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ITB Hospitality Day: A wealth of trends and innovations

ITB Hospitality Day topics at the ITB Berlin Convention 2017: From clinical IT to lively travel worlds, with crises and opportunities mixed in; Admission is free for trade visitors.

As a driving force within the market and as an information platform for senior executives from the international hotel industry, over the last 12 years the ITB Hospitality Day has firmly established itself at the ITB Berlin Convention. On Thursday, 9 March 2017 the agenda will once again feature the latest topics and high-ranking speakers will be taking an in-depth look at future trends in the hospitality industry.

The ITB Hospitality Day will begin by examining a global trend: the traditional youth hostel has become a social hub for teenagers of all ages. Addressing all globetrotters, regardless of their budget, the topic heading will be ‘Hostels – Refreshed’. Creative newcomers and established chains will both be having their say. They include Eric van Dijk, COO of Meininger Hotels; Frank Uffen, director of Marketing & Partnership of the new group The Student Hotels; Frederic Fontaine, senior vice president, Global Marketing and director of the Young Innovation Lab of Accor Hotels; and Paul Halpenny, director of Group Supply of the specialist booking platform Hostelworld.

Artificial intelligence will be one of the topics dominating the ITB Berlin Convention throughout. ‘Is the Hotel Industry Prepared to Welcome Digitalisation, with its Innovations in Automation, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence?’ The guests taking part in this discussion will be examining which ideas and interfaces make sense: Dr. Andriew Lim, professor for Innovation and Technopreneurship in Hospitality at the Hotel School, The Hague; Hubert Viriot, CEO of the technology-oriented Yotel Hotels; Andreas Profrock, director of Strategic Alliances and Technology Partnerships of the IT Solution Providers Alcatel-Lucent; and the representative of a hotel chain.

Technology and taste have something in common, according to the award-winning Spanish chef Paco Roncero who will be staging a ‘Sublimotion’ food show. How are hotels dealing with Food & Beverage challenges? That is the question that internationally experienced gastronomy consultants will be discussing: Jean Georges Ploner (Netzwerk Global F&B Heroes); Christoph Hoffmann, CEO of 25hours Hotel Company; and Urban Denk, director of Culinary Innovation and Development, Steigenberger Hotels and Resorts. The panel will be discussing culinary art as well as ‘From Foodies to Food Design to No Food’.

The sensitive topic of ’Safety First’ will also be on the agenda of the ITB Hospitality Day. Faced with terrorism and other catastrophes, how can cities, hotel chains and other business partners regain the trust of travellers? Crisis managers and hotel owners are looking for wide-ranging security. Taking part in the panel discussion will be Paul Moxness, vice president, Safety and Security, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group; Gerhard Struger, regional vice president, Eastern Europe and Turkey, Accor Hotels/Swissotel; Georges-Pierre Cladogenis, global product manager, Safety and Security, Carlson Wagonlit Travel; and Sebastien Maire, the new Chief Resilience Officer of the city of Paris.

Russia and Greece are currently suffering the effects of crises, while Iran and Georgia are flourishing. How can hotel managers and tourism experts maintain a hotel’s performance in both good and bad times? Omer Z. Kaddouri, CEO of Rotana Hotels (representing Iran); Walter C. Neumann, CEO of Azimut Hotels (Russia), George Chogovadze, director of the Georgian National Tourism Administration, and Dr. Aris Ikkos of the Insete Research Institute (Greece) will be discussing ‘The Blessed and the Cursed’.

The hotel conference 2017 will conclude by taking a look at distribution. How do meta-search platforms affect the internet results of hotel managers? Johannes Thomas, managing director of Trivago; Tobias Ragge, managing director of the HRS Group; and Marius Donhauser, founder of hotelkit and proprietor of Der Salzburger Hof, a hotel under private management, will be discussing ’Metasearch & Co.: The Invisible Battle for the Guest’. 

Tatiana Rokou

Tatiana is the news coordinator for TravelDailyNews Media Network (, and Her role includes monitoring the hundreds of news sources of TravelDailyNews Media Network and skimming the most important according to our strategy.

She holds a Bachelor's degree in Communication & Mass Media from Panteion University of Political & Social Studies of Athens and she has been editor and editor-in-chief in various economic magazines and newspapers.