2024 ITB BERLIN NEWS - DAY 1 Edition

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<strong>DAY</strong><br />

1<br />

TUES<strong>DAY</strong><br />

5 MARCH<br />

<strong>2024</strong><br />

HALL 9<br />

STAND 113<br />

HALL 21<br />

STAND 214<br />

HALL 4.2<br />

STANDS 200,<br />

202 & 205<br />

HALL 3.2<br />

STAND 101<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />









DHABI<br />









MARKET”<br />

Afra Wang,<br />

COO and Co-founder,<br />

Unififi Group<br />

#31<br />

#39<br />

#24<br />



H.E. SALIM BIN<br />



Minister of Heritage & Tourism<br />

of the Sultanate of Oman

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

Morning Briefing<br />


By Deborah Rothe, Director <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

Defining the world of<br />

travel together<br />

#09 TO<strong>DAY</strong>'S<br />


#14 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>2024</strong><br />



#20 TRADE TALK<br />

Good morning and welcome to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

<strong>2024</strong>! I'm Deborah Rothe, the show's Director,<br />

and I'm thrilled to share with you today's<br />

exciting lineup of events and opportunities for<br />

learning, connecting, and exploring the future<br />

of travel.<br />

Let's start with a real highlight of the day,<br />

the <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin Convention's Future Track.<br />

Here, you'll hear from industry leaders and<br />

innovators as they discuss the latest trends<br />

and technologies shaping the travel landscape.<br />

Today's keynote, a friendly and engaging<br />

fireside chat with Glenn Fogel from Booking<br />

Holdings, is sure to offer valuable insights<br />

into the current state of the travel industry<br />

and its direction for the future. To see today's<br />

highlights turn to page 9, and for the complete<br />

programme for the Future Track conference,<br />

you can scan the QR code on page 13.<br />

But first, let's revisit yesterday's opening press<br />

conference. Moderated by Katie Gallus, we<br />

received an overview of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>'s<br />

highlights, presented by Dr Mario Tobias,<br />

CEO of Messe Berlin. H.E. Azzan bin Qassim<br />

Al Busaidi, Undersecretary of Tourism of the<br />

Ministry of Heritage and Tourism of Oman,<br />

offered an insightful look into this year's<br />

Official Host Country. Phocuswright's Charuta<br />

Fadnis shared her expertise on the global<br />

travel industry's growth, the impact of AI,<br />

and how companies are adapting to these<br />

changes, while DRV President Norbert Fiebig<br />

discussed the Germans' prevailing passion for<br />

travel.<br />

From the exhibitors' side, among our more<br />

than 5,500 exhibitors, one of the must-visit<br />

booths is of course Oman, the Official Host<br />

Country of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>. Discover this<br />

unique destination, where authentic cultural<br />

experiences, breathtaking natural landscapes,<br />

and luxurious accommodations await. Oman<br />

is also a shining example of how sustainable<br />

tourism can benefit both the environment<br />

and local communities. To learn more about<br />

Oman and its vision for the future, be sure to<br />

read the exclusive interview with H.E. Salim Al<br />

Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism for<br />

the Sultanate of Oman, on page 24.<br />

Our team is here to support you throughout<br />

your <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin journey. If you have any<br />

questions or need assistance, please don't<br />

hesitate to approach us at the <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

Information Counters or reach out through our<br />

mobile app.<br />

Thank you for joining us today, and we look<br />

forward to seeing all of you on the show floor.<br />

Let's make the most of this opportunity to<br />

learn, connect, and shape the future of travel<br />

together!<br />

#24 REGION:<br />


OMAN<br />




#51 TRANSPORT<br />

#54 WHERE TO GO IN <strong>BERLIN</strong><br />

@ Oman Convention<br />

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<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 7

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 MARCH <strong>2024</strong>:<br />

TO<strong>DAY</strong>’S HIGHLIGHTS<br />

As <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin kicks off in full force, what does today have in store in terms<br />

of educational and networking possibilities across the various stages and<br />

stands? Here's our selection of some of the must-attend highlights.<br />


11:25 - 12:15<br />

Hall 7.1a / Orange Stage<br />




Start your day off with some insight from industry<br />

leader Glenn Fogel at the Future Track in a fireside<br />

chat on leadership, innovation, and the future of<br />

travel. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn<br />

from his extensive experience and success in the<br />

travel industry.<br />


11:30 - 12:30<br />

Hall 7.1b / Blue Stage<br />





Navigate the complex world of distribution platforms<br />

at the Tour Operator & Travel Sales Track and learn<br />

how to balance between the desire for tailor-made,<br />

flexible travel experiences and the demand for<br />

convenient and comprehensive package deals.<br />


11:45 - 12:15<br />

Hall 3.1a / Green Stage<br />



Learn more about how diversity in tourism is shaping<br />

the freedom economy of the future and how you can<br />

contribute to creating a more inclusive industry.<br />


12:15 - 12:40<br />

Hall 6.1a / eTravel Stage<br />



SECTOR<br />

Check out the technology trends shaping the<br />

alternative accommodations sector at the eTravel<br />

Track and stay ahead of the curve in this rapidly<br />

growing segment of the travel industry.<br />


12:45 - 13:20<br />

Hall 7.1a / Orange Stage<br />



Join leading personalities including <strong>ITB</strong> Host Country<br />

Oman's Minister of Heritage and Tourism, HE Salim<br />

M. Almahruqi, for this Global Roundtable, and be<br />

part of the solution to the biggest challenge facing<br />

the travel industry: sustainability. How to avoid<br />

greenhouse gases when traveling? And how take<br />

responsibility for our actions? Hear about possible<br />

roadmaps for a more sustainable future for travel.<br />


14:10 - 14:45<br />

Hall 7.1a / Orange Stage<br />

GOOGLE:<br />




Don't miss Google at the Future Track to discover<br />

how GenAI is changing the digital world. Learn how<br />

this cutting-edge technology is becoming a part of<br />

our daily lives and what it means for the future of<br />

travel.<br />

13:30 - 14:15<br />

Hall 8.2 / Stand 201<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> MICE HUB<br />


<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> invites all participants from the MICE<br />

sector to an open networking event at its brand-new<br />

MICE HUB. Mingle with potential partners in the<br />

Meetings and Incentives segment, before checking<br />

out the MICE related conference sessions.<br />


14:30 - 15:00<br />

Hall 3.1a / Green Stage<br />


Unlock the secrets of engagement at the MICE Track<br />

and find out how to create unforgettable events that<br />

captivate audiences and keep them coming back for<br />

more.<br />


15:00 - 15:45<br />

Hall 7.1a / Blue Stage<br />




Discover how airline technology is shaping the future<br />

of travel distribution at the Carrier & Cruise Track. Get<br />

up to speed on NDC & ONE Order and how they are<br />

driving innovation in the industry.<br />


16:20 - 16:40<br />

Hall 6.1a / eTravel Stage<br />





Listen to this comprehensive analysis of distribution<br />

in hospitality, shining a light on where hotels are<br />

investing, what technologies are being implemented,<br />

how teams are changing, and what distribution might<br />

look like down the road.<br />

Photos: © Messe Berlin GmbH<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 9

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />


Vanuatu showcases festivities and<br />

wonders at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

A rich programme<br />

of events for Albania<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Albania is an increasingly popular<br />

destination in the international<br />

tourism arena. Last year, foreign<br />

tourist arrivals surpassed the<br />

10-million mark for the first time<br />

according to official data from the<br />

Ministry of Tourism. This represented<br />

an increase of 35% over 2022.<br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, Albania is making an<br />

impression on visitors with a rich programme<br />

allowing visitors to discover the destination.<br />

Albania is showcasing its remarkable natural,<br />

cultural, and culinary diversity through the<br />

presentation of seven main destinations on the<br />

stand.<br />

In addition to business appointments with<br />

26 tour operators, visitors can also indulge in<br />

traditional Albanian drinks reimagined in a<br />

contemporary fashion in order to get a taste for<br />

the culture.<br />

Albania's events serve as a platform for fruitful<br />

discussions and collaborations, with the<br />

backdrop of Albania's tourism landscape. The<br />

aim is to provide the industry with a better<br />

understanding of the destination which looks<br />

to growing its presence on the global tourism<br />

stage<br />

Hall 1.1 / Stand 214a<br />

DON’T MISS TO<strong>DAY</strong>'S EVENTS<br />


12:00p.m. Opening remarks by Mirela Kumbaro,<br />

Minister of Tourism and Environment of Albania<br />

1:30p.m. Networking Event and Happy Hour:<br />

OriginAL – A drink menu inspired by our culinary<br />

traditions<br />

3:00p.m. Albanian destinations: Touristic Durrës<br />

3:30p.m. Let’s talk about: Albania’s homegrown<br />

festivals as part of the development narrative<br />

4:00p.m. Albanian destinations: Touristic Korça<br />

5:00p.m. Albanian destinations: Touristic Vlora<br />

At this year's <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin, Vanuatu is unveiling its<br />

calendar for <strong>2024</strong>, spotlighting cultural festivities,<br />

sports competitions, and opportunities for natural<br />

exploration. This Pacific destination is celebrating<br />

its cultural diversity and picturesque landscapes,<br />

offering a range of activities catering to various<br />

interests.<br />

Travellers to Vanuatu can<br />

witness traditional dances,<br />

vibrant markets filled with crafts<br />

and foods, and sports events<br />

that showcase the community's<br />

dynamic spirit. The clear waters<br />

around Vanuatu offer ideal<br />

conditions for diving, allowing<br />

visitors to explore the rich<br />

marine life.<br />

In addition to these activities,<br />

Vanuatu encourages travellers<br />

to venture off the traditional<br />

tourist routes and discover<br />

hidden spots and interact with<br />

locals, allowing for a deeper<br />

understanding of Vanuatu's<br />

culture and lifestyle.<br />

Kazakhstan is presenting a wide tourism offer at<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year, from traditional gastronomy to<br />

adventure tourism.<br />

In Astana, for example, travellers<br />

can dine at the famour Qazaq<br />

Gourmet restaurant, recognised<br />

internationally and contributing<br />

to acknowledgment of Kazakh<br />

national cuisine on the global<br />

stage. This was the first place to<br />

bring Kazakh cuisine to a finedining<br />

level while keeping the<br />

authenticity of ancient recipes.<br />

A popular delight is vodka made<br />

of fermented mare's milk kumis.<br />

Kazakhstan is also a haven for<br />

adventure seekers. With its vast<br />

steppes, rugged mountains, and<br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year, Vanuatu<br />

is sharing a glimpse into the<br />

authentic experiences it offers,<br />

focusing on its unique cultural<br />

and environmental attractions.<br />

Visitors who want to find out<br />

more can stop by their stand in<br />

Hall 5.2<br />

Hall 5.2 / Stand 111<br />

Kazakhstan: Gastronomy and adventure<br />

in the spotlight at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Bozjyra kazakh<br />

Nekowiar Toka Festival<br />

serene lakes, the country offers<br />

many opportunities for outdoor<br />

activities such as hiking,<br />

trekking, skiing, and horseback<br />

riding. Whether exploring the<br />

landscapes of Altai Mountains<br />

or camping under the stars in<br />

the Charyn Canyon or Bozjyra<br />

tract, adventurers are sure<br />

to find experiences that will<br />

leave a lasting impression. The<br />

gorge Medeu is listed in the<br />

Guinness World Records as the<br />

world's highest open air skating<br />

rink, and features well-known<br />

restaurants Auyl and Tör.<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can stop<br />

by Kazakhstan's stand to find<br />

out more about all that this<br />

destination has to offer<br />

Hall 10.2 / Stand 109<br />

© Vanuatu Tourism Office<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 11

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

© Messe Berlin GmbH<br />

Unlocking the future: Google gives insight<br />

into generative AI's impact<br />

This afternoon, Dr Stefan Ebener, Head of<br />

Customer Engineering at Google, is giving a<br />

session "How GenAI is Changing the Digital<br />

World" in Hall 7.1a on the Orange Stage.<br />

This talk will explore generative AI's current impact<br />

and future potential in various industries. Google<br />

aims to demystify the technology, offering insights<br />

into its complex yet user-friendly applications.<br />

This session is essential for those interested in the<br />

intersection of AI, digitalisation, and marketing,<br />

and will provide a glimpse into the future of digital<br />

innovation from the perspective of an industry<br />

giant<br />





Today,<br />

Tuesday 5 March<br />

2:10p.m. - 2:45p.m.<br />

Future Track<br />

Hall 7.1a<br />

Orange Stage<br />

with Dr. Stefan Ebener, Head of<br />

Customer Engineering at Google<br />

For the full conference<br />

programme, scan here:<br />

Peru wows visitors at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Peru is launching its new international advertising<br />

campaign “Peru Wow” on the German-speaking<br />

market at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>. The destination is<br />

showcasing its natural and cultural diversity in the<br />

three regions of the Andes, the Pacific coast and the<br />

Amazon rainforest.<br />

Hall 23 / Stand 100<br />

© Promperu<br />

Together with 25 Peruvian<br />

suppliers, the representatives<br />

of Promperú, led by Managing<br />

Director Angélica Matsuda,<br />

is presenting a diverse range<br />

of offers from Peru, ranging<br />

from exclusive luxury products<br />

and gastronomy to cultural<br />

heritage, active experiences and<br />

sustainable encounters with the<br />

country's indigenous population.<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can taste<br />

Peruvian coffee and pisco on<br />

Peru's stand as well as discover<br />

exhibits from the north such<br />

as the Señor de Sipán. Four<br />

highlights of Peru—the Nasca<br />

Lines, Kuélap, Machupicchu and<br />

the Colca Gorge—will be brought<br />

to life with the help of virtual<br />

reality.<br />

Promperú Managing Director<br />

Angélica Matsuda emphaises<br />

that a highlight on Peru's stand<br />

will be the pisco reception<br />

on Wednesday 6th March to<br />

celebrate the launch of the "Peru<br />

Wow" campaign in Germany. In<br />

addition to exciting information<br />

about the campaign and other<br />

news from Peru, guests can<br />

look forward to typical Peruvian<br />

delicacies<br />

Wednesday<br />

6 March<br />

5:00p.m.<br />

PISCO<br />


Hall 23<br />

Stand 100<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 13

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong> opening press<br />

Insights and developments at the forefront of the global travel<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> IS<br />






CHAIN (…)<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>'s opening press conference set the stage<br />

for what promises to be an engaging and insightful event.<br />

The conference highlighted the impressive booking rate<br />

that has filled over 90% of the 150,000 square metres of<br />

display area this year, as well as the number of international<br />

exhibitors which make up 87% of the total this year.<br />

Dr Mario Tobias, CEO of Messe<br />

Berlin, opened the conference by<br />

acknowledging the significance of<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin as a vital platform for the<br />

travel industry’s diverse stakeholders:<br />

"<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin is the meeting place for<br />

the tourism industry’s entire value<br />

chain, once again underlining its<br />

global importance as a leading<br />

international trade show." He praised<br />

the "outstanding quality" of top<br />

buyers at the show, and pointed<br />

out the optimistic demand for travel<br />

juxtaposed with challenges the<br />

industry is facing such as climate<br />

change and technological changes.<br />

He was clear that the path to<br />

overcoming these challenges "can<br />

only be overcome together."<br />

Oman was in the spotlight at the<br />

opening press conference, and<br />

H.E. Azzan bin Qassim Al Busaidi,<br />

Undersecretary of Tourism of the<br />

Ministry of Heritage and Tourism<br />

of Oman, offered insights into<br />

the Official Host Country while<br />

presenting Oman’s rich cultural<br />

heritage and tourism potential. To<br />

further spark interest in this year’s<br />

host country, four musicians of the<br />

Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra<br />

presented musical highlights before<br />

and after the conference. Visitors<br />

also enjoyed a culinary treat with<br />

coffee and dates from Oman.<br />

Charuta Fadnis, Senior Vice<br />

President, Research and Product<br />

Strategy at Phocuswright,<br />

highlighted the growth taking place<br />

14 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

conference<br />

industry<br />

in the global travel industry<br />

despite economic challenges,<br />

how AI is changing the<br />

industry, and how companies<br />

are embracing it. The focus<br />

remained on sustainability, with<br />

travellers’ needs being taken<br />

into account in order to achieve<br />

sustainability goals. Norbert<br />

Fiebig, President of the German<br />

Travel Association (DRV), took<br />

a look at the latest travel trends<br />

and the economic prospects<br />

for the German travel industry<br />

in <strong>2024</strong>, underlining that<br />

despite ongoing international<br />

challenges, “Germans´ desire to<br />

travel is as strong as ever.”<br />

The diversity of the exhibition<br />

was a focal point, showcasing<br />

innovations in Mobility,<br />

Travel Technology, and<br />

Cruise segments. Over 5,500<br />

exhibitors from 170 countries<br />

are participating this year,<br />

illustrating <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin's role as<br />

a meeting place for the travel<br />

industry as a whole.<br />

Findings from the Global Travel<br />

Buyer Index survey, presented<br />

during the conference, offered<br />

insight into buying trends and<br />

the economic outlook of leading<br />

industry buyers, highlighting the<br />

sector’s mood and expectations.<br />

Launched for the first time in<br />

2023, the <strong>ITB</strong> Innovation Radar<br />

platform has expanded and is<br />

featuring 16 innovations this<br />

year including B2B services for<br />

the hospitality sector and travel<br />

professionals, new services<br />

and sustainable concepts,<br />

and a preview of tomorrow’s<br />

upcoming trends.<br />

The opening press conference<br />

outlined the agenda for <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

<strong>2024</strong>, showcasing the event as a<br />

pivotal gathering for dialogue,<br />

innovation, and collaboration<br />

in the travel industry. With an<br />

impressive roster of speakers<br />

and participants, the conference<br />

paved the way for meaningful<br />

discussions and potential<br />

solutions to the challenges<br />

facing the global travel sector<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 15

