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ITB Berlin NOW: Technology is accelerating the travel industry’s recovery

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International Travel Technology exhibitors are presenting innovations at ITB Berlin NOW. Latest surveys and views on the targeted use of digital solutions in the travel industry.

During the coronavirus pandemic the use of smart technologies in the tourism industry has risen sharply. Chatbots for instance have helped to deal with the high volume of cancellations and rebookings. AI, smart interfaces and dynamic pricing have also become very important. At ITB Berlin NOW the Travel Technology segment will provide an overview of fascinating developments, useful innovations and the latest surveys. The new format START UP NOW is where the travel trade show will let successful startups have their say and share valuable experiences and tips. At the ITB Berlin NOW Convention, the CEOsof international business leaders will offer their views on the future of travel technology. The themed virtual cafes, which are open all day, are where users can meet new contacts.

More than 100 tech companies have already registered for this entirely virtual edition. Among those represented on their own Brand Card this year are Amadeus, bd4travel, Cendyn and Sabre. Companies offering tech solutions for the hotel industry include Apaleo, Cloudbeds, Duetto, HQplus, hotelbird, Infor, Oracle and Suitepad. Among those taking part for the first time are Travelledger, Kaptio, MeTripping and Unififi.

Digital solutions for safe travel
ITB Berlin NOW Convention is examining key digitalisation topics and new trends. On Tuesday, 9th of March 2021, Lukas C.C. Hempel, CEO and co-founder of Bookingkit, Luuc Elzinga, founder and president of Tiqets, Claudio Bellinzona of TUI Musement, Ilaria D’Uva of D’Uva and Christian Gross of HochschwarzwaldTourismus GmbH will discuss what the new normal after COVID will be like for travel sales. On the same day Patrick Mendes, CCO of Accor, will take a look at the future of the global hospitality industry, the importance of digitalisation and other economic developments. In these times of the COVID-19 pandemic, customer confidence and health safety are becoming more and more important for travellers. Monika Wiederhold, Global Program Lead, Safe Travel Ecosystems, EVP Airlines Central and Eastern Europe of the Amadeus IT Group SA, will take a look at how the latest digital processes and solutions can contribute to safe travel.

In a keynote interview on Wednesday, 10th of March 2021, Richard Holden, vice president, Product Management at Google, will provide information on digitalisation trends in the travel industry. In their respective keynote speeches, Vinzenz Pflanz, president of Corporate Sales Sixt Se, and Florian von Klier, senior director of Global Innovations & Solutions Sixt Se, will make the case for quicker innovation and digitalisation in the mobility sector and for greater safety in business travel. David Peller, managing director of Travel and Hospitality Amazon Web Services, will highlight the potential of cloud services for the global travel industry and how they can improve the customer experience. At ITB Outlook, Sean O Neill of Skift will present the latest travel trends for 2025.

Startups share their knowledge
On Thursday, 11th of March 2021, at two eTravel DATA TALKS sponsored by SIO AG and featuring bd4Travel and WBE Travel, the focus will be on the growing importance of data in the travel industry. Kicking off the event, Phocuswright will present the latest Technology Report. Afterwards, Michael Docherty, head of Data Partnerships Skyscanner, will show how access to predictive real-time data can offer travel companies a way out of the coronavirus crisis. At the second eTravel DATA TALK, Christian Warneck, vice president, Airlines Solutions, Central & Eastern Europe at Amadeus Germany, James Adams, chief commercial officer of Sixtand Anthony Hunt, vice president, Product & Strategy of the Shiji Group, will discuss the importance of data in the context of the frictionless travel experience. This talk featuring representatives from different travel and booking segments is a first for the convention. Ben Messner, sales manager of SIO AG, will talk about the big reset that will impact the software industry in general and in particular the travel technology.

The new START UP NOW format lets users at ITB Berlin NOW find out more about the progress and experience of successful startups in the international travel industry. International startups will talk about investors, sustainable travel and current business challenges. Among those taking part will be representatives of Citynomadi, Gopassport Australia, Greentinyhouses, MyCabin, Smartguide and Social BnB.

For those who want to exchange ideas and knowledge with other users and exhibitors the place to meet is the themed virtual cafes at ITB Berlin NOW. The Travel Tech & Startup Cafe sponsored by Visit Greece is where users can talk about their visions for the future and meet like-minded visitors. Every day at 5 p.m., Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR) is organising a happy hour where everyone can meet. On Thursday, the focus will be on financing and investment. At the Investors Special, founders can meet representatives of NEXT Floor GmbH, the Howzat ennea Group and Falkensteiner Ventures AG among others in order to network and meet new contacts. The TTA Cafe sponsored by Malaysia for tour and activity organisers is where to look for the right platforms and booking technologies in this segment. The Hospitality Cafe sponsored by Infor is where visitors will find a meeting corner, moderated by Techtalk.travel, for discussing hospitality tech.

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