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ITB Destination Day 1

Destinations, Wellness

March 7, 2018

10:45 - 17:45

Convention Hall 7.1a, Auditorium New York 3


The ITB Destination Days are dedicated to the challenges and perspectives of international destination management. “Overtourism”, a key topic of the ITB Berlin Convention, will be illuminated in-depth in a series of sessions: Exclusive study results reveal the status quo of overtourism in Europe, mayors and tourism decision-makers from affected cities discuss possible solutions, and the president of the WTTC presents concepts for dealing with overtourism. Using Berlin as an example, potentials and problems of a growing sharing economy will be shown. The subject of the Studiosus Talk will be how the flow of tourists is shifting and coming to Greece. Other informative findings include how important target groups like Chinese millennials can be won over through digital marketing strategies.

Hosted by:

Dr. David Ermen, Senior Manager Hospitality & Tourism Centre of Excellence EMEA, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG


10:45 - 11:00

Dr. David Ermen, Senior Manager Hospitality & Tourism Centre of Excellence EMEA, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG

Exclusive Market Study from DGT and AIEST for ITB Berlin
Tourism is threatening to suffocate itself: Due to space limitations, further growth in tourism will inevitably lead to ever more and even larger conflicts in touristic destinations worldwide. This quantitative and qualitative study, exclusively presented at ITB Berlin, will feature a report about the status quo. What differences and similarities exist between urban and rural destinations, which measures offer possible solutions and which strategies do tourism experts regard as promising?

Prof. Dr. Christian Laesser, Adjunct Professor of Tourism and Service Management, University of St. Gallen, Secretary General, AIEST (International Association of Scientific Experts in Tourism)
Prof. Dr. Jürgen Schmude, Professor for Economic Geography and Tourism Research, Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich, President, DGT e.V.

Destinations where tourism has had particularly negative effects have been obliged to take drastic measures: Reductions in the number of visitors and private accommodation services, bans on building new hotels, the discontinuation of tourism-based advertising and countless others. What have been the effects of these measures? Pioneers from affected tourism regions will reveal recipes for success and lessons learned for people responsible for managing destinations.

Moderated by:
Dr. David Ermen, Senior Manager Hospitality & Tourism Centre of Excellence EMEA, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG

Panel guests:
Mato Franković, Mayor, Dubrovnik
Joan Torrella, Tourism Director at the City Council, City of Barcelona
Frans van der Avert, CEO, Amsterdam Marketing

The cruise market has been booming for years and is one of the most impressive success stories in tourism. The rapid growth in capacity is continuing over the next few years with the production of numerous new cruise ships. How do cruise lines successfully conquer new markets? Is the expansion still healthy and profitable? How do mainstream cruises differ from luxury cruises in terms of cost structures, customer groups, marketing, logistics and port lay times? And last but not least: How can sustainability challenges be overcome?

Moderated by:
Thomas P. Illes, Cruise Analyst, University Lecturer and Journalist

Panel guests:
Kevin Bubolz, Vice President & Managing Director, Norwegian Cruise Line Europe
Michael Zengerle, Managing Director, MSC Kreuzfahrten

In the 21st century the way people live, travel and work is changing rapidly. This dynamic is also reflected in the success of the sharing economy. Over 4 million accommodations in over 65,000 cities and 191 countries can now be booked via Airbnb. As one of the Top 3 European city destinations, Berlin’s tourism industry has been setting new records for years. How can cities use sharing concepts to meet this demand? Which underlying conditions are necessary so that everyone can benefit – the citizens, the newest residents in Berlin and the tourists? Does the sharing economy pose a challenge to the traditional tourism industry or does it actually complement tourism services and is thus a relevant business factor?

Introductory presentation:
Dirk Rogl, Research Analyst, Phocuswright

Moderated by:
Dirk Rogl, Research Analyst, Phocuswright

Panel guests:
Burkhard Kieker, Managing Director, Berlin Tourismus & Kongress GmbH visitBerlin
Alexander Schwarz, General Manager Germany, Austria & Switzerland, Airbnb

At the end of August 2018 the third aid package for Greece will expire, and for the first time in eight years the country will once again be truly independent. In this light, the Studiosus Talk examines the latest tourism boom and asks: What role does the tourism industry play in overcoming the crises, and how sustainable is the current upswing? Is the shift of tourism flows permanent? Was the touristic infrastructure able to continue development in the past eight years, and if so, to what degree? How has the boom affected the average Greek citizen, and what are the working conditions in the tourism industry? What are the roles of the conditions in Turkey and Greece’s refugee treaty with its neighbor?

Moderated by:
Tanja Samrotzki, Journalist

Panel guests:
Babis Foskolakis, General Manager, Sbokos Hotel Group
Michael Lehmann, Radio Correspondent for Greece and Cyprus, ARD
Peter Strub, Chief Operations Manager, Studiosus Reisen


As Chinese millennials are becoming the driving force for China’s outbound travel growth, how do travel brands leverage various digital platforms and mobile devices to connect with Chinese millennials? What should you spend your marketing dollars on over the next couple of years to target Chinese millennials? Listen to China’s leading internet company, airline, hotel, OTA.

Moderated by:
Joseph Wang, Chief Commercial Officer, TravelDaily

Panel guests:
Roland Elter, Chief Commercial Officer, Maritim Hotels
Françoise Houdebine, Vice President Marketing & Sales, Louvre Hotels Group
Jenna Qian, CEO Destination Marketing, International Ltd.
George Zhang, CEO, iGola

Tourism in the 21st Century: Tourism Policy Caught between Growth Strategies and Overtourism  - In Cooperation with MC Group

For decades, global tourism has been growing at significant rates. But everyone knows that exponential growth is impossible in finite spaces, the sustainability of the environment, society and infrastructure has its natural limits. In some regions, conflicts are becoming more and more apparent. What should tourism policy look like in the future to properly manage tourism growth? Which measures have already proved successful? Tourism ministers of important tourism destinations discuss sustainable strategies and solutions.

Moderated by:
Dr. David Ermen, Senior Manager Hospitality & Tourism Centre of Excellence EMEA, PricewaterhouseCoopers AG

Panel guests:
Hassan Abdulrahman Al-Ibrahim, Chief Tourism Development Officer, Qatar Tourism Authority
Hon. Lina Annab, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities, Jordan
H.E. Hon. Edmund Bartlett, MP, Minister of Tourism, Jamaica
H.E. Hon. Alphons Kannanthanam, Minister of Tourism, India
H.E. Hon. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Tourism, Albania