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ITB Berlin News - Day 3

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20 SPECIAL FEATURE

20 SPECIAL FEATURE FAMILY DESTINATIONS Europa Park Flies to New Heights Record-breaking visitor numbers and new attractions promise much for Germany’s best theme park German theme park Europa Park had a very successful 2016, as owner Roland Mack pointed out “With over 5.5 million visitors, we once again look back on a record year for our company.” 2016 was also marked by investments of more than €20million “and more than 100 new jobs have been created as a result at Europa Park, along with 150 apprenticeships for young people,” said Mack, adding “The occupancy rate of the themed hotels remains very high: the number of overnight guests and duration of stay has increased steadily.” At the Europa Park stand, ITB Berlin 2017, the key message for the industry concerns new attractions at the destination in South West Germany. Project V – an innovative world-class flight simulator ride - has seen the biggest single Project V Gondel Yas Island at Your Fingertips Already the UAE’s premier entertainment destination, with its Ferrari World themepark, Formula One circuit and waterpark, plus the forthcoming SeaWorld Abu Dhabi and Warner Bros World, Yas Island has refined its product with a new mobile app. The Yas Island App is designed for locationbased exploration of the island and helps users plan their visit whether prior to arrival or while on-site. The app is customisable, so users can filter experiences by mood and favourites, and it enables experiencesharing on social media. Gerardo Llanes, Executive Director, Yas Island Destination Management, said, “Each day we aim to revolutionize the way people plan and enjoy their experiences investment in the history of Europa Park. Potentially Europe’s largest Flying Theatre, the experience promises to be an intense adventure as customers fly on a simulated fantasy ride around Europe’s famous landscapes, with their senses bombarded by wind, water and scent effects. A pioneering combination of thrill-ride and cinematic simulation, Project V is scheduled to be operational in June 2017. More tangible, but a little less immediate, is the Water Adventure Resort – a 46 hectare extension to the park, full of indoor and outdoor water experiences, due to open in 2019. With the continued success of Germany’s Mercedes Formula One team, the Monaco motorsport exhibition should become a favourite with the majority domestic visitors, while families can expect the usual mixture of rides, attractions, shows, hotels and restaurants when the summer season starts in less than a month, on April 1 Hall 6.2b / Stand 202 with us. Yas Island’s new identity deserves an equally world-class digital platform base; we believe this channel will enable us to connect with every type of visitor, and satisfy each of their unique needs through customizable and compelling high-tech features.” Hall 2.2b / Stand 200 ADVERTORIAL Home page Travel Professionals Evolution of AccorHotels Digital Group Booking Solution for Tourism Professionals Travel agents, tour operators and coach operators are gaining new advantages this year with AccorHotels’ dedicated group booking platform. Deployed in 2014, the platform offers online booking of one-off groups from 15 to 60 people (8 to 30 rooms). The online group rate platform offers customers not only visibility and instant availability and group rates, but also allows the tourism professionals to ask their options directly online in the hotel system and thus obtain a guaranteed rate. A large number of tourism professionals now use the system. Since its launch, more than 25,000 applications have already been processed. WHAT’S NEW? Customers can now place options on any one of the 900 hotels or apply for quotations from up to 900 others, in all market segments, and in more than 300 destinations worldwide. This year, a new packaged offer with half board, including accommodation in single, double and twin rooms, breakfast and dinner, is offered at attractive rates, indicated 405 days in advance. With the launch of the new Travel Professional website late in 2016, AccorHotels now offers excellent visibility for group promotional offers. According to AccorHotels, since the launch of this booking platform, the results have doubled, as theirs is the only channel to propose this solution. With their new half board offer, the AccorHotels group thus delivers what it terms a “complete digital tool” for professional customers Hall 9 / Stand 214 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 10 th March 2017 www.itb-berlin-news.com

GAY & LESBIAN TRAVEL SPECIAL FEATURE 21 LGBT Travel ITB Berlin remains the most active promoter of diversity in tourism With improved exposure, more space and more exhibitors, thanks in part to ITB Berlin commitment, the LGBT travel segment has gained global recognition and is very much a permanent feature of the world’s largest travel show. LGBT travel has been present at ITB Berlin for many years and has grown over time with the fair. For this 2017 edition, the LGBT Pavilion has been relocated to Hall 21b, featuring a wide range of new exhibitors, including global brands such as app provider Hornet (well-known among gay communities), the Belmond Hotel Group but also the State of Illinois Office of Tourism as well as Aspen Snowmass, the cities of Benidorm and Valencia in Spain as well WorldPride Madrid 2017. A new Presentation Corner has been created where exhibitors can showcase their latest LGBT products. “We receive increasing interest from destinations and from the travel trade to participate. For example, we welcome this year for the first time the South American LGBT Travel Association. We already have four strategic partners-Argentina, Berlin, Florida and Vienna- which support our efforts to promote LGBT travel. We are also trying to encourage Taiwan to look at ways to work closely together. I am proud to say that ITB Berlin offers now the largest gathering in the world of LGBT-related travel services”, explains Rika Jean-Francois, Commissioner, ITB Corporate Social Responsibility. The LGBT Pavilion is also offering a range of conferences and presentations on LGBT travel themes. A series of lectures in Hall 21b focus on various themes such as the world’s first travel campaign by the city of Fort Lauderdale integrating transgender models, on successful business models exploiting this market, and on LGBTfriendly destinations. On March 8, Clark Massad, vice president, IGLTA, Peter Jordan, founder of Gen C Traveller, and Isabel Garaña, regional director for Europe, UNWTO, presented a preview of the coming study on “New Horizons for LGBT Travel: a Preview of the UNWTO- IGLTA Global Report on LGBT Travel”. “We are here for the first time at ITB Berlin as we want to encourage the users of our app to move into a more sophisticated experience. We do include an extensive guide looking at events and places WE RECEIVE INCREASING INTEREST FROM DESTINATIONS AND FROM THE TRAVEL TRADE TO PARTICIPATE in 300 locations, while our Hornet Stories include travel features. ITB Berlin is the perfect place to communicate with the world”, explains Sean Howell, President and Founder of Hornet Hall 21b / Stand 214c ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 10 th March 2017

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