The ITB Berlin Convention 2023 features around 400 speakers and over 200 sessions and wide-ranging theme tracks under the slogan ’Mastering Transformation’.
The speakers at the ITB Berlin Convention 2023 have their sights set firmly on the future of the tourism industry: from 7 to 9 March over 400 experts at the leading think tank of the travel industry will be sharing their expert knowledge on the latest tasks and challenges facing the tourism industry.
At wide-ranging theme tracks comprising over 200 sessions on a total of four convention stages in Halls 7.1a and 7.1b and Halls 6.1 and 3.1 the focus will be on ’Mastering Transformation’, which is this year’s slogan of the event. The comprehensive programme of the ITB Berlin Convention is available online at itb.com/convention. Admission to the convention is included in a trade visitor, exhibitor or press pass to ITB Berlin.
Visitors to the ITB Berlin Convention 2023 can expect a wealth of fascinating keynote speeches, CEO interviews, panels, pitches, discussion rounds and award presentations. On Tuesday, 7 March at 2.45 p.m. at the Future track in Hall 7.1a, Caroline Bremner, senior industry manager at Euromonitor International, will talk about ’Future technologies for travel – What’s next?’. Among other things she will ask whether the metaverse is becoming a new sales channel or even a travel experience in itself.
Focus on current transformation processes
On 7 March, the Tour Operator & Travel Sales track will look at the challenges tour operators and travel sales are facing as a result of current transformation processes. At 3 p.m. in Hall 7.1b, Laura Meyer, CEO of the Hotelplan Group, will hold a keynote speech. At the panel discussion to follow she will focus on the latest developments and shifts in booking and travel behaviour and innovative business practices. Also taking part in the panel will be Erwan Corre (co-founder Worldia), Traci Mercer (senior vice president, Lodging, Ground & Sea at Sabre), and Casper Urhammer (CEO, Tour Operator at the FTI Group).
Afterwards at 4 p.m., Roland Gassner, director Business Development at Travel Data + Analytics GmbH, will give a lecture on ’Connected Trips versus package tours – market requirements and technical possibilities’. This will also be followed by a panel discussion. Taking part will be Stefan Baumert (CEO, TUI Deutschland GmbH), Dr. Ute Dallmeier (managing director, First Reisebüro Mönchengladbach GmbH), Ömer Karaca (managing director/COO Schmetterling International GmbH & Co. KG), Frank Oostdam (president ECTAA), and Ralph Schiller (CEO FTI Group).
On Tuesday, 7 March in Hall 7.1, the Carrier & Cruise track will examine the transformation from the viewpoint of service providers. In his keynote speech at 12 midday, Jürgen T. Siebenrock, vice president, Area Management Home Markets, Global Program, Tools and B2B Servicing at Lufthansa Group, will look at how technical innovation in aviation can shape the customer journey of tomorrow.
At 11.20 a.m. on the same day in Hall 3.1, at the Diversity & Inclusion track, Carol Hay, CEO Caribbean Tourism Organisation Chapter UK & Europe, Keshav Suri, executive director, The Lalit Suri Hospitality Group, Neha Arora, founder, Planet Abled, and Kasia Pankowska, CEO, hotel treats, will talk about ’Diversity, equity and inclusion in tourism marketing’. At 1.05 p.m., a panel discussion entitled ’Peace and tourism: the role of geopolitics in tourism’ will follow. Taking part will be Russell Lord (senior travel consultant, Kenes Tours Global Services), Theresa Quiachon (senior consultant, Löning – Human Rights & Responsible Business), Natalia Turcanu (Tourism Industry marketing manager, RCRA Moldova), and Petra Thomas (GF Forum Anders Reisen).
Sustainable tourism and technological trends
At the Sustainable Destination track on Tuesday, 7 March, the focus will be on sustainable tourism. At 3.45 p.m. in Hall 3.1, a panel will discuss topics under the heading ’Sustainable Western Balkans’, or alternately other topics surrounding indigenous community-based tourism. On 8 March at 2 p.m. in Hall 3.1 at the Youth, Adventure & Outdoor track, the focus will be on ’GenZ and the transformation of travel’.
Technological trends will be the main theme on the eTravel Stage at the show. On Tuesday, 7 March at 11 a.m., a panel moderated by Lea Jordan (co-founder techtalk.travel) will ask ’Technology trends impacting travel – What’s coming, what’s shaping the industry?’. Topics will include blockchains, the IoT, machine learning, AI, ChatGPT and Web3. Among those taking part will be Shafquat Khan, vice president, Travel & Hospitality at Sciant. At 12.30 p.m. a discussion on ’The future of connected commerce’ will follow. Lennert De Jong, president, Hospitality, at Planet, will introduce ’Friction – an unknown concept for digitally native guests’.
