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February 27, 2019

ITB creates a new platform for Virtual and Augmented Reality

First ITB Virtual Reality Lab at the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show – In Hall 10.2 experts highlight the prospects for VR and AR in tourism and offer an insight into the latest technologies and projects – Visitors can explore ITB Berlin with Pokémon GO

Berlin, 27 February 2019 – Virtual Reality instead of a travel brochure: with Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) visitors can get an almost lifelike impression of local surroundings before they actually go on holiday. With VR goggles they can take a virtual tour of a hotel room, enjoy 360-degree views walking around New York, or go on a computer-animated tour of a cruise ship. From 6 to 8 March at the new ITB Virtual Reality Lab in Hall 10.2 (Stand 108), for the first time ITB Berlin will be highlighting the importance of VR and AR for boosting tourism sales. Experts will offer an insight into the latest technologies and projects, and a daily VR raffle will give trade visitors a chance to win a set of Oculus VR goggles.

 Smart tourism experiences as a marketing instrument for boosting sales

On Wednesday, 6 March, from 11 to 11.30 a.m. Robert Eysoldt, creative consultant at Zerooverhead Consulting, will give an introduction providing examples of destination VR, and look ahead to the three-day programme of the ITB Virtual Reality Lab In Hall 10.2. Afterwards at 11.30 a.m., project manager Dr. Mandy Tom Dieck and founder/director Dr. Timothy Jung of the Creative AR & VR Hub at Manchester Metropolitan University will discuss the opportunities and challenges presented by VR and AR. At 1.30 p.m. Adrian Kalcic of Jump will talk about how tour operators can benefit from VR and how it can be put it to effective use. At 2 p.m. in his lecture on the ‘walk-in movie’, Frank Govaere, VFX supervisor, UFA GmbH, will present the development of Volumetric Video as the technology behind VR and AR.

On Thursday, 7 March at 10.30 a.m., Michael Faber of Tourismuszukunft will have information on VR trends in the travel industry. Afterwards at 11 a.m., Prof. Dr. Cornelia Zanger, chair of the Marketing and Commercial Business Studies at TU Chemnitz, and David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, will discuss ‘Digitalisation at trade fairs and events with a special focus on AR and VR’. At 11.30 a.m. in her lecture on ’Augmented Reality Games meet Tourism’, Anne Beuttenmüller, head of Marketing EMEA, Niantic Inc., will show how Ingress Agents and Pokémon GO Trainer can be used to travel the world with AR games, and how the tourism industry can learn from this. At 2 p.m. Johannes Berdin, CEO, Urban Timetravel S.A, Urban Time Travel, and Guy Breden, project manager of VR-Timetravel Luxembourg, will illustrate how the city of Luxembourg has integrated VR and AR in its Smart City concept. At 2.30 p.m. Prof. Dr. Ulrich Wünsch, consultant and former founder and president/rector of Berlin hdpk, Congruens GmbH, will talk about ‘Immersion – delving into a virtual environment’. Wünsch will explain the non-technological side of immersion and why our brains want to be entertained.

Events on Friday, 8 March will kick off at 11.30 with a lecture by Sebastian Plesch, research associate of Hochschule für Technik und Wirtschaft Berlin. Plesch will provide an overview of the latest developments in VR/AR and interaction technology as well as its possible uses in the tourism industry. At 2.30 p.m., taking Beethoven VR as an example of tourism promotion in Germany, Thomas Bedenk, director of Immersive Media at Agentur für Digitale Transformation Exozet, will talk about VR destination marketing. Concluding the event at 2.30 p.m. Andreas Weigel, CEO of digitnetmedia, will present a case study on Virtual Reality in the cruise industry. Programme details can be found online at www.itb-berlin.com/ITBBerlin/DestinationsSegments/VirtualReality/.

Trade visitors and the public play Pokémon

Niantic, the New York-based company and inventor of the smartphone game Pokémon Go, has activated a Pokémon In game especially for ITB Berlin. Visitors to the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show can chase the little monsters live on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds and find out how virtual content can be integrated into the real world. Many of the PokéStops will sport an ITB Berlin design. As of 6 March users will get a chance to win a 50 per cent discount code for up to two tickets to ITB Berlin on Sunday 10 March.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2019 will be taking place from Wednesday, 6 to Sunday, 10 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2018 a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 186 countries exhibited their products and services to around 170,000 visitors, including 110.000 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 6 to Saturday, 9 March 2019. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors. For more information please visit www.itb-berlin.com, www.itb-convention.com and the ITB Social Media Newsroom.

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