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ITB Destination Day 1


March 6, 2019

10:45 - 19:00

CityCube Berlin, Auditorium A1

mc Group

Strategies and best practice examples of key tourism regions; recommendations for optimized destination management.

The ITB Destination Days are dedicated to urgent challenges and perspectives in international destination management. On Wednesday, the keynote panel will present solutions for effectively handling problems relating to one of the convention’s key topics: Overtourism. Another ITB Convention key topic – Luxury – will include the exciting question “which are the trend luxury destinations of today and tomorrow?” The focus will be on Arabia, China and city destinations. The threat of a ground-based traffic collapse in many places is another important topic at the 2019 ITB Convention. The Future Ground Mobility Panel and the subsequent ITB Ministers’ Roundtable will examine both the causes of the problems as well as approaches to solving them.

Hosted by:

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker


10:45 - 11:00

Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker

-In Cooperation with UNWTO-

Infinite growth cannot work in a finite space: The intensity and growth of conflicts in more and more tourist hotspots shows that things cannot go on as before. In the meantime, a number of solutions have been found for severely affected urban destinations. How can a destination set the right conditions for sustainable growth - on a national, regional and local basis? Results of a global empirical exclusive study by Travelzoo and ITB also show when tourists accept or desire access and price barriers, smart technologies, tourist selection and visitor guidance. What are the lessons learned and best practice examples? And last but not least: Can the findings also be applied to increasingly affected rural attractions?

Introductory presentation:
Sunita Rajan, Senior Vice President Advertising Sales, CNN

Moderated by:
Anita Mendiratta, Founder & President CACHET Consulting; Special Advisor to Secretary General, UNWTO

Panel guests:
Dr. Manuel Butler Halter, Executive Director, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
Prof. Dr. Albert Postma, CELTH/NHL Stenden|ETFI
Sharry Sun, Global Head of Brand, Travelzoo
Romana Vlasic, Director, DUBROVNIK TOURIST BOARD & Convention Bureau

Which destinations will be en vogue tomorrow is one of the key questions in the luxury market. It is becoming apparent that, on the one hand, cold destinations such as Iceland, Lapland, the Arctic and Antarctica will become the new luxury destinations. On the other hand, destinations that make it possible to take a journey to one´s own self – Hindu temples, monastery hotels and self-discovery in nature – are increasingly popular with luxury customers. Where is the luxury market heading, and how are destinations participating in the growth of this attractive segment? 

Greeting and Introduction:
Marc Aeberhard, Owner, Luxury Hotel & Spa Management Ltd

Eliza Jean Reid, First Lady of Iceland, United Nations Special Ambassador for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals

Introductory presentations:
Philipp Schmidt, Co-Owner, Nordisch Reisen GmbH
Maja Traber-Watters, Member of Executive Board, Swiss Heart Foundation - Young at Heart
Michael Edwards, Chief Growth Officer, Intrepid Group

Moderated by:
Marc Aeberhard, Owner, Luxury Hotel & Spa Management Ltd

From beach tourism to cultural vacations: Demand for travel to the Arab world is now higher than it has been for a long time. Although it is not quite as high as it once was, the upswing is gaining momentum and has reached numerous countries - from Morocco, Tunisia, Egypt and Jordan to the United Arab Emirates and Oman, partner country of ITB 2020. What are the reasons for the surge in demand? How well prepared are the countries for the rising number of guests, and how great is the upswing’s potential? Which strategies are individual destinations pursuing, and which tourism projects are planned? How do current events affect demand, and how political are the tourists?

Moderated by:
Tanja Samrotzki, Journalist

Panel guests:
H.E. Dr. Badr Abdelatty, Ambassador, The Arab Republic of Egypt to The Federal Republic of Germany
Paul-Anton Krüger, Deputy Foreign Editor, Süddeutsche Zeitung
Samih Sawiris, Entrepreneur/Urban Developer
Peter Strub, Chief Operating Officer, Studiosus Reisen


Since 2016, WTCF has joined hands with TRC-CASS to carry out research work on world tourism economic trends and publish the Report on World Tourism Economic Trends annually, attracting extensive attention from both inside and outside the tourism industry.

The objective of the World Tourism Cities Federation’s Market Research Report on Chinese Outbound Tourist (City) Consumption 2017-2018 is to identify trends, understand its potential for marketing, product development, distribution and sale and benefit from the chances modern communication and online sales technology provide. Understanding these changes and innovative trends results in better opportunities to capitalize on the great potential of the Chinese outbound tourism market for destinations, incoming agencies, hospitality providers and attractions. 

Sophie Zhang, Senior Manager for Programs and Projects, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF), Member of UNWTO QUEST Advisory Board
Dr. Jin Zhun, Secretary General of the Tourism Research Centre, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences


Marketing activities can be divided into offline and online, the latter becoming more and more popular allowing for a higher ROI. But is offline marketing outdated and how a combination of both channels could look like? What is the most effective mix of putting your destinations on the map and effectively communicating its core values and attractions to potential Chinese visitors? Which are the latest channels for doing so? Is Wechat (902 million daily users) & Weibo all we need? How about new apps like Douyin (Tik Tok), most downloaded APP in H1 2018, and the so-called wang hongs (online celebrities)? 

Moderated by:
Richard Matuzevich, Senior Manager, Liaison Department, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF)

Panel guests:
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Arlt, Director, COTRI China Outbound Tourism Research Institute
Jenny Cai, Director, PR& Media Department, World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF)
Alice He, Chinese Social Media Manager, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group
Roger Qiu, General Manager of EMEA Destination Marketing, Ctrip
Manuel Viñuelas, International Promotion & Mice, Sevilla Tourism


Transport systems at a turning point: Autonomous means of transport and the digital revolution, business models and mobility platforms for sharing, electric power systems, minibuses, rental bicycles, cable cars, etc. – we are entering a new age of mobility. Is the traffic collapse in cities avoidable? What are the consequences for business and leisure tourism? What should cities and rural areas with tourist attractions do now to make their transport systems fit for the future?

Moderated by:
Birgit Fehst, Moderator, Coach, Speaker

Panel guests:
Wolfram Auer, Deputy Director International Business Development, Doppelmayr Seilbahnen GmbH
Stephan Pfeiffer, Head of Strategic Partnerships & Public Affairs, ioki (Deutsche Bahn)
Christoph Weigler, General Manager, Uber Germany

 -In Cooperation With MC Group-

The number of tourists is rising globally, but there is still a lot to catch up on, especially in the infrastructure of tourism. This year’s ITB Ministers’ Roundtable will focus on traffic, the expansion of the infrastructure in the cities and secret hotspots. What influence does an excellent transport network have on attracting leisure and business tourism?

Moderated by:
Damon Embling, World Affairs Reporter, Euronews

Panel guests:
H.E. Rania A. Al-Mashat, Minister of Tourism, Arab Republic of Egypt
H.E. Hon. Md. Mahbub Ali, State Minister for Civil Aviation in Tourism, Bangladesh
Dr. Manuel Butler Halter, Executive Director, World Tourism Organization (UNWTO)
H.E. Hon. Anil Kumarsingh GAYAN, SC, Minister of Tourism, Mauritius
Mariam Kvrivishvili, Head of Administration, Georgian National Tourism Administration
H.E. Hon. Savvas Perdios, Minister of Tourism, Cyprus
Hon. René Trabelsi, Minister of Tourism and Handicrafts, Tunisia

MC Group
17:45 - 19:00