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ITB Berlin Convention 2022: A high-level exchange of expert views

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Virtual ITB Berlin Convention from 8 to 10 March 2022; Focus on resilience, digitisation and sustainability. Livestreaming plus stream for themed exhibitor conferences and presentations planned.

A new concept for the world’s leading travel trade show in 2022: the ITB Berlin Convention will take place from 8 to 10 March 2022 as an entirely virtual event. This will be followed on 17 March by the Digital Business Day, a user-friendly networking platform where buyers and exhibitors can exchange views and generate successful business. Two B2B networking events with a focus on the European market and planned for the summer at selected European host destinations round off the concept.

Livestreamed convention from the Messe Berlin studio
Under the heading ’Open for Digital, Responsible & Resilient Solutions’, the focus of the ITB Berlin Convention 2022 is on digital, sustainable and resilient solutions. On the Tuesday of the event the topic will be Future & Resilience: against the backdrop of huge challenges how can and must the industry prepare for the future? The Wednesday will be devoted to eTravel and the important topic of digitisation, which received a huge boost during the pandemic. On Thursday, the Responsible Tourism track will look at climate change, environmental protection, responsible tourism and sustainable solutions.

The international speakers at the ITB Berlin Convention are senior executives and specialists with outstanding expert knowledge. Over three days the ITB Berlin Convention, the industry’s leading thinktank, will broadcast live from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. from the studio on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. Kicking off events on day one will be the opening press conference at 9 a.m. Throughout the event the entire programme will be livestreamed free of charge on itb.com. Afterwards, sessions can be accessed on demand and via YouTube.

On all three days of the virtual convention a further stream will be available which companies can use to showcase their products in 30-minute slots at virtual press conferences and company presentations.

Future & Resilience Track on Tuesday, 8 March 2022
The ITB Future & Resilience Track will focus on the mega trends in industry and society and key topics concerning the global travel and tourism industry. Best practice examples from major market players and leading innovators will provide valuable insights and concrete decision-making help for shaping corporate strategies and measures. Under the heading ’ITB Deep Dive: Global Tourism Demand’, Peter Kautz of Statista will take a look at the prospects for the global tourism demand expected after the pandemic. His survey will highlight the trends in the world’s most important markets, including the aspect of sustainability.

At the CEO panel entitled ’Destination and Mobility Choice: Tectonic Shift or Back to Normal’, Dr. Eduardo Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission (ETC), Dr. Klaus-Ulrich Sperl, CEO of DER Touristik DMC and member of the international board of DER Touristik Group, and Michelle Woodley, president of Preferred Hotels and Resorts, will discuss whether and how the industry will change after the global crisis.

Preparations are also being made for an ITB Ministers‘ Round Table in partnership with the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council and Jacobs Media. The focus will be on the important role of politics and how it can help to establish broad-based resilience against future crises.

eTravel Track on Wednesday, 9 March 2022
The pandemic has given digitisation a huge boost. Home working, Zoom meetings and electronic payment solutions have noticeably changed everyday life. These trends have also massively impacted the travel industry. On day two of the convention the eTravel track will focus on the numerous aspects of digitisation in the tourism industry, with experts discussing fascinating trends, prospects and best practices.

In a C-Level interview Axel Hefer, CEO of Trivago, will talk about travel distribution and marketing trends. At a panel discussion entitled ’The power of digital identities’, Nick Price, CEO of NetSys Technology, will be among those offering valuable industry insights. Moritz von Petersdorff-Campen, founder and managing director of Suitepad, and David Soskin, a partner of HOWZAT Partners, will discuss the current mood and situation in the hotel technology market with regard to startups and investment. They will also be the jury at the Hotel Tech Startup Pitch event, which will be looking for hotel tech startups.

A panel entitled ’Technology & Travel: How technology is shaping the future of travel distribution and marketing’ is also planned. A further discussion round will examine the likely global impact of Mark Zuckerberg’s Metaverse. Additional panels will discuss augmented reality, payment solutions and social media – with participants taking a close look at the trendy Tik Tok platform.

Responsible Tourism track on Thursday, 10 March 2022
For many years taking responsibility for fair, socially responsible and sustainable tourism has been one of the guiding principles of ITB Berlin. With its wide range of panel discussions, keynote speeches and lectures at virtual events it also helps to raise awareness for this topic. On day three, Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, director of Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, will hold a keynote speech and report on the current climate and travel situation.

Afterwards, Caroline Bremner, head of Travel and Tourism Research at Euromonitor International, will host a panel discussion under the heading ’From Carbon-Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation’. Among those taking part will be Sally Davey, CEO of Travalyst, Jeremy Sampson, CEO of The Travel Foundation, and Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency.

A panel entitled ’How to Walk the Talk. The Hospitality CEOs on Sustainability’ will examine the effects of sustainability on the hotel industry. Wolfgang M. Neumann, chair of the nd entitle Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, will open the discussion. At the discussion roud ’It’s the Journey that Matters: Challenges and Opportunities in Sustainable Mobility’, the main topic will be sustainability in the mobility sector. Among those taking part will be Thomas Becker, vice president of Sustainability, Mobility, at BMW, and Fatima da Gloria de Sousa, director of Sustainability at Air France-KLM.

Other topics examined by the track will include carbon offsetting, diversity, LGBTQ+ tourismus and inclusion. The ITB partner Community Marketing International (CMI) will present a new survey. Together with ECPAT and a study group, the Round Table on Human Rights will extend an invitation to discuss casual labour in tourism and the importance of supply chains.

New acting head of the ITB Berlin Convention
In addition to releasing details of the convention, ITB Berlin is also announcing a management change. After 18 successful years Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady, professor of Tourism & Travel Management at Hochschule Worms, is leaving his post as science head of the ITB Berlin Convention. However, he will continue to maintain ties with ITB Berlin. Christina Freier, team leader at ITB Berlin, will be his interim successor. This year, the convention will also receive support from Lea Jordan, co-founder of techtalk.travel, and Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand of the IUBH University of Applied Sciences in Bad Honnef – Bonn.

“For almost two decades Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady decisively influenced the ITB Berlin Convention, making it what it is today, namely the world’s largest thinktank and one that is highly recognised”, said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin. “I am delighted we will not have to be without his experience and expertise, as he will remain with us as senior advisor in the future.”

“It was a great honour to help develop the ITB Berlin Convention into the leading international format of its kind“, Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady, professor of Tourism & Travel Management at Hochschule Worms, added. “At the same time I am very happy to continue to support ITB Berlin in an advisory role. I am confident that as acting head, my successor will be amply capable of charting and developing the convention’s future together with the team.”

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