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

“We are experiencing a new vision<br />

of tourism”<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with ENIT CEO Ivana Jelinic in an exclusive<br />

interview about how Italy is adapting to travellers' new expectations<br />

Ivana Jelinic discussed the steps being taken by the tourism<br />

agency to strengthen the country's digital communication<br />

and highlighted Italy's commitment to sustainability in<br />

<strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Did the 2023 tourist season in Italy<br />

meet expectations?<br />

Italy is one of the most popular<br />

international destinations, and a<br />

long-standing favourite with its<br />

neighbouring countries, such as<br />

Germany. Around the world, Italy's<br />

charm makes it the leading market<br />

for Americans and the Chinese.<br />

Tourism in Italy is experiencing<br />

renewed vitality which is felt in the<br />

industry and the supply chain. There<br />

is a desire to experiment, to create<br />

new offerings to meet increasingly<br />

demanding customers' expectations.<br />

We are experiencing a new vision<br />

of tourism that takes into account<br />

accessibility, digitalisation, innovation,<br />

sustainability, and a new need to<br />

ensure that Italy's artistic and cultural<br />

heritage are available all year long.<br />

What are some of the dominant<br />

trends in tourists' expectations?<br />

Tourists no longer experience their<br />

holidays passively by photographing<br />

places of beauty, but want to actively<br />

immerse themselves in the social<br />

fabric of the places they visit. Trends<br />

are very much demand-driven, and<br />

the demand is made up of people<br />

around the world who influence each<br />

other on trends. The orientation is also<br />

influenced by international events,<br />

as well as ENIT's ability to make an<br />

impact on international buyers. Italy’s<br />

tourism offering is just as varied as the<br />

country’s geographical connotations.<br />

It is broken down by target group,<br />

time of year and experiences, all of<br />

which differ depending on the areas<br />

visited and the unique aspects of the<br />

locations.<br />

What strategies is ENIT adopting to<br />

promote Italy internationally as a<br />

prime destination for outdoor and<br />

nature tourism? Why is this market<br />

so strategically important now?<br />

Firstly, we have continuously analysed<br />

the outdoor sector through specific<br />

studies carried out with partners,<br />

and through our continuous dialogue<br />

with professionals at sectorspecific<br />

trade fairs and international<br />

events. On a European level, ENIT<br />

is working on projects dedicated to<br />

the development of nature trails that<br />

shine a spotlight on Italy’s unique,<br />

awe-inspiring landscapes. Given that<br />

sustainability is a growing concern in<br />

the tourism sector, ENIT is a leader in<br />

European green transition projects.<br />

With an academy and various<br />

funded programmes, it is helping<br />

drive companies to reach new green<br />

targets.<br />

What does ENIT do to encourage<br />

international tourism throughout the<br />

year?<br />

We carry out ongoing promotional<br />

initiatives, from the out-of-home<br />

type on major international websites<br />

and international transit hubs to the<br />

major media, events and trade fairs<br />

in all 5 continents. Our synergy with<br />

the institutions and the world of<br />

private stakeholders makes it possible<br />

to coordinate our operations, also<br />

thanks to constant direction and a<br />

joint observation point formed via the<br />

federal council present in ENIT.<br />

What are the main markets Italy<br />

is targeting for inbound tourism<br />

in <strong>2024</strong>? How do communication<br />

strategies differ depending on the<br />

market?<br />

The focus is on strengthening wellestablished<br />

and mature markets such<br />

as Germany and all neighbouring<br />

countries as well as on opening<br />

up to new frontiers. Meanwhile, the<br />

most promising markets are mainly<br />

emerging markets such as the Arab<br />

Emirates, South-East Asia and their<br />

user bases. Our horizon is absolutely<br />

geared towards making Italy a target<br />

destination for tourists from parts of<br />

the world that were interested in other<br />

markets until now. With China we have<br />

actively resumed our joint activities,<br />

especially through multiple digital and<br />

technological initiatives and tours for<br />

Chinese influencers. For several years<br />

now, ENIT has been implementing<br />

digital marketing activities, placing<br />

Italy in pole position in the Chinese<br />

online ecosystem<br />

16 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

Italy at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Hall 1.2 / Stands 107 – 107 A – 107 B – 107 C<br />

TUES<strong>DAY</strong>, 5 MARCH<br />

ENIT Hall 1.2 / Stand 107<br />

12:00p.m. - 1:00p.m.<br />


Speakers:<br />

Daniela Garnero Santanchè, Minister of Tourism<br />

Alessandra Priante, ENIT President<br />

Ivana Jelinic, ENIT CEO<br />

Armando Varricchio, Italian Ambassador in Berlin<br />

Stefano Bonaccini, President Emilia Romagna Region<br />

TBC<br />

Luca Zaia, President Veneto Region TB<br />

Moderation: Alexander Mazza<br />

1:00p.m. - 2:00p.m.<br />




2:00p.m. - 2:30p.m.<br />



<strong>2024</strong><br />

Speakers:<br />

Stefano Bonaccini, President of Emilia-Romagna<br />

Region<br />

Andrea Corsini, Councillor for Mobility and Transport,<br />

Infrastructure, Tourism, Trade<br />

3:00p.m. - 3.30p.m.<br />



Speakers:<br />

Salvatore Micone, Councillor for Culture, sport, tourism<br />

and traditions, territorial marketing and mountain<br />

development<br />

Angela Aufiero, Regional Councillor for Tourism and<br />

Culture<br />

4:00p.m. - 5:00p.m.<br />



Followed by an aperitif reception<br />

Speaker:<br />

Marcella Di Feo, APT Basilicata International Marketing<br />

WEDNES<strong>DAY</strong>, 6 MARCH<br />

ENIT Hall 1.2 / Stand 107<br />

10:30a.m. - 11:00a.m.<br />




Speakers:<br />

Francesco Tapinassi, Director Toscana Promozione<br />

Leila Pruneti, Toscana Promozione<br />

Clara Svanera, Cultural Tourism Coordinator for<br />

Toscana Promozione<br />

Mariangela Dal Fovo, MFA Coordinator for Tuscany for<br />

the Turismo delle Radici (Roots Tourism) project<br />

Pasquale Iervolino, President Tuscan Roots for Turismo<br />

delle Radici<br />

11:30a.m. - 12.00p.m.<br />



Speaker:<br />

Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor<br />

Augusto Sartori, Councillor for Labour and Active<br />

Employment Policies, Transport, Relations with Trade<br />

Unions, Tourism, Tourism Fairs and Major Events<br />

12:00p.m.-1:00p.m.<br />




Followed by an aperitif reception<br />

Speakers:<br />

Pierfrancesco Carino, VP International Sales<br />

Carla Catuogno, Regional Manager Europe<br />

Rodney Cali, Country Manager Germany, Austria,<br />

Poland & Czech Republic<br />

2:00p.m. - 2:30p.m.<br />





Speakers:<br />

Rodolfo Ziberna, Mayor of Gorizia<br />

Samo Turel, Mayor of Nova Gorica<br />

Moderation: Barbara Gruden<br />

2:30p.m. - 3:00p.m.<br />



Speakers:<br />

Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor<br />

Elena Palazzo, Councillor for Tourism<br />

Daniele Sabatini, Regional Councillor<br />

Mario L. Crea, President of the Regional Tourism<br />

Commission<br />

Paolo Giuntarelli, Director of Presidency Affairs,<br />

Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport<br />

Massimo Mecarini, President of the Sodalizio dei<br />

Facchini della Macchina di Santa Rosa<br />

Raffaele Ascenzi, Designer of the Macchina di Santa<br />

Rosa<br />

3:00p.m.- 3.30p.m.<br />



Speaker:<br />

Hon. Elvira Amata, Councillor for Tourism, Sport and<br />

Entertainment of the Sicilian Region<br />

3.30p.m. - 4:00p.m.<br />



Speakers:<br />

Elena Palazzo, Councillor for Tourism, Environment,<br />

Sport, Climate Change, Energy Transition, Sustainability<br />

Daniele Sabatini, Regional Councillor<br />

Mario Luciano Crea, President of the Regional<br />

Commission for Tourism<br />

Sandro Pappalardo, ENIT Councillor<br />

Paolo Giuntarelli, Director of Presidency Affairs,<br />

Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport<br />

Roberto Battista, Director of Presidency Affairs,<br />

Tourism, Cinema, Audiovisual and Sport<br />

4:00p.m.- 5:00p.m.<br />


EXPERIENCE YOU DON'T EXPECT. IN <strong>2024</strong> ALSO<br />


Followed by regional wine tasting<br />

Speakers:<br />

Video message from Vittoria Poggio, Piemonte Region<br />

Councillor for Tourism and Marco Protopapa, Piemonte<br />

Region Councillor for Agriculture<br />

Mario Arosio, President of the "European City of Wine<br />

<strong>2024</strong>" Committee<br />

Federico Riboldi, Mayor of Casale Monferrato<br />

Sara Olivieri, Councillor for Commerce of the City of<br />

Ovada<br />

Paolo Lantero, Mayor of the City of Ovada<br />

THURS<strong>DAY</strong>, 7 MARCH<br />

ENIT Hall 1.2 / Stand 107<br />

11:00a.m. - 11:30a.m.<br />



Speakers:<br />

Raffaella Iarrapino, Project Manager Italcares,<br />

Federterme<br />

Maria Elena Rossi, Global Marketing Director ENIT<br />

12:00p.m. - 12:30p.m.<br />


VENICE: VENICE <strong>2024</strong><br />

Speaker:<br />

Luca Stevanato, Digital Marketing Manager Vela SpA<br />

12.30p.m. - 1:00p.m.<br />


GERACE!<br />

Followed by a tasting of typical products<br />

Speakers:<br />

Cosimo Caridi, Calabria Region Executive<br />

Salvatore Galluzzo, Mayor of Gerace<br />

Loredana Panetta, Head of Tourism and Culture<br />

Municipality of Gerace<br />

Roberto Quatraccione, Communication and Marketing<br />

Expert<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 17

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />


Get to know Taiwan better over a cup<br />

of tea at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Taiwan Tourism Administration is bringing its traditional<br />

tea culture to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year as an invitation to the<br />

European travel industry.<br />

Over the three days of the<br />

travel show, numerous cultural<br />

performance groups are<br />

showcasing the beauty of Taiwan<br />

on the world stage, and inviting<br />

global travellers to come and<br />

discover this destination. Visitors<br />

should take advantage of Taiwan<br />

Tourism's <strong>ITB</strong> Happy Hour<br />

Networking Event at the stand on<br />

5 March, to make new contacts, get<br />

the latest information about Taiwan<br />

and meet with various incoming<br />

agencies, airlines and hotels.<br />

Among Taiwan's latest promotions,<br />

the island is highlighting:<br />

FREE HALF-<strong>DAY</strong><br />


Transit and transfer passengers<br />

with 7 to 24-hour layovers before<br />

their next flight can sign up<br />

online to enjoy a free guided tour<br />

showcasing Taiwan's cultural and<br />

urban heritage covering Taipei,<br />

Taoyuan, and New Taipei City.<br />

Alternatively they have the option<br />

of using public transportation and<br />

explore the island on their own.<br />


The Taiwan Pass is a flexible travel<br />

itinerary within 7 days. It includes<br />

an unlimited 3-day pass for Taiwan<br />

High-Speed Rail, a choice of one<br />

MRT network (Taipei, Kaohsiung,<br />

Taichung and Taoyuan) and one<br />

Taiwan Tourist Shuttle Pass.<br />



Future visitors to Taiwan can<br />

register for the “The Lucky Land”<br />

incentive and stand a chance to<br />

win the draw upon arrival in Taiwan.<br />

The campaign is valid until June<br />

30, 2025 and visitors can register<br />

up to 7 days in advance before<br />

travelling to the island. Winners can<br />

pick a preferred travel incentive:<br />

EasyCard, iPass or accommodation<br />

vouchers, and can complete the<br />

lucky draw at the Lucky Land<br />

counter at the airport's arrivals<br />

Hall 26 / Stand 122<br />

TAIWAN<br />



EVENT<br />

Tuesday 5 March<br />

from 5.00p.m.<br />

Hall 26<br />

Stand 122<br />

© mwalker<br />

QANTAS<br />





<strong>2024</strong><br />

Western Australia and its capital Perth<br />

will soon be a step closer to Europe. A<br />

new non-stop flight between Paris and<br />

Perth will take off on July 12 with Qantas.<br />

The 17-hour flight will operate four days a<br />

week during the European summer (and<br />

the Paris Olympics) on Qantas’ Boeing<br />

787 Dreamliner aircraft. Services will then<br />

move to three times a week from mid-<br />

August <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

The route will also provide connections<br />

for more than 70 destinations across the<br />

region, including Athens, Barcelona and<br />

Frankfurt. On the Perth side, European<br />

travellers will gain access to the rest of<br />

Australia<br />

Hall 5.2 / Stand 121<br />

18 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com

I <strong>NEWS</strong> I<br />

Click A Tree: "A full circle of education<br />

and biological benefits" in the Philippines<br />

Since last year, <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News has partnered with Click A<br />

Tree as part of its journey to becoming carbon neutral. This<br />

year, <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News will plant an additional 1,300 trees<br />

through the organisation.<br />

Click A Tree is involved in several<br />

meaningful sustainability projects,<br />

including planting trees, collecting<br />

plastic from the sea, creating<br />

educational opportunities, promoting<br />

opportunities for women, binding<br />

CO 2<br />

, protecting biodiversity, CSR and<br />

ESG projects.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with Chris<br />

