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Trend-setting themes and leading experts at largest global tourism convention

Trend-setting themes and leading experts at largest global tourism convention (Forimmediaterelease.net) Featuring an outstanding program of events and high-ranking speakers, the ITB Berlin Convention 2010 will highlight the effects of the financial and economic crisis on tourism, the structural changes in society, and shifts in travel patterns. From March 10-12, 2010, more than 200 leading speakers and panel guests from science, politics, and with practical experience will present topics and discuss the future of travel at around 100 events. Over a period of three days, the focus at the world’s largest tourism convention will be on quality discussion and the latest industry knowledge. Admission is free for all trade visitors.

ITB MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION DAY

The ITB Marketing and Distribution Day will take place at the world’s leading travel trade show, with debate focusing on the marked changes in consumer booking patterns and information needs. Experts taking part in a discussion round entitled “personalized package tours“ will point out that the much talked about paradigm shift towards longtail services has already taken place. The Internet will also come in for close examination, as a way to occupy attractive market niches and personally address customers. A further panel will discuss strategies for the growing gay and lesbian tourism market.

The day’s highlight will be the ITB Media Summit 2010. Together, the recession and completely new attitudes towards media usage have undermined established media forms. Magazine titles are disappearing from the shelves and readers are migrating to the Internet. The confidence of the travel industry has been shaken. The questions its members are asking are, “How can we reach the consumer?” and “What opportunities do Facebook and Twitter, etc. offer?” Leading speakers, among them former Minister of Economics Wolfgang Clement, will be taking part in and answering questions at a round-table discussion.

“THEME DAYS" - LATEST DEVELOPMENTS AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION

The convention opens with the ITB Future Day. The first ITB Global Future Summit will analyze the main trends in demographics, climate change, natural resources, technology, and consumer behavior. Afterwards, Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the latest forecasts of the ITB World Travel Trends Report. Based on 500,000 interviews, the world’s largest travel survey provides indispensable information for decision-makers from the tourism industry. “Web 2.0 and Social Media“ will discuss future ways to gain customers and secure their loyalty, as well as mobile travel solutions for business and leisure travelers. The final program event is the ITB Tourism and Climate Panel, which will analyze climate change and ecology, the biggest challenges of this century.

Against the backdrop of a changing climate, the ITB Hospitality Day will discuss what new services hotels should offer. At the CEO panel discussion, three high-ranking executives from leading hotel chains will speak about the market and their survival strategies. Under the unconventional heading of “Ways to change boring hotels“ they will be motivating audiences to become more creative in this field. Distributors of online applications and hotel owners will discuss how mobile phones with Internet access are changing hotel booking patterns. Taking as their slogan “What are the challenges facing the industry?“ leading executives heading hotel chains in America, Europe, and Asia will debate the various concepts of budget hotels.

The ITB Aviation Day is recognized as the leading event for the global air transport industry. Key topics certain to spark controversy are the future of aviation alliances and a discussion on the strategies and concepts of budget airlines, the winners in this recession. Will they reap long-term benefits from the crisis? These are just some of the urgent issues that will be raised in interviews with financial experts from low-cost carriers.

At the global CEO panel discussion, members will give their opinions on the future of commercial aviation around the world. A discussion under the heading of “A revolution in airline prices, the recession as an innovative force in the absence of premium customers“ will highlight a number of progressive business models. According to many experts, public acceptance of airlines as a mode of transport has been in crisis for some time. A panel discussion with numerous analysts, among them Dr. Stefan Schulte, chairman of the board of Fraport AG, and Prof. Dr. Rainer Schwarz, management spokesman of Berliner Flughäfen, will discuss which measures hold particular promise for future success.

