Three Days of Concentrated Knowledge at ITB Berlin

travelindex-hotels-travel-directory-1041Berlin (Germany) – February 13, 2015 – Thought-provoking discussion rounds and informative papers by familiar speakers from the international travel industry – admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors

At this year’s ITB Berlin Convention leading speakers, including senior executives, researchers and politicians will be presenting the latest data from the international travel industry and providing inspiration and knowledge. From 4 to 6 March the programme will also include interesting papers and discussions on fascinating topics such as authoritarian regimes and slum tourism. For trade visitors at ITB Berlin admission to the international travel industry’s leading think tank is free.

On 4 March at the ITB Future Day, together with his guests, cruise industry analyst and university lecturer Thomas P. Illes will be discussing shipyards’ decisions to relocate their business to new markets. Raoul Jack, principal consultant, PFJ Maritime Consulting; Dominic Paul, SVP International Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises, managing director RCL Cruises; and Giuseppe Tringali, senior naval architect & general manager, Greece; and Knud E. Hansen A/S, will be discussing new markets such as China and their impact on the international cruise industry. Götz Ahmelmann, CCO of Air Berlin, will be speaking about European air travel and the role of Air Berlin.

On 6 March at the ITB Marketing and Distribution Day, Kenny Jacobs, chief marketing officer, Ryanair, will be speaking about the transformation taking place at Ryanair and the implications for Europe’s travel industry. A radical restructuring of the airline’s business model is currently under way in a bid to attract business travellers. On the same day, at the ITB CSR Day, Dr. Taleb Rifai, Secretary General UNWTO, and Dr. Hannah R. Messerli, senior private sector development specialist/Tourism Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, The World Bank Group, will be speaking about the effects on tourism of the United Nations’ Sustainable Tourism Program. This year’s Studiosus discussion will examine the issue of ’Exploiting poverty, or self-help?’ in slum tourism. Thulani Madondo, executive director, Kliptown Youth Programme; Antje Monshausen, head of the offices of Tourism Watch Brot für die Welt; Asim Shaikh, tour guide manager, Reality Tours Mumbai;

Dr. Malte Steinbrink, Institute for Geography & Institute for Migration Studies and Intercultural Studies (IMIS), Universität Osnabrück; the School of Hospitality and Tourism, University of Johannesberg (UJ): as well as Peter Strub, member of the senior management of Studiosus Reisen will be taking part in a discussion moderated by Andreas Stopp of Deutschlandfunk.

H.E. Hisham Zaazou, the Egyptian tourism minister, will hold a speech opening the ITB Destination Days (4 to 6 March). Among other events, day one of the convention will feature a panel discussion on the Asian market. Together with his guests Prof. Barbara Haller-Rupf, project manager, Chinese winter tourists in Europe, HTW Chur; Nina Kubik-Cheng, senior vice president Dragon Trail Interactive; Jacopo Sertoli, CEO Select Holding; and Zhao Yinong, CEO GBTIMES, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Georg Arlt, director, COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute West Coast University of Applied Sciences Germany, will be discussing China’s ’second wave’ of tourists abroad. Dr. Wolf-Dieter Zumpfort, member of the board of the Friedrich-Naumann Freedom Trust and former director of TUI AG, will hold a brief paper introducing the session on the topic of visiting conflict regions and countries with authoritarian regimes. Moderated by Ali Aslan, a journalist and presenter at Deutsche Welle TV, the debate will be asking whether visiting authoritarian regimes can be considered responsible tourism and whether conflict regions can realistically participate in the globally booming tourism market. Taking part in the panel discussion will be Dr. Beate Eschment, analyst, Central Asia, HU Berlin; Ch. Kabir Ahmed Khan, managing director, Pakistan Tourism Development Corporation (PTDC); and Dr. Lars-André Richter, project manager, Korea, Friedrich-Naumann Freedom Trust.

In the wake of the FIFA World Cup and ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games the world is still looking towards Brazil and the whole of South America. That is reason enough to hold the South America Forum on day two of the ITB Destination Days at which the topic of massive sports events will be on the agenda. At an event moderated by Andreas M. Gross, chairman of ARGE Lateinamerika e.V., Tom Rostek, director, DERTOUR live Sports & Events; the Hon. Wilhelm von Breymann, tourism minister of Costa Rica; and the journalist Eva von Steinburg, will be discussing how large-scale sports events benefit local tourism.

On day three of the ITB Destination Days at the ’Interjections’ events of Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. the discussion will focus on the combined efforts of Palestinians and Israelis to achieve a better understanding and fair tourism in the Holy Land. Panel members will include Annette Heger, senior management executive and division head, Middle East, Biblische Reisen Stuttgart; Rami Kassis, executive director, Alternative Tourism Group – Study Group Beit Sahour; rabbi Jeremy Milgrom, board member, Rabbis for Human Rights (RHR) Jerusalem; and Yahav Zohar, senior tour guide, Green Olive Tours, Kfar Saba/Jerusalem. The event will be moderated by the journalist Klaus Betz and Prof. Dr. Dietmar Herz, chairman of the board of Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. The focus of this year’s Gay and Lesbian Tourism Panel will be on the potential of social media to successfully influence niche markets. Following an introductory paper by Matt Skallerud of Pink Banana Media, a discussion will take place together with Richard Gray, managing director, LGBT Market, Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau; Kristin Hansen, managing director of Hansen & Partner, ELLA International Lesbian Festival; Philip Ibrahim, director, Mercure Hotel Berlin City; and ShihoIkeuchi, director of Overseas Marketing, Hotel Granvia Kyoto. Thomas Bömkes, managing director of Diversity Tourism, will be moderating the event.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2015 will take place from March 4 to March 9. From Wednesday to Friday, ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. The ITB Berlin Convention is held parallel with the trade fair, from Wednesday to Saturday. It is the world’s largest specialist convention for the industry. More details are available at Egypt is ITB Convention & Culture Partner 2015. Studious and Result Group are basic sponsors of ITB Berlin Convention and Sojern is Sponsor of the ITB Berlin Congress Lounge. ITB Berlin is the leading trade fair for the worldwide travel industry. In 2014 a total of 10,147 companies and organisations from 189 countries exhibited their products and services to 174,000 visitors, who included 114,000 trade visitors.

Press contacts:
Messe Berlin
Michael T. Hofer
Messe Berlin Group Press and Public Relations Director

ITB Berlin / ITB Asia:
Astrid Zand
Press Officer
Messedamm 22
14055 Berlin
phone.: + 49 30 3038-2275
fax: + 49 30 3038-912275