Kaiser, Founder and CEO of Click<br />

A Tree, who described his recent<br />

experience in the Philippines<br />

witnessing the impact of Click A<br />

Tree's tree planting and plastic<br />

collecting and recycling activities<br />

firsthand.<br />

One of Chris' first impressions in<br />

the Philippines was how happy<br />

everyone was with the project locally,<br />

and how they could see the direct<br />

impact on jobs, education and the<br />

environment. He described how<br />

planting mangroves helps tackle<br />

the issue of deforestation on the<br />

coast, which means protecting the<br />

land from erosion and freak waves.<br />

The mangrove roots in turn provide<br />

a habitat and protection for small<br />

fish, mussels and crabs, which Chris<br />

said were really bouncing back from<br />

previous depletion. These small<br />

fish, mussels and crabs also use the<br />

mangrove roots to hide, meaning<br />

that they are protected from bigger<br />

predators and can reach maturity and<br />

continue to expand the population.<br />

This in turn is good for birds and the<br />

overall biodiversity of the area, which<br />

of course benefits the local fishermen.<br />

Chris Kaiser emphasised that the<br />

benefits of planting trees goes<br />

beyond the direct CO 2<br />

absorption,<br />

and also creates a virtuous cycle of<br />

more jobs, greater biodiversity, and<br />

increased education<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 19


Travel is back,<br />

Philippe Garnier,<br />

encourages the<br />

WPW Performance Consulting<br />

specialises in hotel distribution,<br />

luxury sales and travel<br />

technology. Prior To WPW<br />

Performance Consulting,<br />

Philippe Garnier was IHG’s<br />

VP Third Party Distribution<br />

from 2018 to 2022, and he has<br />

been working in the hotel and<br />

hospitality industry since 2003.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with him<br />

in an exclusive interview about<br />

his impressions of the industry<br />

at the moment as well as his<br />

predictions for the future.<br />

Philippe Garnier<br />

Founder of WPW Performance Consulting<br />










20 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com


but not the same as before<br />

Founder of WPW Performance Consulting,<br />

travel industry to stop comparing itself to 2019<br />

Do you think travel is back<br />

to where it was before the<br />

pandemic?<br />

Focusing on hotels, you could<br />

say that business has changed in<br />

three main ways: Firstly, the three<br />

traditional segments (business,<br />

leisure and groups) have evolved<br />

both in their nature and in their<br />

relative importance in the business<br />

mix. Secondly, ancillary revenue<br />

streams are growing, and hotels<br />

are not always well equipped to<br />

deliver on them. Finally, technology<br />

development is essential, however<br />

at a time when margins are under<br />

pressure, it is hard to finance<br />

technology and to implement it<br />

while minimising disruption to your<br />

existing business.<br />

What has changed in terms<br />

of business segments in the<br />

industry?<br />

One of the consequences of the<br />

pandemic has been a surge of<br />

leisure travel and a change in<br />

working patterns. Even though<br />

many businesses try to get staff<br />

back in offices, it seems that<br />

most employees who can prefer<br />

a blend of working at home and<br />

working in an office. In turn, this<br />

has an impact on business travel:<br />

companies’ travel budgets have<br />

durably been cut, which accounts<br />

for fewer business trips. Travellers<br />

who blend work from office and<br />

work from home have created a<br />

new category "work from hotel"<br />

or "bleisure" where a business trip<br />

can be extended for a few days<br />

to enjoy the destination and work<br />

from there. On the groups side, an<br />

exciting development is that many<br />

hotel brands are on the verge of<br />

enabling guests to book group<br />

bedrooms as well as meeting<br />

rooms online.<br />

Is it hard to capture ancillary<br />

revenue?<br />

If guests blend business and<br />

leisure during a hotel stay, chances<br />

are that they will be more receptive<br />

to additional services such as<br />

spa, golf, excursions etc. However,<br />

hotels occasionally find it diff icult<br />

to deliver; hotels have struggled<br />

to hire back to full staffing levels<br />

which may result in some services<br />

not being available. Furthermore,<br />

some of the ancillary services may<br />

not be directly controlled by the<br />

hotel but rather managed by a third<br />

party. Lastly, there is complexity in<br />

integrating the booking capability<br />

of ancillary services with some<br />

hotel property management<br />

systems or central reservation<br />

systems.<br />

Can hotels use technology to<br />

innovate faster?<br />

As a hotel chain CIO, you typically<br />

have two objectives. The first<br />

is to maintain your existing<br />

infrastructure in a stable condition<br />

so it can support your business<br />

without interruption; one of the<br />

best ways to do this would be<br />

to never innovate! The second<br />

objective is to innovate and<br />

implement new functionalities to<br />

keep a competitive edge.<br />

One of the best ways to do this<br />

would be not to be encumbered by<br />

legacy systems! With constrained<br />

resources in staff and budgets,<br />

it takes an incredible amount<br />

of discipline to successfully<br />

implement technology projects,<br />

especially when everyone is<br />

already thinking of the next big<br />

thing such as AI.<br />

As much as it’s easy to agree<br />

that AI will have an impact on the<br />

hotel business, it is hard to tell<br />

what this will be. Seven years<br />

ago, many were convinced that<br />

voice assistants such as Alexa<br />

would be the preferred medium<br />

to book travel, and yet this hasn’t<br />

happened.<br />

Are you confident about the<br />

future?<br />

The world is complex in <strong>2024</strong> and<br />

it is easy to find reasons to be<br />

concerned about the future. That<br />

said, I am truly impressed at the<br />

resourcefulness and innovations of<br />

all the players I interact with. The<br />

travel industry remains one of the<br />

world’s largest employers and all<br />

of us who are lucky enough to be<br />

involved in it should contribute to<br />

its growth and sustainability<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> IS<br />





THINGS<br />

Philippe Garnier did not hold back in his<br />

enthusiasm for <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin, praising both<br />

the show's size and diverse scope. He<br />

emphasised that one of the highlights is "to<br />

engage with existing and former colleagues<br />

and hear updates on their lives and their<br />

businesses", maintaining that this is not only<br />

pleasant and productive, but also essential<br />

for the industry's international community:<br />

"This makes us feel connected and<br />

reinforces our sense of belonging."<br />

The advantage to a show like <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

with its wide range of destinations is that<br />

even as an industry professional, there is<br />

always something new to learn about<br />

and spark your curiosity. Philippe Garnier<br />

suggested everyone should stop at a stand<br />

representing a business or region they are<br />

not familiar with. Even if doesn't seem like<br />

an immediate business opportunity, genuine<br />

curiosity is often rewarded in ways that are<br />

hard to predict. He cited a chance encounter<br />

he made in 2008 which led to a sustained<br />

business and long-lasting friendship: "We<br />

were faced with a business and technology<br />

problem we could not solve. A small startup<br />

came to our booth, we gave them a chance,<br />

our business problem was addressed, and<br />

this contract helped the company get to<br />

the scale of their ambitions. This is why I’m<br />

convinced that being curious, open minded<br />

and willing to learn is personally fulfilling but<br />

that it also leads to good business. Isn’t this<br />

what <strong>ITB</strong> is all about?"<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 21


“Data is massive and<br />

growing exponentially”<br />

According to Goran Mrvoš, CEO of INFOSIT,<br />

technology and digital solutions in travel and tourism<br />

have played a major role in the success of the<br />

industry over the last decades, and will help power<br />

future growth<br />

Goran Mrvoš<br />


<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke to the CEO in an exclusive interview<br />

about the continued role of technology in the industry,<br />

as well as the trends and innovations to expect looking<br />

forward.<br />

What would you say is the place of<br />

technology and digital solutions<br />

in the travel and tourism industry<br />

today?<br />

If you look at any aspect of travel<br />

business today, it is intertwined with<br />

technology: operations and efficiency,<br />

sales and marketing, management<br />

of companies and destinations.<br />

From smooth online bookings and<br />

smart locks to payroll management,<br />

you cannot do it without technology.<br />

Digitalisation will keep opening up<br />

opportunities, but the key question is<br />

which ones to focus on.<br />

If you’ve been supplying software to<br />

hospitality companies for 21 years, like<br />

us, you need to deeply understand<br />

their business goals and operations<br />

—it is about much more than<br />

programming.<br />

What are some of the ways digital<br />

solutions can help companies in the<br />

travel and hospitality industry optimise<br />

their processes and offer customers a<br />

more bespoke experience?<br />

Possibilities seem endless—from<br />

the orchestration of communication<br />

across touchpoints to augmented<br />

reality experiences, and convenience<br />

in how travellers buy and manage their<br />

trips. We know that the personalisation<br />

of services and experiences is at the<br />

centre of travellers’ satisfaction. Digital<br />

solutions can help with that. Software<br />

has solved important aspects of loyalty<br />

challenges. Infosit DXP, for example,<br />

is a central platform underlying<br />

direct online sales and marketing of<br />

hospitality companies that need to<br />

optimise the delivery of experience<br />

on multiple digital touchpoints. It<br />

integrates booking engines, CRM, ERP,<br />

MarTech, and other systems. Through<br />

integration, it provides unique loyalty<br />

solutions, and powers content delivery<br />

across channels and devices—from<br />

websites and campaign landing pages<br />

to TV sets in rooms and info-screens<br />

in lobbies.<br />

Of course, digital solutions allow<br />

companies to automate things, to<br />

get more visibility and transparency,<br />

to be more efficient. At the core<br />

operations level, it is often about<br />

digitising a specific need or process<br />

and integrating it with other systems<br />

in a smart way. This can go a long<br />

way towards improving efficiency and<br />

reducing costs.<br />








A LONG WAY<br />





What role do data-driven analytics<br />

play in developing adapted digital<br />

solutions that help encourage<br />

consumer engagement and loyalty?<br />

Data is massive and growing<br />

exponentially. I think the industry<br />

has been successful in collecting it.<br />

Now, whether we’ve been equally<br />

successful in orchestrating it, and<br />

using it to improve engagement and<br />

loyalty, is another question. Again,<br />

companies need solutions that make<br />

sense in their specific circumstances.<br />

First you need to discover what you<br />

are trying to solve. Then you can build<br />

a solution that will address exactly that.<br />

The success of an implementation is<br />

measured by business outcomes<br />

TRAVEL<br />


TRENDS:<br />

WHAT'S<br />

NEXT?<br />

When asked about his<br />

expectations for travel<br />

technology trends moving<br />

forward, Goran Mrvoš stated<br />

that there was likely to be a<br />

number of innovations based on<br />

generative AI, given its popularity<br />

with the industry and investors.<br />

He underlined however that not<br />

every innovation would represent<br />

the next tech revolution: "Some<br />

will be successful, some will not<br />

be. That’s where the investment<br />

and activity is focused right now."<br />

The INFOSIT CEO also<br />

highlighted the importance of<br />

near-shoring given the current<br />

geopolitical circumstances:<br />

"Concerns over data protection<br />

and security are growing, and<br />

partners delivering critical<br />

software solutions are under<br />

more scrutiny." He maintained<br />

that these concerns would<br />

continue to shape the digital<br />

ecosystem in the hospitality<br />

industry in the coming years<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 23


H.E. Salim bin<br />

Mohammed<br />

Al Mahrouqi<br />

Minister of Heritage and<br />

Tourism of the Sultanate<br />

of Oman<br />

“Oman’s unique hospitality is often regarded<br />

as one of our national characteristics”<br />

Oman boasts an impressive history spanning 5,000 years as well as diverse landscapes<br />

and opportunities to explore nature. H.E. Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi, Minister<br />

of Heritage and Tourism for the Sultanate of Oman, spoke with <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin news in an<br />

exclusive interview about the country's developing touri sm market.<br />








HAVE.<br />

Oman boasts an impressive history spanning 5,000 years as<br />

well as diverse landscapes and opportunities to explore nature.<br />

H.E. Salim Al Mahrouqi, Minister of Heritage and Tourism for the<br />

Sultanate of Oman, spoke with <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin news in an exclusive<br />

interview about the country's developing tourism market.<br />

How did Oman tourism and travel<br />

perform in 2023?<br />

In total, four million tourists arrived in<br />

Oman in 2023, up from 2.9 million in<br />

2022, a rise of 37.9%. Thanks to Oman’s<br />

diverse natural terrain and growing<br />

number of attractions, domestic<br />

tourism remained strong last year.<br />

Adventure, eco and luxury tourism<br />

enjoyed particular success and are<br />

expected to continue to grow as a result<br />

of substantial investment in projects<br />

such as the Mandarin Oriental Hotel and<br />

Apartments, The Chedi in the Eastern<br />

24 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com


I<br />

Musandam<br />

@ Oman Convention<br />

Part of Oman, Al Jebal Al Akhdar Adventure<br />

Resort, the Janain Salalah agritourism<br />

project, the St Regis Al Mouj Muscat Resort<br />

and the recently announced Bandar Al<br />

Khairan Anantara Resort.<br />

Muscat’s Port Sultan Qaboos, Port of<br />

Salalah and Port of Khasab welcomed over<br />

248,000 passengers from 142 cruise ships in<br />

2023. This represented a year-on-year rise<br />

of 66.4% in terms of passengers and 91.8%<br />

in terms of ships.<br />

Oman is this year’s official <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin Host<br />

Country. What are you highlighting at the<br />

show?<br />

We will be highlighting Oman’s unique,<br />

and may I say renowned, hospitality which<br />

is often regarded as one of our national<br />

characteristics. It is something that<br />

expresses itself in the heartfelt warmth<br />

visitors receive and in the genuine curiosity<br />

everyone has to learn more about the<br />

cultures of those who come to our shores.<br />

We will be making sure <strong>ITB</strong> attendees get a<br />

taste of this hospitality for themselves as we<br />

shine a light on our traditions with a variety<br />

of events.<br />

What are the fastest growing segments in<br />

the travel and tourism industry in Oman?<br />

Our outdoor segment is growing very fast.<br />

The Sultanate of Oman has so much to offer<br />

in this regard—from hiking in the beautiful<br />

Al Hajar Mountains and canyoning in one of<br />

our 60 wadis to snorkelling and diving along<br />

our stunning coastline, much of which is<br />

practically untouched.<br />

What are the most important inbound<br />

markets? Which markets are you targeting<br />

specifically for growth?<br />

The GCC states, India and Germany are our<br />

top three inbound markets. The GCC with<br />

1.6 million visitors in 2023 made up 40%<br />

of all our visitors. This was followed by<br />

610,000 from India, up 71% on 2022, and<br />

231,000 from Germany, up 182%. Looking at<br />

Europe specifically, Germany, UK and Italy<br />

are the strongest countries for us.<br />

While our biggest growth market in 2023<br />

was China, with a 273% rise on the year, we<br />

see a lot of potential for growth from Russia,<br />

Switzerland, Poland and Scandinavia.<br />

Are there any particular events which<br />

travellers can look forward to in <strong>2024</strong>?<br />

We have a full and varied calendar of events<br />

throughout the year. For instance, there<br />

are the fabulous musical performances<br />

at the Royal Opera House Muscat while<br />

on the sporting side, there are lots of<br />

exciting competitions for runners and<br />

triathletes. The Omani coastal town of Sur<br />

is the Arab Tourism Capital <strong>2024</strong>. We are<br />

thrilled to have this outstanding chance to<br />

showcase our rich heritage.<br />

Looking to the future. What is your longterm<br />

vision and what are some of the key<br />

challenges that you foresee? What is your<br />

plan to overcome these challenges?<br />

We have ambitious plans in place, with<br />

over €4 billion of investment funnelled into<br />

projects. These range from the construction<br />

of integrated tourism complexes and luxury<br />

resorts – places like the Envi Al Jabal Al<br />

Akhdar Ecolodge, Yiti’s Nikki Beach Resort<br />

and Spa and the Four Sesons Muscat<br />

at Marina Bandar Al Rowdha – to the<br />

preservation of heritage sites and historical<br />

monuments.<br />

I would like to emphasise that when we<br />

make plans for tourism development, we<br />

are fully committed to sustainable practices<br />

and as all this takes shape, we are mindful<br />

of the responsibility we have<br />


AT <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong><br />

The Sultanate of Oman will have a strong presence over<br />

all three days of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin, with a number of exciting<br />

conferences and events. In addition to a stand of around<br />

800 square metres in hall 2.2, the official host country will<br />

also have a presence in the Youth Travel and Economy<br />

Accommodation and Adventure Travel and Responsible<br />

Tourism segments in hall 4.1.<br />

TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 MARCH<br />

The official opening tour of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin will take place<br />

this morning on the host country's stand in hall 2.2 with<br />

a ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the Minister of<br />

Heritage and Tourism of Oman, the Governing Mayor of<br />

Berlin, the Secretary-General of UN Tourism and the CEO<br />

of Messe Berlin.<br />

12.45p.m. / PANEL DISCUSSION<br />

"How do we achieve NetZero in tourism?"<br />

Featuring H.E. Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi<br />

Location: Lighthouse Stage<br />

2.45p.m.<br />

"Omani Adventure Tourism - Experience the Journey<br />

of Discovery and Self-Actualisation"<br />

With the participation of Destination Management<br />

Companies (DMCs) from Oman<br />

Location: Lighthouse Stage<br />

WEDNES<strong>DAY</strong> 6 MARCH<br />

10:40a.m.<br />

"Re-Defining Visitor Experience: It is all About<br />

Authenticity"<br />

H.E. Salim bin Mohammed Al Mahrouqi<br />

Location: Destination Track - Hall 7.1, Blue Stage<br />

The Royal Oman Symphony Orchestra concert<br />

Philharmonie Berlin at 8 p.m. (tickets must be purchased)<br />

Under the direction of Hamdan Al Shuaili<br />

THURS<strong>DAY</strong> 7 MARCH<br />

10:30a.m.<br />

"The Role of Gastronomy in Community<br />

Empowerment:<br />

Lessons from Oman"<br />

Location: Hall 5.3, Hybrid Stage<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 201 & 205 Hall 4.1 / Stand 200<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 25



