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Four major challenges facing travel
Thursday, 13th December 2018
Source : ITB Berlin

Climate change, innovative forms of transportation, overtourism and changing customer demands are the key topics at the Leading Travel Industry Think Tank.

The imminent threat of runaway climate change, outdated forms of transport, overtourism crises and a threefold change in customer demands – the four biggest challenges facing the global tourism industry will make up the wide range of topics at the ITB Berlin Convention from 6 to 9 March 2019.

At lectures, discussion rounds and workshops experts, senior figures from politics and business and leading scientists will closely examine the latest topics and pressing issues. New among the events are Deep Dive sessions at which visitors can dwell on the Convention’s key topics in depth in small groups. For trade visitors and exhibitors at the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in the ticket to the event.

The hot summer in the northern hemisphere and the report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) delivered a clear message. Thus, some of the world’s leading scientists will make use of keynote sessions to spell out the effects of global warming and climate change. Among them will be the well-known climate scientist Prof. Dr. Hans Joachim Schellhuber, who will explain the situation and what action must be taken. Tourism policymakers and industry decision-makers will also discuss possible solutions and present best practices that can contribute to environmental sustainability.

Transportation systems are an essential part of the tourism industry. Together with pioneers of innovative transport and tourism ministers the ITB Berlin Convention will debate Future Mobility at tourism destinations and how travel will become easier, cheaper, more luxurious and more sustainable as a result.

Overtourism, which was already one of the main topics at last year’s ITB Berlin Convention, is becoming more and more widespread. Recently, a growing number of conflicts have given rise to various pilot projects. The ITB Berlin Convention will provide an interim assessment and show which measures have met with success, how digital technology can be used to combat overtourism and whether the initial findings regarding overtourism in cities can also be applied to rural destinations with tourist attractions. Adam Goldstein, vice chairman, Royal Caribbean Cruises LTD and the CLIA’s future chairman in2019, will talk about how the cruise industry intends to deal with overtourism in the future.

4Hoteliers.com covers ITB Berlin exclusively since 2008: www.4Hoteliers.com/itb

Tourism experts will also be examining the Convention’s fourth key topic, the threefold change in customer demands. Nowadays, what defines luxury has completely changed. Instead of catering to ‘bling bling’, destination managers, the hotel industry and carriers now have to satisfy non-material luxury demands, and several sessions will present the latest findings on forward-looking business models and lessons that have been learned. Tourism products which cater to the standard tastes of mass markets no longer attract young people in large numbers.

Forward-looking business models must be tailored to individual needs and be available via digital booking channels – that is luxury in its modern form. Operators and sales channels are already responding and as a result the Technology, Tours & Activities (TTA) segment is growing fast. Sessions, workshops and keynote speeches under every Convention heading will show ITB participants how new technologies and apps are changing booking habits, ways in which in-destination services are being used and how they are driving the digitalisation of products.

In the Adventure Travel Hall (4.1) an exclusive exhibition area will complement the topic TTA. The ways in which travelers choose their destinations has changed significantly too. Attitudes towards a country’s politics are increasingly influencing people’s choice of holiday destinations. Discussions with ambassadors will highlight how political decision-makers are dealing with this situation.

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