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ITB Berlin Convention: knowledge for tomorrow’s world

Exchanging knowledge is easy: from 8 to 11 March 2017 the ITB Berlin Convention will be focusing on the most important issues concerning the travel industry, politics and business. During the course of lectures, discussions and debates the international travel industry's largest think tank will provide expert information in an entertaining manner on uses for artificial intelligence and for social media in crisis situations. Experts and well-known popular figures will highlight pressing issues and give listeners food for thought with their incisive contributions.


On Wednesday, 8 March 2017 Slovenia, this year’s Convention & Culture Partner, will open the ITB Future Day and over the course of the convention and several sessions will address the key topics of sustainability and climate change, among others. A new global market survey carried out exclusively for the ITB Berlin Convention by the tour operator Travelzoo will provide valuable information on the impact of crises and natural disasters on tourism. Richard Singer, managing director Europe of Travelzoo, will talk about suitable measures that can positively influence travellers’ sense of safety. On Thursday, 9 March 2017, day two of the ITB Destination Days, in a paper entitled ’Social media and mobile technologies: deepening the crisis or helping to educate?’ Percy von Lipinski, the highly rated, prize-winning CNN travel guru, will explain how social media can be put to successful use in crisis situations. Nowadays, a significant amount of communication takes place via social networks and he will be offering tips on how social media can educate tourists and help dispel their fears.


At the ITB Future Day two popular figures will again be measuring up to each other on the podium. In a debate the author and travel columnist Doug Lansky and Ted Sullivan, the vice president of Tourism and Resort Analytics ADARA, will be trading witty verbal punches as they address the topics that in future will dominate the tourism industry. After each round the audience will vote on who offered the better arguments. On Friday, 10 March 2017 at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day the topic will be the future itself, with a paper entitled ’The next big thing: artificial intelligence – disrupting travel choices and bookings?“. Technology giants are investing heavily in researching and finding uses for artificial intelligence. Norm Rose, the president of Travel Tech Consulting, Inc. and senior technology analyst of Phocuswright, Inc., will explain what uses there already are in the travel industry and the best way to employ chatbots, virtual assistants and big data analyses.


On Wednesday, 8 March 2017, day one of the ITB Destination Day, the participants will take a look at the plans of Chinese hotel investors. China is currently expanding its presence with hotels at popular destinations in preparation for further growth of the outbound market. Audiences can find out more from representatives of leading Chinese hotel chains about current developments and which destinations in particular are benefiting from their investment. Botswana is the official partner country of ITB Berlin 2017 and will be the main focus at the ITB Destination Days. Besides holding the welcome address at the opening event it will also be a participant at the popular Africa Forum on day two of the ITB Berlin Convention.


Professionals, opinion-formers and experts who would like to contribute to the ITB Berlin Convention have time until Monday, 31 October 2016 to apply for holding a paper at the eTravel World and to submit their topics, by emailing them to etravel@itb-berlin.de. Contributions are welcomed on case studies, examples of best practices regarding the digital transformation, chatbots and influencer marketing. Full details of the call for papers for the eTravel World and on how to apply for a place as a speaker can be found under www.itb-berlin.com/etravel.

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