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ITB Berlin News 2021 - Review Edition

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I NEWS I Airbnb sees

I NEWS I Airbnb sees opportunities in the bleisure segment © Eurowings Eurowings neutralises the middle seat on passengers' request Nathan Blecharczyk Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, Airbnb, and Chairman, Airbnb China, at ITB Berlin NOW convention Eurowings refocuses on customer quality The ITB Berlin NOW Keynote interview "from mass to meaningful travel" on Wednesday March 10, looked at new models adapted to a pandemic context. Airbnb's adaptation to current market conditions proves the resilience of the industry in uncertain times. For Nathan Blecharczyk, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Airbnb and Chairman of Airbnb China, the adaptation of the Airbnb model to new health and social distancing conditions has helped the accommodation sharing company to cushion the impact of the pandemic. "We were expecting a drop of 50% in total revenues for the year 2020. We finally experienced a drop of "only" 30% at US.4bn. The lockdown was followed by a desire to visit places nearby accessible by car. The millions of hosts' offers helped to attract travellers to smaller communities," he explained at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. Furthermore, Airbnb appeared as an easy solution for travellers who wanted to work remotely from another home, or take extended trips with family and friends. Bleisure is likely to turn into an important segment of Airbnb development in the near future. "The concept of bleisure will be on the rise as more people work from home or go to the office only three times a week. This leaves an open door to extended week-ends where people can enjoy both a vacation and work remotely," said Blecharczyk. Airbnb is also adapting to community requirements or local government rules. "We aim to find solutions to engage Airbnb hosts, guests and local communities. We adapt permanently," said the CSO. "Airbnb of today is certainly not the company of tomorrow," he concluded VISIT BR AND CARD In another ITB Berlin NOW CEO interview, Eurowings GmbH CEO Jens Bischof, stated that the pandemic has been taken as a time to rethink the model of development for the point-to-point air carrier. "Our new Eurowings strategy is to focus stronger on customer services. Major changes are currently observed in travellers' behaviour. Guests do not look only for a 5€ ticket to fly and cheap accommodation. They want to feel at ease with a partner they can trust in health safety and care," he explained during ITB Berlin NOW. The airline is responding to customers health concerns with a further improved service on board. Passengers can now reserve a free middle seat on all Eurowings flights from as little as 10 euros and book it online on the airline's website in just a few clicks. "We want be the leading point-to-point carrier in terms of services," added Bischof. Another major development is the creation of a new hub in Berlin, showing Eurowings' confidence in its local market. Three aircraft will be stationed in Berlin from April. They will serve, up to three times a day, Cologne, Düsseldorf and Stuttgart, as well as holiday destinations over the summer VISIT BR AND CARD 6 ITB BERLIN NEWS • WEDNESDAY 17 TH MARCH 2021

I NEWS I © Bady Abbas / Unsplash Tourism for sustainable development under spotlight @ ITB Berlin NOW The promotion of sustainable development through tourism has not only been in focus since the outbreak of the Corona pandemic, but it is more urgent than ever due to its huge impact on the industry. To this end, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) was present at ITB Berlin NOW promoting its comprehensive programme which paves the way for partner countries through the COVID-19 crisis towards a more resilient and sustainable tourism landscape. "Sustainable Ways Out of a Challenging Crisis: Approaches and Measures in Cooperation with International and Local Partners" saw 14 key players on the stage. Post-Covid Youth travel The youth travel market targeting 15 to 30-year-olds has plummeted by around 70% since the second quarter of 2020 and is unlikely to recover fully before 2023, said Professor Greg Richards of the WYSE Travel Confederation at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. As far as a recovery was concerned, youth travel offered prospects that set it apart from other markets, Richards said. Young travellers often go on longer trips than other Norbert Barthle Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Norbert Barthle, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), explained that the measures announced by the Ministry are designed for 16 countries that are particularly affected by the Corona crisis and represent important destinations for the German travel market. The implementation will start in spring 2021 together with strong international partner organisations as well as local cooperation partners. The holistic approach aims at making tourism emerge stronger from the crisis and contribute to sustainable development with the broadest possible impact VISIT BR AND CARD holidaymakers, for instance. The average time spent travelling as an au pair or on language studies was over 100 days. For that reason, young travellers were more likely to take quarantine in their stride. The youth travel market has changed substantially in recent years. “Backpackers are already history, even though for many years, they essentially made up the youth travel market. However, the market’s traditional image has changed. Backpackers have grown older, gone up-market and become flashpackers and digital nomads”, he said. One obstacle to a recovery of the youth travel market could be that in many countries students and young adults will be among the last population groups to be vaccinated. However, this could be an incentive for destinations to attract students by advertising vaccinations on entry to their country. An important factor influencing the youth travel market’s future was visa policies. One would have to wait and see what steps the Biden administration would take in the future, Richards said NEWS IN BRIEF CROATIA WINS FIRST ITB BERLIN NOW MEDICAL TOURISM AWARD ITB CSR Commissioner Rika Jean- Francois announced the first ITB Medical Tourism Award at ITB Berlin NOW, following the decision made by the jury members HTI, ESPA and ITB Berlin. Congratulations went to Romeo Draghicchio, director of the Croatian National Tourism Board in Frankfurt. In recent years, Croatia has made a name for itself as a quality medical tourism destination. Out of the one million people who visited the country in 2019, 500,000 came for medical reasons, Draghicchio said. And even during 2020, the year of the crisis, the country weathered the situation comparatively well. At 50 million overnights, the figures for 2020 were 50% of 2019, a record year Dubrovnik VISITSCOTLAND PRESENTS NEW PRODUCTS Scotland is currently having to contend with two travel obstacles: the pandemic and Brexit. Nevertheless, at exhibitor VISIT BR AND CARD VISIT BR AND CARD presentations at ITB Berlin NOW it had so many new things to offer that the land in Britain’s north is surely still worth a visit. Together with colourful images, VisitScotland’s slogan is “Dream now. Travel later.” Part of that dream is experiencing Scotland’s natural beauty, for example by diving in lochs or tasting specialities from nature such as venison and wild herbs. Cultural highlights new to the tourism programme are the opening of a Johnnie Walker museum and restaurant in Edinburgh. For those averse to whisky there is also carbon-neutral gin The new Johnnie Walker museum in Edinburgh © Diageo © Spencer Davis / Unsplash ITB BERLIN NEWS • WEDNESDAY 17 TH MARCH 2021 7

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