Reimagined Elegance: The Chedi<br />

Muscat Launches New Serai Rooms<br />

@ Visit Oman<br />

The Chedi Muscat, one of the<br />

Omani capital's flagship hotels, has<br />

launched newly renovated rooms in<br />

the Serai Wing of the resort to elevate<br />

the guest experience. According<br />

to the resort, it prioritised valuable<br />

guest feedback in this project in<br />

order to create 61 redesigned rooms<br />

that embody the hotel’s signature<br />

fusion of elegant, traditional Asianstyle<br />

and Omani architecture.<br />

The Serai rooms now include a wider<br />

mini bar offering, and feature kingsized<br />

beds with interconnecting and<br />

twin-room options, making them<br />

an ideal haven for family holidays.<br />

Since its opening, The Chedi Muscat<br />

has established itself as a leader in<br />

global hospitality, earning a number<br />

of awards such as the most recent<br />

Condé Nast Traveller Readers’<br />

Choice Award as one of the Middle<br />

East’s Top Hotels and being named<br />

Oman’s Leading Luxury Resort<br />

in 2023. The resort has also been<br />

recognised by Travel + Leisure in its<br />

<strong>2024</strong> World’s Best Awards<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stands 201 & 205<br />

Oman's heritage and<br />

hospitality just a click away<br />

with Visit Oman gateway<br />

Discover the magic of<br />

the Royal Opera House Muscat<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

The Royal Opera House Muscat<br />

(ROHM) plays a pioneering role<br />

in bringing the best of world-class<br />

international performances to Oman.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin visitors can discover the<br />

programme of this unique institution<br />

on Oman's stand, where ROHM is<br />

a co-exhibitor. Performances at the<br />

ROHM include Turandot, staged by<br />

Franco Zeffirelli, world premieres of<br />

Lakmé, the Magic Flute (I Barrochisti<br />

Orchestra) and Verdi’s Rigoletto,<br />

Deutsche Opera Berlin’s Hansel und<br />

Gretel and Britten’s A Midsummer<br />

Night’s Dream.<br />

For travellers wanting to take a look<br />

behind the scenes, the Royal Opera<br />

House Muscat is a destination in<br />

its own right and its permanent<br />

exhibition and gallery of antique<br />

music instruments are open for<br />

visits<br />

@ Khalid Al-Busaidi, ROHM<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 201<br />

@ Khalid Al-Busaidi, ROHM<br />

As the Official Host Country of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, Oman<br />

invites visitors to discover its landscapes, rich heritage, and<br />

genuine hospitality through its innovative, fully integrated<br />

booking gateway - Visit Oman. This user-friendly website<br />

offers a one-stop solution for travel agents and travellers<br />

eager to explore this thriving destination.<br />

With IATA accreditation, over 60<br />

airlines, 200 suppliers and a full<br />

suite of services available, Visit<br />

Oman seamlessly connects the<br />

entire Omani travel supply chain –<br />

flights, accommodation, transfers,<br />

tour operators, experiences, and<br />

more.<br />

Through strategic partnerships with<br />

key source markets and Omani<br />

suppliers, Visit Oman provides<br />

a trustworthy and high-quality<br />

service, with simplicity at its core,<br />

connecting tourists and travel trade<br />

partners from all around the world<br />

with trusted local tourism providers<br />

in Oman<br />

booking, and connecting make<br />

operations more efficient. The<br />

gateway offers a number of tailored<br />

services for travel agencies, who<br />

can for example buy set packages,<br />

or create their own package to<br />

match the needs of their customers,<br />

thanks to the platform's dynamic<br />

packaging function.<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can test the<br />

Visit Oman platform firsthand,<br />

as tablets will be available for<br />

demonstrations on the Oman stand.<br />

The platform makes it easier than<br />

ever to plan a trip to Oman with<br />

trusted and vetted suppliers<br />

Potential business partners gain<br />

access to a wide array of Omani<br />

experiences and partners and the<br />

streamlined processes for listing,<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 201 & 205<br />

Hall 4.1 / Stand 200<br />

26 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com


The Middle East's tourism gems shine<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Destinations from the Middle East are making<br />

a significant impact at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, further<br />

expanding on their strong representation from<br />

previous years. This year, they are showcasing rich<br />

cultural experiences and diverse tourism offerings,<br />

with a notable presence in several halls of the<br />

exhibition.<br />

Hall 2.2 is a focal point for the<br />

Middle East at the show, with<br />

Oman, the Official Host Country<br />

of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, notably<br />

doubling its display area to<br />

800 square meters compared<br />

to last year, underlining its<br />

commitment to the tourism<br />

industry. Oman's presence is<br />

not only significant in terms of<br />

size but also in the diversity of<br />

its offer, with an additional stand<br />

in the Adventure Travel segment<br />

located in Hall 4.1, showcasing<br />

the country's unique blend of<br />

natural beauty and adventure<br />

tourism opportunities.<br />

Bahrain and the United Arab<br />

Emirates (UAE) are also strongly<br />

represented, reflecting their<br />

ongoing desire to promote their<br />

tourism sectors on the global<br />

stage. The UAE, in particular,<br />

Bahrain: A string of musical<br />

events in <strong>2024</strong><br />

Whether you are a fan of jazz, hard rock or traditional<br />

singers such as Mohammed Abdu and Khalid Al<br />

Shaikh, Bahrain has musical events for every taste<br />

coming up this year.<br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, Bahrain is<br />

showcasing its cultural and<br />

sports events as an integral<br />

part of its tourism offer. While<br />

the kingdom is known for its<br />

sporting events like the Bahrain<br />

Grand Prix, music is also very<br />

much in the spotlight, with many<br />

concerts and festivals taking<br />

place throughout the year. The<br />

Kingdom will host two of the<br />

region's most famous singers,<br />

is making a notable return with<br />

the participation of Emirates<br />

airline, signifying the pivotal role<br />

that air connectivity plays in the<br />

region's tourism growth.<br />

In Hall 4.2, the largest exhibitor<br />

is Saudi, demonstrating its<br />

vast and ambitious tourism<br />

projects and cultural heritage.<br />

Jordan and Qatar also have a<br />

significant presence this year,<br />

with Qatar Airways securing a<br />

spot in the hall<br />

Hall 2.2 / Hall 4.1 / Hall 4.2<br />

Saudi Mohammed Abdu and<br />

Bahraini Khalid Al Shaikh on<br />

April 19, <strong>2024</strong>, bringing a unique<br />

blend of exceptional musical<br />

performances and captivating<br />

melodies to the Al Dana<br />

Amphitheatre.<br />

On April 26, Bahrain will hold its<br />

biggest national music festival,<br />

the Bahrain Jazz Fest, which<br />

brings together jazz musicians<br />

from around the world and<br />

Bahrain. Since its inception in<br />

2017, the festival has seen more<br />

than 30,000 visitors over the<br />

last 6 years enjoying over 30<br />

international and local artists.<br />

The <strong>2024</strong> edition of the Bahrain<br />

Jazz Fest will be held at the<br />

Royal Golf Club<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 202<br />

© Messe Berlin GmbH<br />

Camels on the beach, Salalah, Dhofar Â<br />




The Middle East was one of the best<br />

performing regions in world tourism<br />

in 2023, according to UN Tourism's<br />

annual barometer. With 87.1 million<br />

international tourists, numbers were<br />

up by 22% over 2019.<br />

The Middle East's wave of new tourism projects,<br />

numerous marketing campaigns and continuous<br />

expansion of air connections appear to have paid<br />

off in 2023 as the region welcomed 87.1 million<br />

international travellers. Several destinations<br />

enjoyed exceptional results, among which Qatar<br />

(+90%) and Saudi Arabia (+56%) recorded<br />

some of the highest growth rates in tourist<br />

arrivals in the world. Qatar was actually the<br />

world champion in the growth of international<br />

tourist arrivals. The Emirate welcomed over<br />

4 million travellers, its highest performance in<br />

5 years.<br />

The opening up of Saudi also bore fruit. The<br />

destination received 100 million visits in<br />

2023, including 27 million international visits,<br />

marking Saudi's emergence as a global tourism<br />

powerhouse.<br />

Dubai, another strong performer in the<br />

Middle-East, recorded 19% more international<br />

travellers in 2023. The Emirate saw 17.15 million<br />

international overnight visitors compared to<br />

16.73 million in 2019, until now the city's record<br />

87.1<br />

million<br />

international<br />

travellers to the<br />

Middle East in 2023<br />

+ 56%<br />

Saudi Tourism<br />

Y-to-Y growth rate<br />

last year<br />

© Ministry of Heritage & Tourism Sultanate of Oman<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 27


Jordan's historic sites<br />

take travellers back in<br />

time<br />

Jordan is highlighting its millennial heritage at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

<strong>2024</strong>, giving visitors to the show a sneak peak of the<br />

extraordinary history the destination has to offer. Many<br />

sites remain incredibly well preserved today, with six of<br />

them UNESCO-classified.<br />

AS-SALT<br />

As-Salt, located 30 km northwest<br />

of Amman, it is known for its wellpreserved<br />

Ottoman architecture.<br />

The historical centre with its narrow<br />

alleyways, stairs and picturesque<br />

views offers a unique flair in Jordan,<br />

reflecting a tolerant and multicultural<br />

society.<br />

PETRA<br />

Petra is undoubtedly Jordan's most<br />

famous World Heritage Site and one<br />

of the Seven Wonders of the Modern<br />

World. Petra was founded in the 3rd<br />

century BC and at its peak, between<br />

30,000 and 40,000 people lived here.<br />

WADI RUM<br />

The World Heritage Site of Wadi<br />

Rum is well-known as a backdrop<br />

to famous films such as "Lawrence<br />

of Arabia", "Star Wars", "Dune" and<br />

"Transformers". The reddish desert<br />

with its steeply rising sandstone and<br />

granite cliffs is considered one of<br />

the most beautiful landscapes in the<br />

world, and it can be explored by jeep,<br />

camel or hiking along the famous<br />

Jordan Trail.<br />

Al-Balad: Reviving the<br />

heart of a historic trade and<br />

pilgrimage hub<br />

The Jeddah Historic District programme is promoting the<br />

historical centre of Jeddah or Al-Balad, a UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site since 2014, at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year.<br />

Old Jeddah Al Balad architecture<br />

© Francisco Anzola-Flickr<br />


Qusair Amra is a small desert palace<br />

with ornate frescoes from the 8th<br />

century, a unique testimony to the<br />

Umayyad architecture. A zodiac sign<br />

on the domed ceiling of the caldarium<br />

(warm room) is one of the world's<br />

oldest surviving depictions of a<br />

celestial map.<br />


Umm ar-Rasas, once a Roman fort,<br />

is an important Christian pilgrimage<br />

centre with 16 churches covered with<br />

its mosaic depicting biblical scenes.<br />

Outside the city stands a stylite tower<br />

14 m high, probably the last surviving<br />

one of its kind.<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can stop by<br />

Jordan's stand for more information<br />

Umm ar-Rasas<br />

Jeddah was, for centuries, one of the<br />

largest and richest entry gates for<br />

pilgrims to Mecca, also attracting<br />

traders and merchants to its shores on<br />

their way along the ancient Silk Road.<br />

Being both a major port for Indian<br />

Ocean trade routes and the gateway<br />

for Muslim pilgrims turned the city into<br />

a multicultural centre with distinctive<br />

architecture. Today, Al-Balad, Jeddah's<br />

historic district, is testimony to these<br />

flourishing times. The quarter, with its<br />

narrow streets and alleyways lined<br />

with traditional souks, art galleries,<br />

and museums, is turning into a top<br />

attraction for travellers. The district<br />

offers some 650 historic buildings with<br />

distinctive architecture that reflects<br />

the resourcefulness and adaptation<br />

of its people to their environment. Al-<br />

Balad has also 36 historic mosques<br />

and 24 "ribat"; small fortified posts,<br />

inside the Saudi coastal city.<br />

on these unique historical sites and<br />

discover Jordan's full range of tourism<br />

offers.<br />


OF JESUS<br />

Al-Maghtas, officially known as<br />

"Bethany beyond the Jordan", is the<br />

second youngest UNESCO World<br />

Heritage Site in Jordan. The site was<br />

added to the list in 2015. According<br />

to research, John the Baptist is said to<br />

have baptized Jesus here<br />

Hall 4.2 / Stand 100 Hall 4.1 / Stand 222<br />

As-Salt<br />

Under the supervision of the Ministry<br />

of Culture, the Jeddah Historic District<br />

programme is leading the efforts<br />

in the regeneration of the historical<br />

center of Jeddah. In addition to the<br />

restoration of the old tower houses<br />

and mansions, many projects are<br />

under development such as the<br />

Jeddah Historic Waterfront and a<br />

Cultural Square. Other developments<br />

include the establishment of historical<br />

restaurants and around 3,000 hotel<br />

rooms. The authorities are targeting<br />

some 20 million visits per year in the<br />

district by 2035.<br />

At this year's <strong>ITB</strong>, Jeddah Historic<br />

District will unveil three new hotels<br />

that have opened in the heart of the<br />

UNESCO World Heritage Site. Learn<br />

more by visiting the Visit Saudi stand<br />

today at 2pm!<br />

Hall 4.2 / Stand 202<br />

30 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com



Tailored adventures await with Abu Dhabi's<br />

“Find Your Pace” campaign<br />

Experience Abu Dhabi recently unveiled its new global<br />

campaign, "Find Your Pace", which aims to inspire curiosity<br />

for every type of traveller, presenting the destination’s<br />

hidden gems and popular attractions through a new lens.<br />

restores, allowing visitors to escape;<br />

and it excites, through entertainment<br />

and adventure<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 200<br />

With "Find Your Pace", Experience<br />

Abu Dhabi encourages visitors to<br />

create their own unique journey, from<br />

the known to the unknown, through<br />

ancient heritage sites and iconic<br />

modern treasures. It showcases the<br />

pursuits, passions, and colour palettes<br />

that visitors will uncover within the<br />

destination—whether they are seeking<br />

the thrill of adventure, immersive<br />

cultural experiences, or a relaxing<br />

break.<br />

With rhythm, music and vibrant<br />

settings, "Find Your Pace" follows<br />

four characters as they explore<br />

Abu Dhabi for the first time, taking<br />

journeys that inspire, excite, and<br />

restore. Destination highlights include<br />

the Al Ain Oasis, Sheikh Zayed Grand<br />

Mosque, inspiring Qasr Al Watan, and<br />

the renowned Louvre Abu Dhabi, as<br />

well as the vast Green Mubazzarah,<br />

and the Al Wathba Fossil Dunes. The<br />

creative story positions Abu Dhabi<br />

as a must-visit destination where<br />

everyone is welcome to discover it in<br />

their own way.<br />

"Find Your Pace" highlights that<br />

Abu Dhabi has something for<br />

everyone based on their interests.<br />

The destination inspires, educating<br />

creatively and enriching lives; it<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 31


© Saudi Tourism Authority<br />

Fahd<br />

Hamidaddin<br />

Saudi Tourism<br />

Authority CEO<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> 2023<br />









Saudi Tourism:<br />

Steering towards<br />

Vision 2030<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with Saudi Tourism<br />

