After a forced absence due to the coronavirus the travel industry is gradually coming back to life and is holding a three-day online event in Berlin for trade visitors and the general public.
We Love Travel! – A Tourism Recovery Pop-up is jointly organised by ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival and is taking place from 6 to 18 October 2020 as an entirely virtual event. At the show, originally planned as a hybrid format, a total of 90 exhibitors and more than 50 speakers await an online audience of trade visitors and the general public. All networking formats, presentations and discussion rounds will be live-streamed daily from Arena Berlin at welovetravel.berlin/livestream. After the event selected presentations will be available as videos free of charge at itb.com/virtualconvention.
”After months of turmoil it is the heartfelt desire of the industry and everyone interested in travel to be able to exchange information, at least in virtual form, on the best topic in the world“, said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin. ”By hosting We Love Travel! we are bringing the travel community together in a virtual format, giving the industry a professional boost and offering lots of inspiration to the general public“, added Bernd Neff, founder and managing director of the Berlin Travel Festival.
16 October 2020: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (live stream for trade visitors)
Opening press conference: 9 – 10 a.m. (live stream for the media and bloggers)
17 and 18 October 2020: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. (live stream for trade visitors and the general public)
Tickets to Friday events for trade visitors are available here: welovetravel.berlin/tickets
Fascinating programme for trade visitors
The Friday for B2B visitors features a wide-ranging programme of discussion rounds and networking events. Organised jointly by ITB Berlin and Verband Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR), the programme will kick off at 10 a.m. with the latest facts and figures from the tourism sector. Under the slogan ‘Crunching numbers’, at 10.15 a.m. experts from leading market research companies will share their latest insights. Among the panel guests will be Ulf Sonntag from FUR, Roland Gaßner from Travel Data Analytics, and Peter Kautz from Statista. At 11 a.m. under the title ‘Heading for new shores – The future of package tourism’, industry experts will discuss the market prospects for organised tours. Taking part in the discussion will be Eva Samperi Nino from the Spanish Tourism Board, Detlef Schroer from schauinsland-reisen, Michael Schober from SunExpress, and Sandra Castro from Amadeus Germany.
At another panel discussion at 12.15 p.m., Sascha Nitsche from Solamento and Ömer Karaca from Schmetterling Reisen will be among those discussing ‘the role of marketing’. It is a well-known fact that business models that not only meet customers’ needs but also anticipate them are now in unprecedented demand. Questions surrounding this development include: How will booking patterns change? What solutions do those representing the various marketing channels have for taking on the future?
We Love Travel! is also making corporate social responsibility a main talking point of the agenda, with a focus on the need to innovate tourism and shape the recovery in intelligent ways. At 1.30 p.m. a panel discussion on ‘Sustainability and Recovery’will kick off events. Rika Jean-Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB Berlin, will be talking to Petra Thomas, from Forum Anders Reisen, and Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner, from the Catholic University of Eichstätt-Ingolstadt, about the opportunities the crisis offers, based on a sustainable approach to tourism. Also taking part will be Inge Hujibrechts, live from Brussels, from the Radisson Hotel Group, managing director Dirk Inger from Deutscher Reisebüroverband DRV, and Quentin Walesch, a partner of Waald strategy & advisory.
At 2.20 p.m. under the heading ‘Recovery and human rights’, the second CSR session will focus on social responsibility in tourism. Against the backdrop of the pandemic social inequalities are becoming more and more evident. The panel members will debate whether this is an opportunity for the tourism industry to incorporate greater diversity and overcome old habits. They will also discuss current developments in society such as the Black Lives Matter movement and their impact on the tourism industry. Panel members include Thomas Bömkes from Diversity Tourism, Philip Ibrahim from The Student Hotel Berlin, Jara Schreiber from the Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism, and Reginald Charlot, live from New York, from NYC & Company.
Numerous topics on eTravel will round off Friday’s programme of events. At 3.30 p.m. the title of the first panel discussion is ‘The crisis as a creative force: digital trends’. Among those exchanging opinions will be Uwe Frers from the ADAC, Lukas C.C. Hempel from bookingkit, Steffen Faradi from Midoco, and Bernd Nawrath from BN Consulting. At 4.20 p.m. the next event is entitled ‘Building Trust – the foundation for success in the new normal’. Participants include Christian Tänzler from VisitBerlin and Cynthia Paynther from Accor Hotels. Finally, the Travel Tech Round Table at 5.05 p.m. is where experienced pioneers from the startup scene will be meeting – they include Rainer Klee from Aerticket and Olga Heuser from DialogShift among others.
