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Published on : Friday, October 21, 2016
The theme for the new edition of BTO – Buy Tourism Online is “Why!” – figuring an exclamation mark rather than the more usual question marker. BTO is the key event in the world of Travel & Innovation, once again taking place in the Fortezza da Basso in Florence from November 30th to December 1st2016.
The 2015 edition registered a total of 10.000 visitors in 2 days, 149 events, 250 speakers, 400 accredited journalists/bloggers and 59 exhibitors. The opening conference will be taking stock and looking back on last year’s achievements. BTO has indeed reached its ninth edition and over the course of the years has become an absolute must for industry players, a place where new tools are showcased, market changes and new solutions are decoded. This year, BTO wants to go beyond the mere analysis of how the industry is doing and look into the reasons why the industry landscape is the way that it is. And so our theme this year is: “Why!”. Choosing isn’t the same as buying.
And the act of choosing is really key in the process of buying a holiday – the reasons for making whichever choice go beyond the mere logics of a financial transaction. There is still room for quality in the tourism industry, just as much as there is room for choice, relationships, loyalty, strategies and storytelling. BTO will therefore be analysing why people make the choices they make as opposed to merely analysing data regarding bed occupancy and will be inviting participants –both the speakers and the audience – to reflect on what motivates individuals, families, groups, school groups, couples, to choose to discover new routes and sensations. In the meantime, as we find ourselves over a month away from the beginning of the event, we are registering a number of confirmed exhibitors of +15% in comparison with 2015, with international presence practically doubling. To this date, over 15 high-echelon players in the destination governance area have confirmed participation and will be at BTO with their own exhibition stall, contributing to the scientific palimpsest and facilitating the presence of industry players operating in their regions.
New feature: A new English speaking Main Hall
There will be no shortage of new features, the main one being the new additional Main Hall which will be entirely dedicated to English speaking guests of global significance, among which: Glenn Fogel of The Priceline Groupwho will be interviewed by Philip Wolf in the context of a discussion entitled “WHY we are leading the market”,Adrian Hands of TripAdvisor who will be explaining “WHY we became the world’s biggest travel site”; Kenny Jacobs of Ryanair together with Martin Cowen of Tnooz will discuss “WHY Ryanair is not only a low cost carrier”; Mark Levy of Airbnb will discuss his company’s perspective in a talk entitled “WHY we think we changed the world of hospitality”; Fernando Ramiro of Amadeus will reflect on “WHY business travel is still alive”; Giovanna Manzi ofBest Western, Brian McCabe of JDB Hotels and Renzo Iorio of Accor will be discussing the question of “WHY we still need (or not need) a soft brand”; Peter Verhoeven from Booking.com will give a talk entitled “WHY we plan to be the most advanced travel company”; Christopher Nurko, Global Chairman of Futurebrand will be sharing his vision on the question of “Branding and Destination Marketing – from awareness to conversion, strategies for success”; the writer Riccardo Staglianò together with Fabio Lazzerini of Emirates, Marco Savini of Big Rockand Javier Delgado Muerza of Google will be giving the closing talk on both days in the international Main Hall, analysing the question of: “WHY machines will be replacing us”.
The Italian Main Hall and Focus Hall: a look at what’s in store
The program of the Italian Main Hall and seven Focus Halls is just as stimulating, with discussions revolving around various topical matters such as: the videogame industry as a new lever for regional marketing, “urban regeneration” as a means of enhancing touristic attractiveness (e.g. the regeneration of abandoned railway stations, train-masters’ houses, barracks, lighthouses, etc…); ethics as a reputation index for tourism industry players and the new role played by LAGs; and once again, a strong focus will be placed on the music industry, as its high level of innovation makes it a model the Travel industry should follow. There will also be discussions on the matter of strategies for the future and the relaunching of the ENIT – the national tourism agency – with Roberta Milano and Gianni Bastianelli. A special focus will also be placed on Germany this year, with a series of discussions on models of governance, distribution methods used in Germany for Italy-based destinations and the model of storytelling used by German tourist players in the promotion of Italy as a holiday destination. We shall also be discussing home-sharing business models with 2 giants of the home-sharing sector: Homeaway and Airbnb. Don’t miss our roundtable on SME digitalization with the participation of young professionals from the project entitled “Digital Excellence” run by the Chamber of Commerce of Florence in collaboration with Google Italia.