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VIRTUAL ITB BERLIN CONVENTION 2022: MORE PANELS AND LEADING SPEAKERS ANNOUNCED

ITB Berlin Convention from March 8 to 10, 2022 will focus on three forward-looking topics: Resilience, digitalisation and sustainability. Key themes of the Convention slogan are ’Open for Digital, Responsible & Resilient Solutions’.

From March 8 to 10, 2022 the virtual ITB Berlin Convention will gather renowned speakers from all parts of the industry. On March 17, at the Digital Business Day, buyers and providers will be able to exchange views on a compact and innovative networking platform. During the summer, two B2B networking events will round off this year’s formats with ITB Berlin bringing leading buyers and trade visitors together at selected European host destinations.

ITB Berlin Convention provides important orientation for the industry

At itb.com, under the heading ’Open for Digital, Responsible & Resilient Solutions’, users can find out about the latest industry trends and best practices live and free of charge from anywhere in the world. Most of the programme is already online and available at itb.com/convention. There will be a parallel streaming channel for press conferences and presentations.

Future & Resilience Track: How to confront the major challenges of the future

On Tuesday, March 8, the focus will be on Future & Resilience. At the ITB Deep Dive session entitled ‘Tourism Demand after Crises: Lessons Learned from the World’s Crises from Chernobyl to COVID-19‘, Martin Lohmann from the research organisation Urlaub und Reisen e.V. (F.U.R.) will look at the consequences of crises on tourism demand.

At the panel discussion under the heading ‘Look to resilient Markets for Recovery: Youth and Student Travel‘, Wendi Aylward from AIFS Australia, Vicki Cunningham from BUNAC & USIT and Russell Hedge from HI USA will discuss the importance of international youth and student travel.

In the interview about ‘Adventure Travel: Thriving in a Future World‘, David Beurle from FutureIQ will offer an insight into the market for outdoor and adventure travel. In the panel discussion ‘Post Corona – Paving the Way for new Hotel Concepts‘, Stockholm’s architect Erik Nissen Johansen and Norbert Pokorny, CEO, Art of Travel, will exchange views on hotel concept trends, in particular on the luxury segment.

eTravel Track: Digitalisation – even more important during the pandemic

Wednesday, March 9 will be devoted to eTravel. At ‘The Travel Revolution’, the ITB Executive Interview will welcome Airbnb Kathrin Anselm, general manager, DACH, CEE & Russia. She will offer a glimpse on trends to come post-Covid – including changing customer demands, new work settings and personnel management. The C-Level Interview on Alternative Accommodation & Short-term Rental Industry Trends with HomeToGo CEO Patrick Andrae will take a look at the holiday rental market and the changes taking place in the industry.

Responsible Tourism Track: highlighting aspects such as climate change, responsible tourism and sustainable solutions for the future

On Thursday, March 10, the focus will be on responsible tourism. At the panel session ‘How to Walk the Talk? The Hospitality CEOs on Sustainability’, Marloes Knippenberg, CEO Kerten Hospitality, SĂ©bastien Bazin, CEO, Accor, Dirk Bakker, CEO Colliers and Nakul Anand, CEO, ITC will discuss the measures driving sustainability in their companies and the entire industry.

Taking part in the ‘Studiosus debate: Tourism and Climate Protection – avoidance, reduction and then?’, Studiosus managing director Peter-Mario Kubsch, DRV managing director Dirk Inger, Prof. Dr. Stefan Gössling from Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden) will discuss the importance of offsetting, the projects suited to it and how to counter accusations of greenwashing. The moderator of the event is Tanja Samrotzki, journalist.

At the ‘Sustainability Session: Carbon Neutrality is not enough’, Christian Delom, executive director of A World for Travel, Evora Forum, and Dr. Suzanne Etti, Travel’s environmental impact specialist from Intrepid, will look at the takeaways from global conferences such as COP24 and COP15. At the ‘Sustainability Storytelling for Destination Management session‘, Rob Holmes, founder and chief strategist of GLP Films, will explain how sustainability can become part of the destination management narrative.

In 2022, gender issues, human rights and diversity remain important topics. At this year’s ‘LGBTQ+ Travel Panel: Resilience in Times of a Pandemic‘, David Paisley from CMI, Kristi Kavanaugh, vice President of Aspen Snowmess, Frederick Boutry from Visit Brussels, and Felipe Cardenas, president of the Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce and IGLTA board chair, will explain how this particular market is driving the tourism industry’s recovery.

This year’s Official ‘ITB medical session: Challenges & Solutions in the Medical & Health Tourism Sector in Post-Pandemic Times‘, in partnership with HTI, will examine the challenges and solutions in the Medical & Health tourism sector post-pandemic, presentating a study on long-term rehabilitation programmes and efficient healing processes. The virtual panel discussion will be attended by Liudmila Andreeva, head of International Relations, HTI – Health Tourism Industry, Csilla MezĹ‘si, secretary general, European Spa Association and Simone Zagrodnik, executive director, European Historic Thermal Towns Association (EHTTA).

In addition to discussion rounds, interviews and lectures, users attending Wednesday’s convention events can look forward to the TO DO Awards, and their presentation to two outstanding projects from India and South Africa. This year’s TO DO Award for Human Rights in Tourism goes to the Spanish organisation Aguicat, which campaigns for better working conditions for tour guides.

All details of the ITB Berlin Convention can be found at itb.com/convention.

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