Authority CEO Fahd Hamidaddin in an exclusive<br />

interview about Saudi's skyrocketing arrival<br />

figures last year and the bright future that awaits<br />

the destination in the years to come<br />

32 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com


© Saudi Tourism Authority<br />

© Saudi Tourism Authority<br />

© Saudi Tourism Authority<br />

Souk<br />

Diriyah<br />

Farasan Island<br />

Saudi tourism is booming, with 27 million international<br />

visits counted in 2023. Saudi aims to further increase this<br />

figure to 70 million by the end of the decade, and has a<br />

range of strategies and campaigns in place to live up to<br />

this ambitious goal. CEO Fahd Hamidaddin outlined his<br />

optimistic vision for the future, underlining the importance<br />

of sustainability and accessibility.<br />

Saudi tourism was present for the<br />

first time at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin last year with<br />

an impressive stand and a large<br />

number of co-exhibitors. What can<br />

visitors expect from Saudi at <strong>ITB</strong><br />

Berlin this year?<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin 2023 was a huge success<br />

and brought a lot of awareness about<br />

the emergence of Saudi as a fullfledged<br />

tourism destination. Over 10<br />

MoU partnerships were signed at <strong>ITB</strong><br />

Berlin last year with conversations<br />

leading to more partnerships<br />

and opportunities in our tourism<br />

offerings. This year, Saudi Tourism<br />

Authority is improving awareness with<br />

European consumers to build demand<br />

which our partners will then be able<br />

to convert into bookings. As the most<br />

dynamic destination in the world,<br />

Saudi offers potential partners an<br />

opportunity for growth while delivering<br />

on its tourism commitments.<br />

How well did Saudi Arabia's tourism<br />

industry perform in 2023?<br />

His Excellency Minister of Tourism<br />

Ahmed Al-Khateeb recently<br />

announced that Saudi saw more than<br />

100 million tourists in 2023, including<br />

27 million international visits. This<br />

represents 156% more arrivals in<br />

2023 compared to 2019 according<br />

to the latest UNWTO Tourism<br />

Barometer. For the first nine months<br />

of 2023, UNWTO also named Saudi<br />

as the world's second-fastest-growing<br />

tourist destination, and the leading<br />

one among G20 countries. Tourism’s<br />

contribution to GDP has risen to 6.4%<br />

marking progress towards a target<br />

of 10% by 2030, and the sector is set<br />

to create more than 560,000 jobs<br />

between <strong>2024</strong> and 2031.<br />

Saudi's Vision 2030 is a very<br />

ambitious tourism development<br />

plan. How is the plan progressing?<br />

What are some your most recent<br />

achievements, and what major<br />

developments can we expect for the<br />

coming year?<br />

Vision 2030 aims to attract 150 million<br />

visits, including 70 million international<br />

tourists by 2030. To achieve this<br />

target, we have implemented many<br />

measures to stimulate arrivals. We<br />

have made access to Saudi Arabia<br />

easier than ever with our expanding<br />

eVisa programme. It now includes 63<br />

countries and administrative regions<br />

and is also available for travellers<br />

holding a UK, US and Schengen<br />

visa. We have introduced a Stopover<br />

Visa for passengers travelling on<br />

national air carriers, SAUDIA, and<br />

flynas, enabling them to spend up to<br />

96 hours in the Kingdom without any<br />

other administrative formalities.<br />

We are also working on increasing<br />

air connectivity through a $100<br />

billion (approximately €92 billion)<br />

Saudi Aviation Strategy that will see<br />

the number of new air routes more<br />

than doubling to 250 by 2030, while<br />

tripling annual passenger traffic to 330<br />

million.​Riyadh’s new King Salman<br />

International Airport will be one of the<br />

world’s largest airports with a capacity<br />

of 120 million travellers by 2030. ​<br />

The Saudi Government has committed<br />

$800 billion (approximately €738<br />

billion) to the sector with over $500<br />

billion (approximately €461 billion)<br />

investment in new destinations. This<br />

has opened up ​$6 trillion<br />

(approximately €5.53 trillion) worth of<br />

investment opportunities in Saudi up<br />

until 2030.​<br />

In the context of the Saudi Green<br />

Initiative, sustainability is a key<br />

priority. How is this initiative being<br />

applied to new tourism projects?<br />

What are some of its recent<br />

sustainability achievements?<br />

Saudi is the region's green tourism<br />

destination powerhouse, pioneering<br />

a brand-new model of development<br />

that prioritises sustainability. By 2030,<br />

Saudi aims to preserve a total land<br />

area 11 times the size of Belgium<br />

and has committed to protecting<br />

20% of its terrestrial, coastal, and<br />

marine environments. To date, 100%<br />

of Saudi’s iconic Giga projects have<br />

been developed with sustainable<br />

practices at the core of their designs—<br />

future-proofing our destinations and<br />

reinforcing our promise to protect the<br />

wonders of Arabia.<br />

As an example, Red Sea Global aims to<br />

become a regenerative tourism project<br />

that goes beyond sustainability. Two of<br />

Red Sea Global’s flagship destinations,<br />

TRSP and AMAALA, will be powered<br />

by renewable energy, including the<br />

construction of the world’s largest<br />

battery storage facility. Red Sea Global<br />

wants to establish the region’s largest<br />

no-take Marine Protected Area (MPA),<br />

which should increase fish biomass<br />

in the region by 30%. Finally, 3.6<br />

million plants and trees have been<br />

grown since June 2021 as part of the<br />

Project with plans to import 30 million<br />

more by 2026—making the largest<br />

landscape nursery in the Middle East<br />




Saudi along with members of the<br />

Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)<br />

recently approved the launch a<br />

common tourist visa modelled<br />

on the existing Schengen visa.<br />

The common visa will be valid<br />

in Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar,<br />

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab<br />

Emirates.<br />

This type of visa will only be<br />

available for leisure and business<br />

tourists. The visa will have a 30-<br />

day validity and be available<br />

online. It should be launched<br />

between the second half of <strong>2024</strong><br />

and the first quarter of 2025.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 33



“We will play a huge role in opening Saudi<br />

up to the world”<br />

Vincent Coste, Chief Commercial Officer for Riyadh Air, believes in<br />

the power of technology and the benefit of launching a new airline<br />

with a completely clean slate<br />

Riyadh Air is a brand new airline whose maiden<br />

flight is scheduled for 2025. As an integral part of<br />

Saudi 's tourism strategy Vision 2030, the airline<br />

aims to connect the destination to the world.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with Vincent Coste in<br />

an exclusive interview about the strategies and<br />

priorities of Riyadh Air.<br />

From Riyadh Air's perspective,<br />

how important is participating<br />

in <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin? What are some<br />

of your main goals at the show<br />

this year?<br />

We are celebrating our first<br />

anniversary this month, so<br />

we’re still new and introducing<br />

ourselves to people which is<br />

why networking at events like<br />

this is so beneficial.<br />

Our goal for <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this<br />

year is to continue to spread<br />

the word of Riyadh Air, as we<br />

build towards our maiden flight<br />

in 2025.<br />

When selecting new routes for<br />

Riyadh Air, what factors are<br />

crucial to ensure not only the<br />

viability of the route but also<br />

its contribution to the airline's<br />

network connectivity?<br />

We aim to fly to 100 countries by<br />

2030 so there are a lot of routes<br />

to consider. Geographically,<br />

Saudi is ideally placed to offer<br />

excellent connectivity to Africa,<br />

Asia and Europe. All routes will<br />

be selected to give our guests<br />

the best experience, whether<br />

they’re flying in or out of the<br />

Kingdom.<br />

As part of our broader<br />

objectives, Riyadh Air will act as<br />

a catalyst for Saudi’s National<br />

Transport and Logistics<br />

Strategy and many of the Saudi<br />

Vision 2030 goals. With our<br />

planned routes network, we<br />

will play a huge role in opening<br />

up the country to the world.<br />

Can you tell us more about<br />

the technologies Riyadh Air<br />

is implementing in order to<br />

create seamless experiences<br />

for passengers, from booking<br />

to boarding?<br />

Riyadh Air is committed to being<br />

at the forefront of technology,<br />

driving digital innovation at<br />

every touchpoint of our guest<br />

experience. We have partnered<br />

with industry leaders such as<br />

Accenture, Microsoft, Oracle,<br />

and Sabre to introduce<br />

pioneering technologies that<br />

will revolutionise air travel.<br />

From booking to arrival, our<br />

guests will enjoy a seamless<br />

journey enhanced by state-ofthe-art<br />

technology.<br />

How does Riyadh Air balance<br />

the use of technology with<br />

personalised service to ensure<br />

passengers feel valued and<br />

supported throughout their<br />

journey?<br />

One of the most important<br />

things for us as an airline is<br />

our guest experience, which<br />

is why we are committed to<br />

ensuring all of our guests have<br />

a memorable one.<br />

Being a digitally native airline<br />

means that we can better<br />

connect with our guests to<br />

ensure we achieve this goal.<br />

This is from the moment they<br />

start making a booking to the<br />

moment they land in their<br />

destination.<br />

Last year, we announced<br />

our partnership with IBM<br />

Consulting, who will be the<br />

lead systems integrator to<br />

support creating, building and<br />

orchestrating the technology<br />

foundation that can help<br />

Riyadh Air offer this exceptional<br />

service<br />

Hall 4.2 / Stand 202<br />


Riyadh Air is committed to reducing<br />

its environmental impact and<br />

supporting Saudi's sustainability<br />

goals. Vincent Coste stated that this<br />

priority is reflected in the airline's<br />

choice of aircraft: "Our fleet will be<br />

composed of over 70 modern Boeing<br />

787-9 Dreamliner aircraft, a model<br />

manufactured with environmental<br />

impact considerations in mind,<br />

including reduced CO 2<br />

emissions,<br />

optimising fuel efficiency and meeting<br />

noise regulations."<br />

Vincent Coste emphasised that it<br />

is Riyadh Air's goal to become "the<br />

leader in aviation sustainability" and<br />

said that the airline is committed to<br />

UNSDG principles, deploying SAF and<br />

other environmental fuels and Vision<br />

2030 and SGI to increase the use of<br />







EUROPE.<br />

clean energy and address climate<br />

change. He argued that Riyadh air was<br />

strategically positioned to become<br />

the most sustainable airline because<br />

it is so new: "By virtue of having the<br />

newest fleet of any airline, we will also<br />

have the most efficient aircraft and<br />

our new Dreamliner 787 aircrafts will<br />

reduce CO 2<br />

emissions by up to 30%<br />

with a 60% noise reduction"<br />

34 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com



Saudi invites visitors to discover the delightfully<br />

unexpected at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Saudi's dynamic tourism offering is dispelling misconceptions and treating<br />

visitors to a range of diverse destinations, activities, and experiences<br />

Saudi is so much more than "just a desert". Thanks to<br />

its welcoming and open culture, abundant historical<br />

and heritage sites, pristine natural environment, and<br />

array of sports and entertainment events, it is one of<br />

the fastest growing tourist destinations in the world.<br />



Saudi offers a bustling cultural<br />

scene that boasts no fewer than<br />

seven UNESCO World Heritage<br />

Sites, including the historical Al<br />

Balad quarter in Jeddah, Saudi’s<br />

coastal cosmopolitan hub. Home<br />

to a diverse calendar of cultural<br />

events, Jeddah's ancient coral<br />

stone houses are being restored<br />

while new galleries, restaurants,<br />

luxury shops, and cafes are<br />

emerging to create a buzzing<br />

cultural scene.<br />

Travellers can also embrace<br />

Saudi culture at the Ushaiger<br />

Heritage Village in the heart of<br />

the Najd region to get a glimpse<br />

into traditional Saudi life, or take<br />

in Al Ahsa, the world’s largest<br />

oasis with 2.5m palm trees.<br />

In addition, Saudi prides itself<br />

on its over 10,000 archeological<br />

sites. Diriyah is a 300-year-old<br />

site centred around At-Turaif,<br />

which is considered to be the<br />

birthplace of the Saudi state.<br />

The ancient city of AlUla is an an<br />

open-air museum offering history<br />

and natural heritage. Hegra’s<br />

tombs house evidence of human<br />

life that dates beyond the 1st<br />

millennium BC.<br />




Stunning natural landscapes<br />

span mountains, deserts, and<br />

the sea, off ering visitors diverse<br />

experiences such as hiking,<br />

diving, and desert safaris, and an<br />

excellent escape from European<br />

winters. With a 1,800km-long<br />

coastline, Saudi is home to rolling<br />

desert dunes, cool and lush green<br />

highlands, as well as the pristine<br />

waters of the Red Sea.<br />

Saudi is one of the region’s<br />

emerging cultural, sports, and<br />

entertainment hubs with worldclass<br />

events throughout the year,<br />

including the F1 circuit in Jeddah,<br />

the Diriyah E-Prix, the Red Sea<br />

Film Festival, the MDL Beast<br />

Festival, the Riyadh Season, the<br />

Saudi Cup, the Dakar Rally, and<br />

the Gamers8 gaming and esports<br />

event.<br />



Saudi is promoting itself as a<br />

warm and welcoming destination<br />

for everyone, including female<br />

travelers. With the Vision 2030<br />

plan driving transformation, the<br />

destination has a dynamic society<br />

that enables all of its citizens to<br />

achieve their aspirations, and<br />

the empowerment of women is<br />

a major part of that. Saudi is also<br />

a very safe place to visit with a<br />

low crime rate, and was recently<br />

ranked by the World Economic<br />

Forum as the 33rd safest country<br />

in the world.<br />

With connections to over 20<br />

regional and international airports<br />

and an eVisa programme that<br />

includes 63 countries, it is now<br />

easier than ever to visit Saudi<br />

Hall 4.2 / Stands 200, 202 & 205<br />

“GO BEYOND<br />




Earlier this year, Saudi’s national tourism<br />

brand, "Saudi Welcome To Arabia," kicked<br />

off a global marketing campaign featuring<br />

football legend and Saudi Tourism<br />

Ambassador, Lionel Messi. The “Go Beyond<br />

What You Think” campaign is the Saudi<br />

Tourism Authority’s farthest reaching<br />

campaign to date. Launching across key<br />

target markets in Europe, India, and China,<br />

the campaign is anchored on consumer<br />

insights and celebrates trailblazing Saudi<br />

women including the Women’s National<br />

football team, motorsport athlete Dania<br />

Akeel, DJ Cosmicat, and Rayyanah Barnawi,<br />

the first Saudi woman in space.<br />

“Go Beyond What You Think” invites<br />

audiences to experience the incredible and<br />

vibrant cultural transformation taking place<br />

across Saudi and builds on the sentiment<br />

of the UN Tourism, "Tourism Opens Minds"<br />

Initiative that launched on World Tourism<br />

Day in Riyadh in September 2023. The<br />

campaign also includes an interactive digital<br />

component, where previous visitors to Saudi<br />

and Saudi residents are encouraged to share<br />

positive experiences on social media using<br />

the hashtag #ShareYourSaudi<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 35