Following its successful debut last year, the ITB Corporate Social Responsibility Day has become an integral part of the ITB Berlin Convention. A high-level government representative of the Federal Republic of Germany will highlight the significance of CSR in economic and social terms. Keynote speeches and panel discussions will debate examples of the role which CSR can occupy in tourism. This is the first time that GfK is presenting a survey undertaken exclusively for ITB Berlin, entitled “Leading CSR companies from the vantage point of the customer.“ High-ranking members will be attending the cruise holiday session. In her keynote, the world-famous adventurer and explorer Céline Cousteau will be asking “Marine protection and tourism, are they friends or foes?” Afterwards, leading experts, among them Prof. Dr. Martin Visbeck from the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at the University of Kiel, will examine whether the expanding cruise market is having a negative effect on the environment.

Discussions on the first day of the ITB Destination Days will focus on the challenges posed by efforts to create sustainable tourism destinations. Vural Öger, owner of the Öger Group, will deliver a keynote speech. Representatives from Essen/Ruhr, Istanbul, and Pécs, cities designated “European Capital of Culture” in 2010, will summarize the developments to date. The subsequent discussion as to whether the title of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site is a curse or a blessing is certain to reveal fascinating insights.

On Thursday and Friday, experts will devote themselves to the topic of sustainability in tourism. Brazil and Ecuador will present their successful concepts at the South America Forum, and at the Africa Forum, experts will discuss how important tourism is in combating poverty. Turkey, this year’s partner country at ITB Berlin, will show how to achieve success with cultural tourism. The findings of the latest conference of the German Society for Tourism Research will be made public, highlighting potential business opportunities for investors exploring the market niches of spirituality and tourism. The China Outbound Tourism Marketing href="mailto:Forum@ITB">Forum@ITB Berlin 2010 will talk about ways to make destinations more appealing to tourists from China. Zero-carbon luxury hotels are both a significant topic and elements of a vision of future tourism. Two speakers from Masdar City, planned as the world’s first zero-carbon city, will talk about their progress to date.

The ITB Business Travel Forum will take place on all three days of the convention. Workshops, panel discussions, and keynote speeches at the MICE Day, Strategy Day, and Hands-On Day (with a focus on economics) will provide opportunities for exchanging opinion and furthering one’s knowledge on business travel and events management. From March 10-11, decision-makers from all walks of the global tourism industry can find out about the latest technology trends at the Travel Technology Conference href="mailto:PhoCusWright@ITB">PhoCusWright@ITB. A conference under the heading of “E-Travel Success Across Europe" will highlight the significance of travel technology, addressing experts involved in sales, marketing, and business promotion.

No prior registration is necessary to visit the convention. Holders of a trade visitor ticket to ITB Berlin may attend any of the events free of charge, with the exception of the Travel Technology Convention href="mailto:PhoCusWright@ITB">PhoCusWright@ITB. href="mailto:PhoCusWright@ITB">PhoCusWright@ITB will be held in English. Simultaneous interpreting into English and German is available at all other lectures and discussions.

Information and program details: www.itb-convention.com/program . A trade visitor pass with unlimited admission to ITB Berlin costs EUR 46. If purchased by January 31, admission tickets to href="mailto:PhoCusWright@ITB">PhoCusWright@ITB cost EUR 300, thereafter 350 EUR per person. All tickets are available online.

ABOUT ITB BERLIN AND THE ITB BERLIN CONVENTION

ITB Berlin 2010 will take place from Wednesday, March 10 to Sunday, March 14. ITB Berlin will be open to trade visitors only from Wednesday to Friday. ITB Berlin is the world’s leading travel trade show. In 2009, a total of 11,098 companies from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to 178,971 visitors, who included 110,857 trade visitors. Parallel with the trade fair, the ITB Berlin Convention will be held from Wednesday to Friday, March 10-12, 2010. Full details of the program can be found at www.itb-convention.com/program .

Messe Berlin: Michael T. Hofer Group Press and Public Relations Director ITB Berlin/ITB Asia: Astrid Ehring Press Officer Messedamm 22 D-14055 Berlin Tel:+ 4930 3038-2275 Fax: + 4930 3038-2141 Email: ehring@messe-berlin.de Web: www.messe-berlin.de For additional details: www.itb-berlin.com www.itb-kongress.com

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