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Published on : Tuesday, February 2, 2016
The digital transition has taken giant strides forward in the travel industry. Nowadays, a robot welcoming guests to a hotel with glasses of champagne is no longer pure fantasy. From 9 to 12 March 2016, under the heading of ’Travel 4.0 – the digitalization of the travel industry’, the convention will examine a number of topics, including virtual reality, the digital transition and the use of humanoid robots in the tourism industry. For trade visitors at the world’s largest travel trade show admission to the international travel industry’s leading think tank is free. Anyone unable to attend can follow the sessions of the ITB Future Day, ITB Hospitality Day and the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day via a live stream.
Wednesday at ITB: future trends and the digital transition
On Wednesday, 9. March 2016, four individual tracks at the ITB Berlin Convention will focus on the opportunities and challenges arising from the mega trend of digitalization. Günther H. Oettinger, the EU Commissioner responsible for the digital economy and society, will open the ITB Future Day with a keynote speech on ’shaping a mega trend in Europe’. In an ITB CEO interview Philip C. Wolf, the founder of Phocuswright, will be talking to Darren Huston, the president and CEO of the Priceline Group and Booking.com, about ’recipes for success in times of complex markets and rapid global expansion’. In a keynote interview on the topic of ’Google View: from micro moments to a seamless travel search and booking process’, Prof. Dr. Roland Conrady, the science head of the ITB Berlin Convention, will be talking to Dr. Oliver Heckmann, vice president of Travel and Shopping, Google Inc. Rounding off the ITB Future Day, ministers from countries which have pioneered the digital transition will be taking part in the ITB Ministers‘ round table on new business models in the age of digitalization. Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General of UNWTO, will moderate the session.
The ITB MICE Day will begin with a keynote speech on the ’digital transition – how smart media and innovative technologies are changing our way of thinking’. Afterwards, Prof. Wolfgang Henseler, the founder and creative managing director of Sensory-Minds, will be illustrating emerging technology trends and innovations as well as their impact on society, the economy and people. Prof. Dr. Hans Rück, dean of the Faculty of Tourism and Transport Studies at Hochschule Worms, will be talking about the ’new frontier’ in the event industry. In his paper he will explain the meaning of ’SoLoMo’ and the best way to integrate digital applications into the four stages of an event. Doreen Biskup, managing director of the MICE Academy, will be looking at the topical issue of how and whether emotions can be triggered at the touch of a button and whether digitalization appeals to all the senses.
At the ITB Young Professionals Day the topic of the keynote interview is ’a thing of the past due to humanoid robots?’, in which incisive questions will be asked about the future of working in the tourism industry. Dr. Carl Benedikt Frey, co-director and Oxford Martin Citi Fellow, Oxford Martin Programme on Technology and Employment, University of Oxford, will present a study which has received wide attention in the media and forecasts a 50 per cent decline in workplaces and a job crisis in the future. In an interview on ’technology expertise: kickstarting a career with tourism studies’, Michael Faber, a consultant with Tourismuszukunft, and Michael Buller, chairman of Verband Internet Reisevertrieb VIR, will be among those discussing the know-how that future tourism studies graduates will need in order to improve their employment chances. Digital networking in the cycling tourism market will be the topic of day one of the ITB Workshop. Listeners can find out about the progress being made in ’smart biking’. Examples are bike and e-bike electronics communicating with smartphones, heart rate monitoring, lighting and alarm systems as well as head-up displays, bike radar systems and live tracking via internet.