Congo Brazzaville,<br />

a unique experience in<br />

the heart of Africa<br />

Between land, sea and the tumultuous waters of the<br />

Congo River, the Republic of Congo (or Congo Brazzaville)<br />

is presenting ecotourism, community tourism and unique<br />

cultural experiences at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

Africa shines at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

with expanded showcases<br />

from coast to savannah<br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year, Africa<br />

is occupying Halls 20 and 21,<br />

showcasing all major destinations.<br />

Hall 20 features island nations<br />

like Mauritius, the Seychelles, and<br />

Reunion Island, along with southern<br />

destinations such as South Africa,<br />

Namibia, and Zambia, with Zambia<br />

expanding its presence this year.<br />

Hall 21 sees newcomer São Tomé<br />

and Principe, alongside Ethiopia,<br />

Uganda, and Rwanda, each<br />

enlarging their exhibition spaces<br />

this year. Other top destinations<br />

such as Kenya, Congo and the<br />

Gambia are highlighting their<br />

tourism offerings, from wildlife<br />

and landscapes to cultural<br />

experiences<br />

Halls 20 & 21<br />

The Republic of Congo has<br />

exceptional biodiversity made up of<br />

tropical forests, savanna plains and<br />

the Congo river, home to wild animals<br />

and breathtaking landscapes. The<br />

spectacular Odzala-Kokoua National<br />

Park allows for unforgettable<br />

encounters with lowland gorillas,<br />

elephants and other rare species.<br />

Visitors to the Republic of Congo<br />

can immerse themselves in the daily<br />

life of local communities in villages<br />

renowned for their hospitality,<br />

customs, crafts and festivities.<br />

Lydie Pongault, Minister of Cultural,<br />

Tourism, Art and Leisure industries<br />

states that,<br />

The Republic of Congo<br />

boasts incomparable<br />

natural riches—tropical<br />

forests, protected animal<br />

species, tumultuous rivers<br />

and coastlines—and an<br />

immense cultural heritage<br />

driven by the vitality and<br />

creativity of our people. It's<br />

this unique combination of<br />

tourism and culture that we<br />

and our partners are<br />

presenting at <strong>ITB</strong>."<br />

Visitors to the stand can meet five<br />

leading tourism market players:<br />

Wild Safari Tours provides<br />

services such as tailor-made trips<br />

and private, personalised tours with<br />

English/French guides<br />

Odzala Kokoua National Park is<br />

a Biosphere Reserve and a UNESCO<br />

World Heritage Site as well as one<br />

of Africa's oldest national parks,<br />

home to over 110 different mammal<br />

species, 440 bird species and 1,150<br />

plant species<br />

The Ngabé Tourist Site is a lodge<br />

along the Congo River with 49<br />

bungalows, a restaurant, conference<br />

room, sports hall, two swimming<br />

pools and a children's playground<br />

Nouabalé-Ndoki National Park<br />

is a pristine ecosystem, home<br />

for a wide range of animals from<br />

endangered large mammals to<br />

endemic butterflies<br />

The 5-star Pefaco Hotel<br />

Maya Maya is next to Brazzaville<br />

international airport, offering 158<br />

rooms, 6 restaurants and bars, a<br />

conference centre, a fitness room, a<br />

swimming pool and tennis court<br />

Hall 20 / Stand 306<br />

Africa shows strong<br />

tourism growth in 2023<br />

Africa stands out as the continent<br />

with the fastest tourism growth<br />

in 2023, with international tourist<br />

arrival numbers at 96% of 2019<br />

levels according to UN Tourism,<br />

the highest recovery percentage in<br />

the world. This translated into total<br />

international tourist movements<br />

reaching 66.4 million.<br />

Some African counties even<br />

exceeded their 2019 numbers<br />

by October or November 2023<br />

including Ethiopia (+30%),<br />

Tanzania (+20%) and Morocco<br />

Kenya's <strong>ITB</strong> 2023 stand<br />

(+11%). North Africa as a whole<br />

recorded 26.8 million international<br />

arrivals, up by 4.6% over 2019.<br />

The recovery of the continent<br />

was stimulated by better air<br />

connectivity, in particular on intraregional<br />

routes and to Europe and<br />

the Middle East<br />

66.4 million international<br />

tourism arrivals to Africa in 2023<br />

+30% - Ethiopia showed the<br />

strongest growth, surpassing 2019<br />

figures by 30% in 2023<br />

© Stéphane Lelarge<br />

36 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com


Gambia brings a smile<br />

to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Gambia's tagline, "The Smiling Coast of Africa" is<br />

immediately friendly and welcoming. The Gambia Tourism<br />

Board (GTB) is promoting the hospitality of the Gambian<br />

people along with the peace, security and political stability<br />

of the country at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year.<br />

Gambia is looking to become an<br />

all-year destination rather than just<br />

a winter one. The Gambia Tourism<br />

Board is working to position the<br />

country as a top destination in Africa<br />

for community tourism: homestays,<br />

culinary experiences, a cruise on<br />

the Gambia river to meet local<br />

populations, going to the market with<br />

them or dressing like them…it's all<br />

part of the development of sustainable<br />

tourism experiences.<br />

Another Gambia highlight is the<br />

"Roots Experience", dedicated to the<br />

history of slavery and inspired by the<br />

novel of the famous American writer<br />

Alex Haley. The circuit looks at several<br />

cultural sites to experience Afro-<br />

American roots such as Fort Bullery<br />

or Slave Island, and there will be a<br />

dedicated Roots Home Festival.<br />

Beyond programmes to improve<br />

the quality of tourism services and<br />

facilities and the training of guides and<br />

hotel staff, the GTB is targeting MICE<br />

tourism as it offers modern conference<br />

facilities, a wide range of hotel options<br />

and many original tours.<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin is an opportunity for<br />

professionals to learn more about<br />

Gambia's journey to becoming a top<br />

tourist destination<br />

Hall 21 / Stand 202<br />

© Gambia Tourism Board<br />


Strong “Team South Africa”<br />

strives for growth at <strong>ITB</strong><br />

Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

South Africa is back at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year under the slogan<br />

"Live South Africa - Unforgettable Moments!" The country's<br />

delegation includes 63 tourism products and services,<br />

with 15 small, medium and micro enterprises (SMEs) from<br />

nine provinces, representing South Africa's unique and<br />

culturally diverse tourism offering.<br />

"We are at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong> as 'Team<br />

South Africa', a team that offers a<br />

variety of products and experiences.<br />

We have put the impact of the<br />

Covid-19 pandemic behind us and<br />

are pioneering by ensuring that we<br />

showcase our exceptional tourism<br />

offering and truly enhance South<br />

Africa's brand appeal and inspire<br />

travellers to book and visit South<br />

Africa," says Nombulelo Guliwe,<br />

Acting CEO of South African Tourism.<br />

South Africa is a destination that<br />

offers excellent value for money,<br />

especially for Europeans. Entry<br />

figures to South Africa were on the<br />

rise in 2023 according to the Statistics<br />

South Africa, with a total of 8,483,333<br />

tourists from all over the world, a<br />

48.9 percent increase compared<br />

to 2022, but still 17.1 percent below<br />

pre-pandemic levels. South Africa<br />

recorded 308,807 arrivals from the<br />

DACH region in 2023, an increase of<br />

41.6 per cent from Germany, 48.8 per<br />

cent from Austria and 28.3 per cent<br />

from Switzerland compared to the<br />

previous year.<br />

South Africa will give a "Destination<br />

South Africa Showcase" press<br />

conference today, followed by a<br />

workshop specifically tailored to<br />

South African SMEs to maximise<br />

networking opportunities for<br />

these partners. To further promote<br />

networking opportunities, South<br />

African wines will also be on offer at<br />

the stand<br />

Hall 20 / Stand 201<br />

Großer Stern<br />

Level 4 | VIP-2<br />



Today, Tuesday 5 March<br />

03:00pm<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 37



“Our success hinges on continuously empowering<br />

our clients to thrive in a competitive market”<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News spoke with Afra Wang, COO and Co-founder of next-generation flight<br />

ticket seller and aggregator UNIFIFI Group<br />

Having successfully weathered the pandemic, Unififi Group<br />

has carved a niche for itself, unlocking modern service<br />

value with its all-in-one flight booking and fulfillment<br />

services. Afra Wang shares her insights into the group's<br />

unique approach to redefining modern service within the<br />

flight supply chain.<br />

What sets UNIFIFI apart in a market<br />

full of ticket suppliers, aggregators,<br />

and marketplaces?<br />

Even though there are lots of players<br />

in the market, travel merchants still<br />

face more intensified pain points,<br />

especially in shopping and postsales<br />

services, exacerbated by the<br />

rising expectations of digital-savvy<br />

travelers. These challenges stem<br />

from fragmented supplies, different<br />

time zones, and discrepancies in<br />

B2B service standards. UNIFIFI's<br />

integrated service approach<br />

acknowledges the industry's<br />

experience-driven nature, relying on<br />

service transformation. Unififi Cloud<br />

is our way-of-serve, which facilitates<br />

seamless connections between<br />

airlines and merchants, fostering a<br />

harmonious service ecosystem where<br />

customer, airline, and agent success<br />

are interconnected.<br />

Can you provide some specific<br />

examples?<br />

Delivering seamless flight shopping<br />

and after-sales service is easier<br />

said than done. Our hybrid seller<br />

& aggregator capabilities aim to<br />

create extra value benefits for all. For<br />

instance, we collaborate with airline<br />

partners, including those using NDC<br />

or API modern retailing, to facilitate<br />

dynamic pricing and diversify sales<br />

channels. We also continuously<br />

improve our services by addressing<br />

post-sales and pre-departure issues,<br />

empowering merchant customers to<br />

reach us anytime for efficient issue<br />

resolution. For example, we also offer<br />

a robust risk monitoring system to<br />

keep our clients informed about flight<br />

changes and automatically verify ticket<br />

statuses. We currently in development<br />

of new features like insight tools and<br />

frequent flyer management to further<br />







MARKET.<br />

empower travel businesses in serving<br />

their end customers effectively.<br />

What are some of the key challenges<br />

for the group and how does Unififi<br />

measure its success?<br />

Travel merchants face the challenge<br />

of adapting to new opportunities<br />

quickly and effectively, particularly<br />

as traveler demands become more<br />

diverse and advanced due to<br />

digitalization. Passengers expect<br />

always-on and transparent omnichannel<br />

services, while airlines are<br />

evolving their product portfolios<br />

and retailing capabilities. In 2023,<br />

our company experienced the most<br />

rapid growth, particularly in our<br />

API-driven OTAs serving digital<br />

native travelers and specialized<br />

travel agencies handling complex<br />

itineraries. Our success relies on<br />

empowering our clients to thrive in<br />

their competitive markets.<br />

What will Unififi's focus be in <strong>2024</strong>?<br />

In 2023, we achieved 250% yearon-year<br />

segment growth, nearly<br />

tripling our pre-pandemic records.<br />

As an independent company, we<br />

aim to delve deeper and tirelessly<br />

address clients' genuine challenges.<br />

We envision ourselves as modern<br />

"agents" with global scale and hybrid<br />

capabilities. Our goal is to build<br />

the best product experience for the<br />

travel industry and collaborate with<br />

existing and new travel merchants<br />

seeking enhanced service value to<br />

drive flight business growth<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 135<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 39



“Find, Book, Grow”:<br />

Cendyn’s commitment to hoteliers<br />

For Michael Bennett, President & CMO of Cendyn, the travel industry is<br />

rightfully shifting to a more personalised way of using technology, reflecting the<br />

needs and demands of consumers<br />

In an exclusive interview with <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News,<br />

Michael Bennett addressed how Cendyn’s solutions<br />

are contributing to the travel industry’s digital<br />

transformation and outlined what direction the<br />

company is moving towards in the future.<br />

How are Cendyn’s solutions<br />

contributing to the travel<br />

industry’s digital transformation?<br />

It’s important that every guest<br />

interaction provides an opportunity<br />

to nurture relationships as well<br />

as maximise profit. Every search<br />

and booking creates momentum,<br />

driving growth but also turning<br />

hotels into a place of deeper<br />

human connection. Our integrated<br />

technology underpins these<br />

relationships, providing sustained<br />

growth and success for our<br />

clients. .<br />

What do you believe are the key<br />

trends set to shape the travel<br />

technology landscape?<br />

There’s a necessity to respond to<br />

the changing demands of both<br />

consumers and hotels. Direct<br />

bookings are a key trend—the<br />

pandemic reset how consumers<br />

engage with hotels as travellers<br />

prioritised human engagement<br />

and reliable, first-party information.<br />

Since then, inflation has led many<br />

consumers back to third-party<br />

sites in search of better deals, with<br />

direct bookings falling from a peak<br />

of 67% to 56%, according to Skift<br />

Research’s Global Hotel Outlook.<br />

At Cendyn, we help hoteliers take<br />

control of their direct booking<br />

channel, finding the right customer<br />

who will book via this channel<br />

and growing the "right" type of<br />

business. Through our solutions,<br />

hotels strengthen their brand,<br />

which is a great way to secure<br />

direct customers, and tap into the<br />

wider societal trend of building a<br />

sense of place and community.<br />

What’s next for Cendyn, and how<br />

does your new branding support<br />

your future plans?<br />

We’ve just launched our Revenue<br />

Growth package — it's the<br />

ultimate solution for hoteliers<br />

to unlock revenue potential in<br />

today's digital economy. Using<br />

strategic metasearch, paid search,<br />

and CRM, the Revenue Growth<br />

package creates prominent<br />

Google rankings, working with a<br />

seamless advertising strategy that<br />

strikes a balance. By utilising AI,<br />

we source even more direct traffic<br />

and conversions. Hotels can then<br />

allocate marketing spending where<br />

it makes the most difference,<br />

converting profitable revenue.<br />

But it’s more than direct bookings!<br />

For our 32,000 global customers,<br />

we are continuing to build strategic<br />

partnerships and integrations to<br />

further strengthen our digital offer.<br />

Our Revenue Growth Package<br />

also leverages sophisticated<br />

CRM targeting capabilities for<br />

personalised multi-channel<br />

marketing such as birthday email<br />

off ers, targeted social media ads,<br />

and WhatsApp campaigns. We<br />

also use data to build effective<br />

lookalike audiences.<br />

C o n t i n u o u s<br />

momentum is key—a<br />

strong digital, web,<br />

and CRM strategy<br />

should allow hoteliers<br />

to find more guests<br />

that book directly and<br />

grow revenue —and<br />

our solutions help<br />

hotels achieve that<br />

trinity of Find, Book,<br />

and Grow<br />

Michael Bennett<br />

President & CMO, Cendyn<br />








CENDYN<br />


ITS NEW<br />

LOOK<br />

AT <strong>ITB</strong><br />

<strong>BERLIN</strong><br />

Michael Bennett, President<br />

& CMO of Cendyn, was<br />

enthusiastic about the brand's<br />

new look, and confident<br />

that <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin was the right<br />

place to launch it: “We drive<br />

success for our hotel partners<br />

– whether that be finding the<br />

ideal guest, or connecting<br />

(and reconnecting!) with them<br />

through meaningful digital<br />

experiences. Relaunching<br />

our brand at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin made<br />

perfect sense to us. It’s the<br />

largest travel trade show in the<br />

world and draws significant<br />

attendance from our valued<br />

hotel customers and industry<br />

partners.<br />

For Bennett, this rebrand<br />

represents a more modern<br />

identity: "We’ve been in<br />

business over 26 years and<br />

we’ve evolved massively.<br />

The new logo captures the<br />

momentum and growth<br />

which hotels can achieve<br />

through our extensive range<br />

of products and services."<br />

The new rebrand and slogan<br />

“Find, Book, Grow" embodies<br />

the company's partnership<br />

Hall 8.1 / Stand 111<br />

with hotels, underlying<br />

the importance of every<br />

hotel visitor: "Every guest<br />

interaction is turned into a<br />

growth opportunity, fostering<br />

loyalty. We create a cycle of<br />

momentum and compound<br />

growth, helping hotels<br />

drive revenue, maximise<br />

profitability, and forge lasting<br />

success”<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 41



Exely empowers hoteliers to<br />

drive direct revenue with IT<br />

solutions and exceptional<br />

customer care<br />

At its first <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin, Exely is introducing the Hotel Sales<br />