One of Friday’s highlights will be the innovative BARCAMP Disrupt now!. Taking place from 1 to 3 p.m. parallel with the main programme, its focus is on pressing industry issues. A total of 20 participants will be exchanging views and putting together new ideas and concepts for the future. Later in the afternoon they will hold a 15-minute presentation of their results. To register for one of these limited places please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The networking formats of the We love Travel! Networking platform target buyers, exhibitors and trade visitors. On the Friday for B2B visitors, ten-minute time slots will provide an opportunity to exchange views with successive participants in the virtual meeting room. Rather than searching laboriously for the right contacts, users receive intelligent suggestions for expanding and consolidating their network based on their user profile. The system also suggests potential contacts with whom they can network by chatting and make individual online appointments. Kenya is the official Hero Networking Supporter of the We love Travel! networking platform.
Trade visitors following the live-streamed events for trade visitors can look forward to moderator Katie Gallus, a professional geographer, who will present the day’s virtual events. She will be holding virtual interviews with industry figures and viewers, getting background information on the latest topics and capturing the mood of the speakers.
Exhibitors from all over the world will be represented online in virtual Brand Showrooms for trade visitors and the general public
Travel enthusiasts can look forward to numerous national and international exhibitors. Destinations include Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Spain, Tunisia and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Exhibitors from Germany and its neighbouring countries are also taking part. They include the federal states of Saxony, Berlin and Brandenburg as well as Hamburg, Saale Unstrut and the holiday region ofZell am See-Kaprun.
”We are very glad that following the cancellation of ITB in March the Berlin Travel Festival and Messe Berlin have established this new format in the shape of We Love Travel! – A Tourism Recovery Pop-up. Saxony is also very pleased to be a partner of what is now an entirely virtual event. We are making use of this opportunity to promote the unique holiday and leisure experience that Saxony offers“, said Barbara Klepsch, State Minister for Culture and Tourism in the Free State of Saxony.
Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen (TMGS) and seven regions are representing Saxony as a travel destination by hosting videos and interviews. “We are letting the spectacular images speak for themselves so as to inspire people to travel and personally witness Saxony’s unique combination of cultural treasures and natural beauty“, said Veronika Hiebl, managing director of Tourismus Marketing Gesellschaft Sachsen.
Viewers can also find out online about the latest travel trends, sustainability projects and innovative startups. Exhibitors presenting their products and services in this virtual format include Seelensafari, Heldencamper and SpotAR.
In addition to exhibitors on the website there are also fascinating speakers on the stage. Among those participating are expedition photographer Ulla Lohmann and the travelling cyclist Anselm Pahnke, who will talk about their adventures in the remotest corners of the earth. The story of the Escobar-Walter family and their round-the-world sailing trip and its unforeseen ending due to the coronavirus is also worth following. Martina von Münchhausen (WWF) and Markus Mauthe, a nature photographer and environmental activist, will talk about sustainability issues on their travels. The panel discussion entitled ’Voice4Africa – why we should travel to Africa now“ with Hardy Krüger Jr., Hanna Kleber, Caspar Venter and Johannes Soeder will examine different aspects. GEO SAISON and WALDEN will feature a number of interviews and video reports, including with Benjamin von Stuckrad-Barre and Martin Suter.
Members of the media and bloggers can obtain accreditation for 16 October events at welovetravel.berlin/accreditation.
On the Friday for trade visitors the opening press conference will take place at 9 p.m., which after prior registration can be followed live at welovetravel.berlin/livestream.
Taking part in the conference will be Barbara Klepsch, State Minister for Culture and Tourism at the State Ministry for Science, Culture and Tourism of Saxony, Bernd Neff, founder of the Berlin Travel Festival, David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin, and Michael Buller, chairman of Verband Internetreisevertrieb (VIR). Questions can be put to the speakers during a live chat, and these will be answered during the ten-minute Q&A session.
(Photo – top of page – Bernd Neff, founder and managing director of the Berlin Travel Festival – with Dr Martin Buck, Senior Vice President Travel & Logistics, Messe Berlin)