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ITB Berlin Convention: Experts share their knowledge

On 4 March the ITB Future Day will get under way with a pressing topic. In her keynote speech Simone Menne, CFO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, will be outlining her vision of international air travel in the future.

The ITB Berlin Convention looks at a new trend, the sharing economy – leading experts give their opinion on the future of travel marketing, mobile marketing and film location tours – admission is free for visitors to ITB Berlin.

Sharing is caring: this year the sharing economy will be the main topic at the ITB Berlin Convention, and a number of sessions are to be devoted to this up-to-the-minute and much-discussed trend. In addition, from 4 to 7 March 2015 visitors to the international travel industry’s leading thinktank can find out more about mountain tourism, the cruise industry and sustainable tourism trends in Germany. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for visitors to ITB Berlin.

On 4 March the ITB Future Day will get under way with a pressing topic. In her keynote speech Simone Menne, CFO of Deutsche Lufthansa AG, will be outlining her vision of international air travel in the future. Afterwards, in an executive interview with Philip C. Wolf, the founder of PhoCusWright, Darren Huston, president and CEO of Priceline Group,, will be revealing the secret of his success and how he envisages the future of travel marketing. Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will be presenting the IPK’s World Travel Monitor. Its findings show how global travel trends are changing. Bruce PoonTip, founder of G Adventures, a global tour operator, will be talking about how one can be socially and ecologically responsible while taking economic sustainability into account on one’s travels.

On 6 March an executive interview at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day will deal with the fascinating new topic of the sharing economy. Pierre-Dimitri Gore-Coty, general manager for Western and Northern Europe of Uber, an online rideshare app that has prompted much debate, will be talking about new business models and the revolution that the service has triggered in this sector. Olivier Gremillon, managing director of Airbnb Europe & Africa, will be looking at the new trend of the sharing economy from the point of view of the leading provider of private accommodation. Leila Summa, Lead Travel Industry DACH Facebook, Marco Ryan, Chief Innovation Officer of the Thomas Cook Group and Thomas Helbing, chairman of Ray Sono AG, will be among those discussing how the digital revolution has impacted on corporate culture and management methods in the tourism industry.

In their paper Andy Pang, Measurement Lead EMEA Facebook, and Melvin Bocher, a travel blogger, will be examining how mobile marketing on social media sites such as Facebook can be optimised and how returns on investment can be monitored. The 2015 travel analysis of FUR will give a foretaste of tourism trends in 2025. Prof. Dr. Martin Lohmann, managing director of NIT New Insights for Tourism and a member of Leuphana Universitat Luneburg, will be providing a detailed picture of tomorrow’s travel market in Germany.

On 4 March at the ITB Destination Days one of the topics will be the cruise market in Asia which Helge Grammerstorf, director of CLIA Germany, will be discussing together with his guests. On 5 March, day two of the Destination Days, the participants will be debating whether the sharing economy is beneficial or detrimental to tourism destinations. Roman Bach, CEO of, Dr. Jorg Kahler, a lawyer at the offices of GSK Stockmann, Markus Luthe, chief executive of Hotelverband Deutschland (IHA) e.V., as well as Burkhard Kieker, managing director of visitBerlin, will be talking about conflict situations and what changes can be expected in the law. Based on the latest empirical findings of a survey conducted in the Alps, Prof. Dr. Ralf Roth, head of Institut fur Natursport und Okologie, Deutsche Sporthochschule Koln, will be providing an insight into the future of winter sports. The findings give an idea of how tourism companies will have to respond to changing conditions. Guido Kunze, who practises extreme sports and has a number of world records to his name will be talking about tourism prospects from an adventure sports perspective and will have suggestions for sustainable tourism in often quite sensitive regions. On 6 March at the ITB Destination Days topics will include the booming industry offering film location tours. The award-winning travel journalist Doug Lansky and Olivier Henry-Biabaud, CEO of TCI Research/Travelsat, will be talking about the success of specifically marketing film location tours at destinations. Pierre-Etienne Metais, managing director of EMCRA – Europa aktiv nutzen, will be explaining the best ways to exploit funding opportunities for tourism projects from 2014 to 2020, the period in which EU funding is available.

On 6 March at the ITB CSR Day discussion will focus on trends and the risks involved in mountain tours. Well-known experts will be discussing the growing popularity of mountain regions among travellers. They include Donald Backer, weather forecaster of ARD Morgenmagazin; Prof. Dr. Klaus Topfer of the Institute of Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS), formerly minister of the environment and director of the UNEP environment programme in Nairobi; hiking tour expert Manuel Andrack; Ingo Nicolay, managing director of the DAV Summit Club; Prof. Dr. Edgar Kreilkamp of Leuphana Universitat; Rajan Kotru of the ICIMOD (Institute for Integrated Mountain Development); extreme mountaineer Hans Kammerlander; and Manfred Seebauer, head of the GIZ project in the Kailash region. Taking as his slogan ’a slow seller or a beacon project’ Matthias Beyer, managing director of Mascontour, will be giving an introductory paper explaining how sustainable tourism has evolved in Germany. This will be followed by an interview and panel discussion.

For career starters the ITB Young Professionals Day is the place to meet. In a paper on business etiquette the economics correspondent and author Jochen Mai will be explaining customs and pitfalls in the job environment. Erich Sixt, chairman of the supervisory board of Sixt SE, will be delivering a paper to the audience on how the right attitudes in life lead to job success. At an interview session with Michael Buller, chairman of Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR), the subject will be technological expertise and how it can help boost career chances in the tourism industry. Moderated by Prof. Dr. Anita Zehrer, vice-president and chairwoman of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Tourismuswissenschaft and of MCI Innsbruck, the presentation of the Tourism Studies Award of Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Tourismuswissenschaft (DGT) will round of the day’s events.

Vicky Karantzavelou
Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | Website

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales.

She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.