Suite and a distinctive partnership approach. The company<br />

is promoting innovative software that is claimed to free<br />

hoteliers from concerns and propels businesses to success.<br />

Exely champions direct sales,<br />

guaranteeing lower commissions,<br />

enhanced brand awareness, and<br />

increased returns.<br />

At the Exely stand, the team will<br />

present online hotel sales, revenue<br />

management, and property<br />

management software. The company<br />

states that its mission is to be a quality<br />

IT supplier that can free businesses<br />

from concerns and help them become<br />

high-margin. .<br />

Exely aims to help hoteliers adopt<br />

direct sales and reach their revenue<br />

potential, as the whole team believes<br />

direct sales are the key to high<br />

booking margins and average totals.<br />

By opting for direct sales with the<br />

seamless Exely Booking Engine<br />

on a hotel brand website, hotel<br />

managers set their property for lower<br />

commissions, better brand awareness,<br />

higher average totals, and more return<br />

guests.<br />

E xely<br />

states that its<br />

Booking Engine users<br />

increase direct sales by up to<br />

30%. Additionally, by upselling extra<br />

services in Booking Engine, hoteliers<br />

increase their average totals by 10%,<br />

on average<br />

The company team prides itself<br />

in taking care of clients’ sales<br />

performances. After Exely Booking<br />

Engine is set up a hotelier's website,<br />

Customer Support and Customer<br />

Success managers complete a<br />

website audit and provide a list of<br />

recommendations on how to make<br />

the website more user-friendly and<br />

convert more.<br />

Each client of Exely has a Customer<br />

Success manager who regularly<br />

assesses the performance of online<br />

hotel sales in order to provide<br />

expert advice and share best market<br />

practices<br />

Hall 7.1c / Stand 117<br />

42 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com



CodeGen:<br />

Decades of<br />

intelligent<br />

reservations<br />

CodeGen has been providing intelligent<br />

reservation, retailing, and fulfilment platforms<br />

for over 23 years. Its flagship product,<br />

TravelBox, is used by some of the world’s<br />

biggest travel brands to increase revenue and<br />

improve operational efficiencies.<br />

CodeGen is a specialist in artificial intelligence,<br />

and continues to invest in research and<br />

development, offering its clients a competitive<br />

edge in a rapidly evolving market.<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can stop by CodeGen' at<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin's stand for a demonstration of the<br />

company's latest innovations<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 136<br />

Cover Genius and Vueling partner<br />

up for optimal travel protection<br />

In January, Cover Genius and Vueling, Spain’s<br />

leading low-cost airline, launched an exclusive<br />

travel protection partnership targeting potentially<br />

30 million travellers.<br />

This partnership leverages<br />

Cover Genius’ existing global<br />

technology to help the Spanish<br />

low-cost carrier scale across<br />

countries. Vueling set ambitious<br />

plans to expand its digital<br />

offerings through its website<br />

and mobile app as part of its<br />

Vueling Transform program.<br />

Cover Genius’ global distribution<br />

platform solution XCover<br />

embeds a comprehensive travel<br />

solution, from the initial sale<br />

through to administration to<br />

claim payment, directly within<br />

the online customer journey.<br />

AI and NLP technology help<br />

customise the online experience<br />

for travellers in real-time,<br />

allowing Vueling to adapt its<br />

offers accordingly.<br />

The comprehensive travel<br />

protection can cover travellers<br />

across various events such as<br />

medical emergencies, cutting<br />

journeys short or stolen baggage.<br />

The medical protection covers<br />

policyholders for Covid-19 or<br />

other illnesses or injuries while<br />

travelling internationally. Flights<br />

and accommodations can<br />

also be covered in case of trip<br />

cancellations. Unlike traditional<br />

protection solutions, trip<br />

cancellation protection begins<br />

immediately from the date of<br />

purchase and includes preexisting<br />

medical conditions and<br />

Covid-19 related cancellations.<br />

This announcement aligns with<br />

findings from a global travel<br />

insurance survey, commissioned<br />

by Cover Genius, which showed<br />

that customers were most<br />

satisfied when they purchased<br />

travel protection directly from<br />

their travel provider or airline.<br />

69% of EMEA travellers prefered<br />

that solution and over 52% of<br />

respondents also claimed that<br />

they would want to receive<br />

travel coverage from this source<br />

due to ease and convenience<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 114<br />

© pixabay<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 43



Schubert Lou<br />

Chief Operating Officer,<br />

Trip.com<br />

“Innovation and agility are at the core<br />

of Trip.com's approach”<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News sat down with Trip.com's Chief Operating Officer Schubert Lou<br />

to discuss how the company is pioneering solutions for the global traveller<br />

Ahead of his keynote for the Technology Tours and<br />

Activities Track at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin Convention, Schubert Lou<br />

outlined how Trip.com, a brand of Trip.com Group, is<br />

changing the travel experience with cutting-edge AI while<br />

catering to global travel preferences with local offerings.<br />

The landscape of international<br />

travel has undergone significant<br />

changes post-pandemic. What<br />

are some of the emerging trends<br />

in consumer behaviour that have<br />

impacted international travel?<br />

In today's travel landscape, the<br />

desires of travellers extend beyond<br />

mere sightseeing. They yearn for<br />

authentic and immersive experiences,<br />

including seeking out high-quality<br />

wellness experiences and embracing<br />

event and entertainment tourism<br />

as integral components of their<br />

personalised itineraries. Moreover,<br />

there is a growing consciousness<br />

towards sustainable tourism, where<br />

travellers prioritise destinations<br />

that demonstrate environmental<br />

responsibility.<br />

These shifting preferences among<br />

consumers present remarkable<br />

opportunities for destinations to<br />

diversify their offerings. By catering to<br />

these evolving demands, destinations<br />

can attract a broader audience<br />

and position themselves as go-to<br />

destinations for experiential and<br />

sustainable travel.<br />

What are your strategies for<br />

integrating the diverse preferences<br />

of international travellers with local<br />

tours and attractions?<br />

Innovation and agility are at the core<br />

of Trip.com's approach. We leverage<br />

technology to observe and analyse<br />

global trends, and it enables us<br />

to respond promptly to changing<br />

consumer preferences. Through<br />

close collaboration with our global<br />

partners, we customise products<br />

and experiences in local destinations<br />

to cater to diverse international<br />

travellers.<br />

Destinations should strive to offer<br />

a comprehensive and enriching<br />

travel experience by tapping into<br />

the emerging preferences for event<br />

tourism and sustainable travel and<br />

utilising effective channels.<br />

Technology bridges the desires of<br />

global travellers with the unique<br />

offerings of destinations. It allows for<br />

effective promotion of destinations’<br />

cultures and uniqueness, and<br />

empowers our community to make<br />

informed decisions, enhancing their<br />

event-driven travel experiences.<br />

As Trip.com expands its global<br />

footprint, how do you envision the<br />

future of travel and how is Trip.com<br />

preparing for these future trends?<br />

Our vision is to make Trip.com<br />

synonymous with personalised,<br />

technology-driven travel, and<br />

facilitate cultural and people-topeople<br />

exchanges with technology.<br />

Our commitment to innovation and<br />

understanding the unique needs of<br />

each traveller remains unwavering.<br />

We're excited to introduce more<br />

travellers to our platform, showing<br />

them the depth of personalisation<br />

and care we bring to their journeys.<br />

With the power of technology, we are<br />

continually pushing the boundaries<br />

of travel, ensuring that every journey<br />

with Trip.com is unparalleled and<br />

unforgettable. We believe the beauty<br />

of travel is that it takes people far<br />

away, yet brings people closer<br />

together<br />

Hall 9 / Stand 108<br />



OF ASIAN<br />


As a part of <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin's travel<br />

technology programme on the<br />

eTravel Stage in Hall 6.1, Schubert<br />

Lou will be on hand at the<br />

Technology Tours and Activities<br />

Track on Wednesday, March 6<br />

to deliver the session's keynote<br />

address. With Trip.com's focus<br />

on tailoring travel to a broad,<br />

international audience, he will<br />

discuss the particular preferences<br />

of Asian tourists and how<br />

destinations can give full play to<br />

their preferences<br />

HOW TO<br />



Wednesday 6 March<br />

10:35a.m. - 11:00a.m<br />

eTravel Stage<br />

Hall 6.1<br />

Schubert Lou, COO at Trip.com<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 45


“Staying connected is crucial<br />

for modern travellers”<br />

Manet Mobile Solutions is an Italian company<br />

connecting travellers around the world. Luca<br />

Liparulo, COO & Sales Director, discusses the<br />

future of eSIM technology with <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin News.<br />

connections by 2025,<br />

representing a near-universal<br />

adoption rate. Nearly 80% of all<br />

smartphones shipped in 2025<br />

will be eSIM-capable.<br />

ISO Travel Solutions<br />

brings a strong innovation<br />

package to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

What are the largest hurdles<br />

travellers face when it comes<br />

to mobile connectivity?<br />

Staying connected is crucial<br />

for modern travellers. But<br />

traditional solutions often come<br />

with frustrations. Scrambling<br />

for local SIM cards upon arrival,<br />

language barriers adding<br />

confusion, and the constant<br />

worry of hidden roaming<br />

charges.<br />

How does eSIM technology<br />

offer a more convenient<br />

solution for travellers ?<br />

This is where eSIM steps<br />

in, a true game-changer for<br />

ISO Travel Solutions GmbH is presenting the latest<br />

developments of its tailor-made reservation systems and<br />

e-commerce solutions for tour operators and service<br />

providers at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>.<br />




FastSearch is a platform-independent<br />

technology to search and calculate<br />

travel prices. Based on AI, FastSearch<br />

quickly and accurately calculates<br />

suitable offers in response to individual<br />

search queries. It ensures that<br />

availability and price-checked offers,<br />

including children's and group prices,<br />

are displayed within milliseconds.<br />

FastSearch is presented during <strong>ITB</strong><br />

with a new Internet Booking Engine.<br />




Dynamic Packaging System Atlantic<br />

is aimed at airlines, hotel chains and<br />

tour operators. Based on a modern<br />

MACH architecture (microservices,<br />

API-first, cloud native, headless), it is<br />

characterised by its flexibility, focus<br />

on external interfaces and ease of<br />

use. Atlantic is conceptually designed<br />

as an Offer & Order Management<br />

System to enable a dynamic creation<br />

of personalised offers.<br />

travellers. The idea is to get<br />

connectivity before a trip,<br />

simply by downloading eSIM<br />

profiles directly to a device.<br />

eSIM allows users to choose<br />

data plans tailored to a specific<br />

budget and provides complete<br />

flexibility without the hassle of<br />

physical SIM cards.<br />

What could be the impact of<br />

eSIM technology in the next<br />

3-5 years?<br />

A recent study by GSMA<br />

Intelligence found that eSIMcompatible<br />

devices grew by<br />

a staggering 67% in 2023,<br />

reaching over 2 billion units<br />

globally. Mobilise Global<br />

forecasts this number to<br />

reach a whopping 5 billion<br />


As a supporter of the Camino<br />

Blockchain, an innovative checkin<br />

demo for car rental companies is<br />

being presented. With this application,<br />

the vehicle pick-up process is<br />

simplified and accelerated using smart<br />

contracts and NFTs. ISO also shares<br />

its experience with its "From Booking<br />

to Boarding" solution for NFT tickets,<br />

check-in and baggage tracking.<br />

How can travel providers<br />

leverage on Manet Travel's<br />

offer ?<br />

For travel operators, it<br />

brings new revenue streams<br />

through data plan sales and<br />

partnerships; competitive<br />

differentiation thanks to<br />

seamless eSIM connectivity;<br />

operational efficiency as Manet<br />

Travel simplifies connectivity<br />

management with remote<br />

provisioning and centralised<br />

dashboards. And last but not<br />

least brand loyalty set on<br />

stronger relationships with<br />

customers<br />

Hall 6.1 / Stand 310<br />

ISO focuses on process optimisation<br />

with its multi-functional AI platform<br />

which enables the efficient creation<br />

of customer-specific classifiers and<br />

useful "what-if simulations" such as<br />

the likelihood of cancellations to<br />

optimise capacity utilisation and<br />

campaign planning. In addition, cyber<br />

security and resilience is part of ISO<br />

Travel software development<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 133<br />

© Priscilla du Preez - unsplash<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 47


Land of rivers: Cycling in Lower Austria<br />

Lower Austria is back at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong> promoting itself as<br />

a top-level cycling destination. The Austrian region's rivers<br />

shape a diverse natural and cultural landscape, which can<br />

be explored on a developed network of bicycle paths. With<br />

no notable gradients, they are ideal for pleasure cyclists<br />

and families.<br />


TRAIL<br />

From the hills south of the Danube<br />

to the mountains of the Mostviertel<br />

Alps, the 111-kilometre-long family<br />

and pilgrim Traisental bicycle path<br />

leads through areas full of rivers<br />

perfect for skipping stones between<br />

Herzogenburg and Traismauer. Not far<br />

from the regional capital St. Pölten, the<br />

Viehofen lakes with their meadows<br />

open to picnics are an alternative to<br />

open-air swimming pools.<br />


Branching off directly from the<br />

Danube, the Ybbstal cycling path leads<br />

107 kilometres south, from Waidhofen<br />

an der Ybbs along a former railway line<br />

to Lunz am See. The Ybbs meanders<br />

as a green thread in Mostviertel's<br />

landscape. Bikers should still plan<br />

a break on warm days at one of the<br />

bathing spots such as the enchanting<br />

natural swimming pool in Kematen or<br />

in the nostalgic Hollenstein river pool,<br />

directly on the Ybbs.<br />



Lower Austria's longest cycle route<br />

of 420-km offers is great for sporty<br />

or pleasure cyclists. Along the rivers<br />

Kamp, Thaya and March and on<br />

quiet back roads, it goes through the<br />

romantic Weinviertel, the mystical<br />

Waldviertel and the floodplain<br />

landscape of the March. The historic<br />

wine town of Krems, the picturesque<br />

river landscape of the Kamptal with<br />

its picturesque wine villages or the<br />

ancient Weinviertel cellar alleys<br />

are highlights of the route, as is the<br />

fjord-like Ottenstein reservoir with its<br />

abundance of fish. An opportunity to<br />

enjoy fishing or try fish in a nearby<br />

restaurant!<br />

hub 27 / Stand 106<br />

© Giampaolo Mastro - pixabay<br />

Exploring the natural<br />

wonders of the Serra<br />

de Tramuntana on two<br />

wheels<br />

Visitors to Mallorca's stand at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin this year will<br />

discover that the island is an ideal destination for cycling<br />

tourism, thanks to the great variety of landscapes and<br />

an extensive network of cycling itineraries. The Serra<br />

de Tramuntana, a UNESCO World Heritage site, offers a<br />

particularly unique perspective.<br />

© Cycling photography<br />

Mallorca stands out as a destination<br />

for cycling tourism, offering visitors<br />

the opportunity to enjoy sporting<br />

events such as the Mallorca 312 race<br />

or the Mallorca Cycling Challenge.<br />

In addition, the island has more than<br />

2,000 kilometres of roads and paths<br />

specially enabled for cycling. Some of<br />

these route options include the climb<br />

to Puig Major, a visit to Valldemossa<br />

and the challenging path to Sa<br />

Calobra, among others.<br />



Puig Major is the highest point on the<br />

island, with an altitude of 1,436 metres,<br />

which makes this route one of the<br />

most attractive and popular to travel<br />

by bicycle.<br />



Another of the best-known routes is<br />

the one that connects the capital of<br />

Palma with the town of Valldemossa,<br />

located at the foot of the Serra de<br />

Tramuntana. Due to its position, it has<br />

a mainly flat terrain.<br />



This route is one of the most popular<br />

worldwide, extending 70 kilometres<br />

in length with a positive gradient of<br />

2,000 metres<br />

Hall 2.1 / Stand 103b<br />

Cyclists can start in the town of Sóller,<br />

where the itinerary runs through its<br />

well-known port, until it enters the<br />

mountainous landscape. Due to its<br />

altitude, it is quite a challenge, but it<br />

offers spectacular views throughout<br />

the journey.<br />

48 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com



Italian cycling tourism in the<br />

spotlight at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, several Italian regions are promoting their cycling<br />

trails to the trade as the country increases investment in this sector.<br />

Back in 2022, as part of Italy's National Plan of Recovery and Resilience,<br />

the country announced it would invest €400 million up until 2026 to<br />

construct an additional 1,235 km of cycling paths and another €200<br />

million for 565 km of dedicated bicycle lanes in cities.<br />


The Marche region is emphasising<br />

sustainability, the outdoors and slow tourism at<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, and its panoramic cycle paths<br />

provide authentic experiences. The “Marche<br />

Outdoor” project is part of this concept with<br />

24 cycling routes covering 2,000<br />

km across 130 municipalities, from<br />

the sea to the mountains, passing<br />

through lakes, gorges, waterfalls,<br />

hermitages and caves.<br />

The Marche Outdoor project aims<br />

at promoting sustainable local<br />

economy, immersing tourists in the<br />

beauty of the region for every type<br />

of cyclist. Bike support services<br />

Hall 1.2 / Stands 107 – 107 A – 107 B – 107 C<br />

are available including a dedicated GPS.<br />

Secondary roads are also promoted by a<br />

cycle tourism itinerary called "The path of the<br />

abbeys", combining sport, nature and culture<br />




DUCHIES IN <strong>2024</strong><br />

Recognised as a top cycling destination, Emilia-Romagna<br />

will also host for the first time in <strong>2024</strong> the Tour de France<br />

