTT, will talk about tomorrow’s transit systems and the role of Elon Musk’s hyperloop technology in the future. Afterwards, Travelzoo will present the exclusive findings of the ITB Berlin market survey on consumer price awareness and the views of travellers from Europe, America, Asia and Australia on these new forms of travel. At a further session tech pioneers from Volocopter and Hyperloop will provide an update on their revolutionary projects and discuss commercial prospects and new business models.

On Wednesday, 7 March 2018, ITB Destination Day 1 will focus on the much talked-about topic of overtourism. For decades tourism around the world has been growing at high rates. What is clear is that exponential growth cannot continue in finite spaces and that the environment, society and infrastructure all have natural limits. New measures for controlling tourism need to be developed and tested, ranging from limiting tourism numbers and pricing concepts to smart technology. New survey findings will provide the latest update on overtourism. Panel discussions and interviews will also look at some promising solutions. Among other topics the ‘Hot Seat’ will debate a controversial topic: ‘The Sharing Economy – a Blessing or Curse for Tourism Destinations’. Two participants keen to speak out, namely Burkhard Kieker, CEO of Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH visitBerlin and Alexander Schwarz, general manager Germany, Austria & Switzerland of Airbnb, will be certain to offer visitors a lively encounter.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2018 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 7 to 11 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2017 a total of 10,000 companies and organizations from 184 countries exhibited their products and services to around 169,000 visitors, who included 109,000 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 7 to Saturday, 10 March 2018. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors. More details are available at, and at ITB Social Media Newsroom.

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