More topical than ever: the skills shortage in tourism
On Wednesday, 8 March, the Future Work track will aim to provide orientation on how to overcome the skills and staff shortage. At 2 p.m. in Hall 7.1b, Charuta Fadnis, SVP Research & Product Strategy at Phocuswright, will look at why women are still the exception in senior tourism management. At 4 p.m., taking three best practices as an example, Michael Schumacher, Brand Partnership Lead Travel at TikTok, will explain how to successfully maintain fascination with tourism, whether among newcomers and professionals or leading mobility companies and medium-sized hotels. Also taking part as speakers will be Stefanie Berk (CMO DB Fernverkehr) and Christian Rex (director, Paulinen Hof Seminarhotel).
At the Marketing & Distribution track on 8 March at 10.40 a.m. in Hall 7.1a, Michael Trauttmansdorff, director of Product Management, Travel Ads (Google), will hold the opening keynote speech and provide an insight into the new customer journey as well as how companies can communicate with travellers regardless of where they are. Afterwards, from 11.45 a.m. to 12.05 p.m. in Hall 7.1a, Ray Chan, SVP, Trip.com Group and CEO, Accommodation Business, will talk about ’Reconnecting the World’.
At the Responsible Tourism track on Thursday, 9 March, the focus will be on the here and now, the future and the new normal in tourism. Opening the theme day at 10.30 p.m. in Hall 7.1 will be Prof. Dr. Dr. hc. mult. Hans-Joachim Schellnhuber, a leading climate scientist and honorary director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). The question he will ask is ’Tourism: Can we preserve the world while enjoying it?’. At 2.10 p.m., a panel featuring Dr. Sreeja K.G. (director of Research, EQUINOCT), Lars Peter Nissen (director, ACAPS), Gopinath Parayil (CEO/COO/chairman, The Blue Yonder), and Shannon Stowell (ATTA), will look at how to achieve climate resilience and climate responsibility together at travel destinations.
In his keynote speech at the Destination track on Thursday, 9 March 2023 at 10.30 a.m. in Hall 7.1b, Prof. Harald Pechlaner will raise a controversial issue: ‘Is Destination Thinking still state of the art?’. Among other things he will explain why in his view the Destination Management Organization (DMO) needs rethinking.
At the Hospitality track on Thursday, 9 March, the focus will be on current challenges in the hospitality sector. ’Hospitality and society – from experience to meaning’ is the title of the keynote speech that Daniel Rudasevki, chief growth officer and co-founder of Selina, will hold at 2.30 p.m. in Hall 7.1b. At 4.45 p.m., the Hospitality track will conclude with a discussion round on the future and the innovations that will dominate this sector. Taking part will be Dirk Bakker (CEO, Netherlands and head of Hotels EMEA Colliers), Sarah Cojacaru (co-founder, Dunya Living), Patrick O’Meara (head of Business Development, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance) and Matthijs Welle (CEO Mews).
How are the business travel and medical tourism / wellness markets faring?
‘Business travel is back. So where do we go from here?’ That is the question Susanne Neufang (CEO Global Business Travel Association), will discuss at the Business Travel track on Thursday, 9 March at 3 p.m., where she will offer insights and look at the current and future situation of the global business travel market. On Wednesday, 8 March at 11.45 a.m., Joachim Schmidt (director, Egencia GmbH) will examine how important business travel is, in view of hybrid workplace models experiencing significant growth.
On Thursday, 9 March at 12.45 p.m., at the MICE track at the ITB Berlin Convention 2023 in Hall 3.1, Jan Czyszke, head of Corporate & MICE at Felix, will look at how event venues can shape, fulfil and exceed the expectations of corporate customers in the future. At 11.45 a.m., with best practices as examples, the focus will be on how startup incubators can help shape and change the industry’s future.
On 9 March at 3 p.m. in Hall 3.1, the Medical Wellness & Health track will feature the ’UNWTO roundtable discussion: Connecting sports tourism to health’, which will discuss ways to establish major synergies between sports and health. Taking part in the panel will be Patrick Torrent (executive director, Catalan Tourist Board), Simone Zangrodnik (executive director, European Historic Thermal Towns Association EHTTA), and representatives from Turkey and Croatia.
The World Tourism Cities Foundation (WTCF) is co-hosting the ITB Berlin Convention. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development is the partner of the Orange Stage in Hall 7.1a and the ITB Responsible Tourism tracks. Flughafen Berlin-Brandenburg (BER) is the official Airport Partner of ITB Berlin and Track Sponsor of the Carrier & Cruise track. Google is the sponsor of the Marketing & Distribution track.