Grand Départ along the Wellness Valley and Sports Valley.<br />

Cyclists will pass through key destinations including<br />

Bologna, Rimini, Cesenatico, and Piacenza.<br />

Emilia Romagna also boasts many different routes for<br />

travellers. The Sentiero dei Ducati (the Duchies Trail) is the<br />

latest addition to Emilia- Romagna’s network of ancient<br />

pilgrimage routes, covering historic regions once ruled by<br />

a Duke or Duchess. The 90-km trail for mountain bikers<br />

goes along spectacular corners of the northern Apennines,<br />

crossing vineyards, castles, ancient churches and forests<br />

© Mario Lorca<br />



Authentic Piemonte is the perfect place for<br />

slow and sustainable tourism, including<br />

breathtaking alpine experiences on 20,000 km<br />

of cycling and trekking trails in 77 protected<br />

areas. Many pass through the city of Torino<br />

and UNESCO sites such as the 7 Sacred<br />

Mounts and the Vineyards Landscape of<br />

Langhe Roero Monferrato, the art cities of<br />

Biella, Novara, Vercelli and Cuneo as well as<br />

Lake Orta and Lake Maggiore with view of the<br />

scenic Borromean Islands.<br />

The network of the Historic Mountain Roads<br />

has 16 itineraries suitable for all types of<br />

cyclists. Home of the Italian cycling, Piedmont<br />

will host in <strong>2024</strong> for the first time the Tour de<br />

France, through the provinces of Alessandria,<br />

Asti, Cuneo and Torino, with arrival of the<br />

Grande Boucle on July 1st<br />




Tuscany is presenting itself at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin as a reference<br />

in sustainable tourism. It is the first region in Italy to<br />

have created the Atlas of Cycling Tourism Itineraries<br />

and the Atlas of Walking Paths, and it boasts over 6,500<br />

accommodation facilities committed to making visitors'<br />

stays more sustainable. Visitors have access to over<br />

1,400 km of walking paths divided into 8 routes along<br />

ancient historical roads, merchant routes, religious paths,<br />

itineraries discovering unique artistic and architectural<br />

landmarks, UNESCO sites, religious testimonies, and<br />

natural parks. Cycling in Tuscany offers the opportunity to<br />

discover among others Grosseto, <strong>2024</strong> European Capital<br />

and Green Pioneer of Smart Tourism<br />

Hall 1.2 / Stands 107 – 107 A – 107 B – 107 C<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 49



Airports of Thailand<br />

upgrades facilities for<br />

increased traveller comfort<br />

With passenger traffic increasing at all six major<br />

Thai airports run by Airports of Thailand PCL, at<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong> the company is presenting its latest<br />

projects set to smoothen and simplify passenger<br />

movements.<br />

As an airport operator, Airports<br />

of Thailand PCL (AOT) operates<br />

6 major air facilities in Thailand:<br />

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi and Don<br />

Mueang International, Chiang Mai<br />

International, Chiang Rai Mae Fah<br />

Luang, Hat Yai International and<br />

Phuket International. Last year,<br />

106 million passengers used 134<br />

scheduled airlines connecting 241<br />

destinations with 667,000 flights.<br />

Various development projects are<br />

in the planning to accommodate<br />

future air traffic volumes. Bangkok<br />

Suvarnabhumi Airport, Thailand<br />

main hub, has already seen the<br />

opening of its Satellite Building<br />

(SAT-1) at the end of 2023 with an<br />

automated people mover system<br />

connecting the facility to the main<br />

terminal. It enables Suvarnabhumi<br />

Airport to accommodate 60<br />

million passengers instead of the<br />

previous 45 million. On July <strong>2024</strong>,<br />

a third runway will be operational<br />

increasing capacity from 68 to 94<br />

flights per hour.<br />

Technology and innovation<br />

regarding the Common Use<br />

Passenger Processing System<br />

(CUPPS) are also being<br />

introduced for the convenience of<br />

passengers. These includes the<br />

option of self-service check-in, a<br />

common use bag drop and selfboarding<br />

gates. These systems<br />

enhance the efficiency and speed<br />

of passenger services, reducing<br />

waiting times and congestion.<br />

Furthermore, AOT in collaboration<br />

with airlines is testing out a<br />

new “Biometric Identification<br />

System” using facial recognition<br />

technology. This system will<br />

ensure the accuracy of passenger<br />

verification processes and reduce<br />

queuing time. It should be fully<br />

operational by mid-<strong>2024</strong>.<br />

In parallel, AOT is developing its<br />

SAWASDEE application where<br />

passengers can access real-time<br />

flight information, flight status,<br />

receive smart notification, check<br />

their luggage status, reserve<br />

a parking space and navigate<br />

through passengers facilities<br />

Hall 26 / Stand 218a<br />

Police General<br />

Visanu<br />

Prasattongosoth<br />

Chairman of Airports<br />

of Thailand Public Company<br />

Limited<br />

SAT-1 Terminal<br />

Suvarnabhumi Airport<br />

Departure Hall<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 51


© Mohammad Saifullah -Unsplash<br />

Finnair strengthens its network to Nordic<br />

holiday destinations for summer <strong>2024</strong><br />

Finland's national carrier Finnair is adding flights to<br />

some popular Nordic holiday destinations for the<br />

peak summer season this year between the end of<br />

June and August.<br />

The carrier will restore flights to<br />

this year's European Capital of<br />

Culture Bodø, above the Arctic<br />

Circle in Northern Norway, with<br />

five weekly frequencies between<br />

17 June and 02 August. Further in<br />

Norway, Finnair will add flights<br />

to Trondheim with 10 weekly<br />

services from June to the end of<br />

August. In Sweden, the carrier<br />

flies 5 times a week to Visby<br />

in Gotland, from end of June to<br />

early August.<br />

Finnair is also adding flights to<br />

Kuusamo, Ivalo and Kittilä in<br />

Northern Finland, as the Finnish<br />

Lapland increasingly attracts<br />

holiday travellers during the<br />

summer season.<br />

On March 31, <strong>2024</strong>, Finnair will<br />

start a year-round service to Tartu<br />

in Southern Estonia with two<br />

daily flights six days a week. The<br />

flights are supported by the Tartu<br />

City Government, especially as<br />

the city is also Europeab Capital<br />

of Culture <strong>2024</strong>.<br />

In another development, Finnair<br />

introduced on 27 February <strong>2024</strong><br />

a new ticket type for business<br />

travellers. The PrioFlex, ticket<br />

is for corporate customers,<br />

and is similar to a Flex ticket<br />

type in Economy and Premium<br />

Economy but includes priority<br />

check-in, security, and boarding<br />

at airports where available. It<br />

is automatically attributed to<br />

corporate customers with a valid<br />

corporate agreement<br />

Hall 18 / Stand 400e<br />

Emirates makes a strong return<br />

to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Emirates is taking advantage of its return to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

in <strong>2024</strong> to showcase its latest signature products to<br />

visitors at the show.<br />

including onboard items made of<br />

responsibly-sourced materials<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stand 101<br />

At <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong>, Emirates<br />

is reaffirming its commitment<br />

to the European travel trade.<br />

The airline's European network<br />

spans 39 destinations in 22<br />

countries, with an additional 403<br />

points served through various<br />

partnerships.<br />

Airbus A380 Onboard Lounge<br />

and First Class Shower Spa.<br />

Finally the carrier is highlighting<br />

its latest sustainability initiatives,<br />

On the stand, Emirates is<br />

displaying its highly popular<br />

Premium Economy seat in<br />

Germany for the first time, as<br />

well as its Boeing 777-300ER<br />

First Class private suite, the<br />

newest generation of its B777<br />

Business Class seat and the<br />

52 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com



SIXT: The power of premium mobility<br />

at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

Embracing the motto "Welcome to the World of SIXT”, the premium mobility<br />

provider is showcasing its extensive offers and services at <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin <strong>2024</strong><br />

SIXT is one of the leading providers of premium mobility<br />

services worldwide. Renting with SIXT, customers benefit<br />

from premium rental cars at over 2,000 branches in over<br />

100 countries (including franchises). The company is based<br />

in Pullach near Munich (Bavaria, Germany).<br />

With products including SIXT rent,<br />

SIXT share, SIXT ride and SIXT+<br />

on the mobility platform ONE, SIXT<br />

offers a uniquely integrated premium<br />

mobility service across the fields<br />

of vehicle and commercial vehicle<br />

rentals, car sharing, ride hailing and<br />

car subscriptions.<br />




At the main SIXT booth (Hall 9 /<br />

Stand 121), visitors can delve into<br />

digital innovations like Mobile Checkin,<br />

which optimises and accelerates<br />

the car rental pick-up process,<br />

significantly reduces waiting times,<br />

and underscores SIXT's commitment<br />

to a premium experience along the<br />

entire customer journey.<br />

SIXT is also giving visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin<br />

insights into other parts of its mobility<br />

ecosystem. For example, with SIXT<br />

ride, the SIXT App provides access to<br />

a range of premium chauffeur and ride<br />

hailing services tailored for business<br />

traveler and leisure needs.<br />




At the SIXT booth, visitors can also<br />

receive insights into SIXT's growth<br />

ambitions, especially in the USA and<br />

through the further expansion of its<br />

global franchise network.<br />

Beyond the main booth and in<br />

collaboration with the German<br />

National Tourist Board (GNTB), in<br />

hub 27 SIXT is demonstrating how<br />

its offerings are designed to make<br />

mobility in Germany as pleasant as<br />

possible.<br />

Furthermore, SIXT is proud to be<br />

part of the "Home of Business Travel"<br />

presented by <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin and the<br />

German Business Travel Association<br />

(VDR) in Hall 8.2.<br />

Last but not least, SIXT expert Markus<br />

Seitner, Director Sales Marketing &<br />

Product Enablement Corporate Sales,<br />

will speak on 6 March on the <strong>ITB</strong><br />

“Business Travel Track” Green Stage<br />

in Hall 3.1 about how digital processes<br />

elevate quality and customer<br />

excitement<br />

Hall 9 / Stand 121<br />

Hall 8.2 / Stand 206<br />

hub 27 / Stand 201<br />





Markus Seitner, Director Sales<br />

Marketing & Product Enablement<br />

Corporate Sales at SIXT<br />

Wednesday 6 March<br />

12:00p.m. - 12:30p.m.<br />

Business Travel Track<br />

Green Stage<br />

Hall 3.1<br />

<strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> 53

© Emilio Del Prado<br />

WHERE<br />

TO GO IN<br />

<strong>BERLIN</strong><br />


Brechts Steakhaus:<br />

A culinary<br />

hommage on the<br />

Spree<br />

German playwright Bertholt Brecht would have<br />

found it inhumane "to be put in the ground without<br />

having savoured a mouthful of good meat". He would<br />

certainly have been happy at Brecht's steakhouse on<br />

the Spree.<br />

The restaurant on Schiff bauerdamm, in the direct<br />

neighbourhood of the playwright's former place of<br />

work, the Berliner Ensemble, stands for the highest<br />

quality. Whether prime cuts, dry-aged steaks, fillets<br />

or burger patties, the meat comes from trustworthy<br />

suppliers the restaurant has worked with for many<br />

years, such as the Irish premium beef from Kildare<br />

Heritage Town.<br />

But you don’t have to be a carnivore to appreciate<br />

the restaurant, there is also a wide range of dishes<br />

for vegetarians and seafood lovers including vegan<br />

duck breast, tender salmon fillets and tasty salads.<br />

The restaurant has 100 seats and groups are very<br />

welcome.<br />

Brechts Steakhaus<br />

Schiffbauerdamm 7, 10117 Berlin<br />

S + U Friedrichstrasse<br />

brechts.de<br />

© Selina Schrader © Selina Schrader<br />


Try l'Entrecôte, a typical French restaurant<br />

in the heart of Berlin…<br />

"C'est bon". Don't be surprised to hear some<br />

French expressions at Entrecôte, a restaurant<br />

and brasserie in the heart of Berlin that<br />

captures the essence of Paris. Many guests<br />

- including numerous French visitors - say<br />

that there is definitely a Parisian touch at<br />

Entrecôte.<br />

L'esprit brasserie, this attitude to life that<br />

characterises so much the French capital and of<br />

which so many poets, literary figures and artists have<br />

raved, is alive here. As their owners promise : we<br />

bring the spirit without ever copying it.<br />

Look at the menu and plunge into the savours and<br />

delights of a wide range of typical French cuisine. As<br />

a starter, choose between Escargots (snails), Foie<br />

Gras or huitres Fines de Claires (oysters). Follow<br />

with an onion soup with grated cheese, the famed<br />

beef entrecôte or the angus tenderloin, half a lobster<br />

or a salmon steak, a sole “Miller‘s Style", the Coq<br />

au Vin (chicken stewed in red wine), a Duck confit<br />

or scallops in a creamy sauce. These are the kind of<br />

typical dishes that can only be found in brasseries.<br />


Feel on holiday for<br />

an evening at an<br />

authentic French<br />

brasserie<br />

Visitors to <strong>ITB</strong> Berlin can find a relaxing end to<br />

the day at the Ganymed Brasserie. Located in the<br />

heart of Berlin, between the government district<br />

and Friedrichstraße, this historically significant<br />

restaurant treats its guests to a wonderful view<br />

of the Spree river. The cosy atmosphere brings<br />

French style to Berlin, and the cuisine provides<br />

a touch of the Côte d'Azur thanks to the Seafood<br />

Tower with oysters, seafood or fine fish such as<br />

monkfish and sole, the charm of Burgundy with<br />

coq au vin and the classics of French country<br />

cuisine with the finest entrecôte, rack of lamb<br />

and fillet of beef. Whether in the charming<br />

brasserie-style interior or on the spacious terrace<br />

right by the water, diners will immediately feel<br />

like they are on holiday.<br />

Ganymed Brasserie<br />

Schiffbauerdamm 5, 10117 Berlin<br />

S+U Berlin Friedrichstraße<br />

ganymed-brasserie.de<br />

At the same time, the Entrecôte restaurant has<br />

preserved its originality and refrained from copying<br />

a Paris interior in any way. There is neither fake art<br />

deco nor a touch of plushy "over-the-top" style here.<br />

This is truly Berlin with a modern, elegant but very<br />

cosy interior.<br />

This does not detract from the attitude to life. On<br />

the contrary: it makes l'Entrecôte seem so real.<br />

L'Entrecôte cultivates l'esprit brasserie of Paris in the<br />

heart of Berlin. The best of both world cities...<br />

Entrecôte<br />

Schützenstraße 5, 10117 Berlin<br />

Tel: +49 30 20165496 entrecote.de<br />

© Selina Schrader © Selina Schrader<br />

54 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com

56 <strong>ITB</strong> <strong>BERLIN</strong> <strong>NEWS</strong> • TUES<strong>DAY</strong> 5 TH MARCH <strong>2024</strong> news.itb.com

<strong>2024</strong><br />

HALL<br />

PLAN<br />

Hall 4.2 / Stand 100<br />

Hall 4.1 / Stand 222<br />

Hall 1.1 / Stand 214a<br />

Hall 20 / Stand 306

Hall 5.2 / Stand 114<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stands 201/205<br />

Hall 2.2 / Stands 200 & 200a<br />

Hall 26 / Stand 122<br />

Hall 9 / Stand 123<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 136<br />

Hall 9 / Stand 219 Hall 25 / Stand 215 Hall 8.1 / Stand 109<br />

Hall 4.1 / Stand 122<br />

Hall 3.2 / Stands 100 & 101<br />

Hall 1.2 / Stands 107, 107a, 107b, 107c<br />

Hall 25 / Stand 119 Hall 25 / Stand 118<br />

Hall 8.1 / Stand 111 Hall 7.1c / Stand 117 Hall 5.1 / Stand142<br />

Hall 5.1 / Stand 135<br />

Hall 18 / Stand 400c<br />

Hall 1.1 / Stand 122

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