Technology and sustainability the big themes at Berlin's ITB travel trade show

Technology and sustainability the big themes at Berlin's ITB travel trade show

Technology and sustainability were the big themes at this year's ITB travel trade show in Berlin. In this episode of Spotlight, Dailyrater speaks to delegates and exhibitors about the changes currently taking place in the travel industry and the tourism trends for the year ahead.

Damon Embling, Dailyrater

A firm favourite on the tourist map

All sorts of destinations and experiences were vying for the attention of the 110,000 or so trade visitors who flock to the German capital. One country that has a got a big presence at ITB Berlin is India. A firm favourite on the tourist map, attracting visitors year after year, who come to marvel at the likes of the Taj Mahal. Yoga and wellness holidays also continue to be a big pull. To stand out in today's crowded travel market, India is encouraging visitors to go beyond the traditional attractions by visiting rural communities.

explains Yogendra Tripathi, from India's Ministry of Tourism.

He adds,

Young travellers driving tourism growth

Tourism is a growth industry, with visitor numbers from Asia, including China, booming. Tech-savvy Millennials are also helping to fuel this upward trend, travelling to countries like South Africa. Young travellers represent the fastest area of growth, with social media and blogs driving their passion to try something new and authentic.

, says Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism.

He goes on to say:

Albania open for business

Technology is also something that Albania is using to show the tourism world it is open for business. A relatively new destination, sitting in southeast Europe, Albania attracted more than six million foreign tourists last year, a rise of 20 percent on 2017. Once a hidden treasure, its breathtaking mountains and stunning beaches are now big magnets for many.

Blendi Klosi, Albania Minister of Tourism and Environment said:

Sustainable and responsible tourism

Many countries are keen to attract tourists in harmony with protecting the natural environment_._ Destinations like the Seychelles are at the heart of that drive given that the islands are particularly vulnerable to climate change. The country has limited tourist numbers for a longtime and has had a moratorium on the construction of big hotels. Many plastics are also banned, including single-use bags, cups, utensils and straws.

says Didier Dogley, Seychelles Minister of Tourism.

He adds:

The sustainability challenge stretches into the skies too. Airlines like Thai Airways are investing in new planes, which are greener and more fuel efficient. New technologies are transforming the way we travel and the carbon footprint we leave behind.

Kittiphong Sansomboon from Thai Airways said:

Trends and challenges

ITB is also an opportunity for key players to debate and discuss current trends and challenges in the industry. Tourism infrastructure is one of those.

said Mariam Kvrivishvili, Head, Georgian National Tourism Administration.

Linked to infrastructure is the challenge of over-tourism. Many countries are now promoting secret hotspots to ease the load on the main attractions. They are also trying to spread visitor numbers throughout the year.

says Professor Roland Conrady, Scientific Director at the ITB Berlin.

A bigger slice of the tourism pie

Away from the debates and discussions, China had a big showing at this year's ITB Berlin. As Chinese traveller numbers boom, the country is looking to get a bigger slice of the tourism action at home by encouraging travellers to visit places like the southern Hainan province. The city of Sanya, for instance, is known as the “Hawaii of the East”, and is becoming a top beach destination.

said Fenghua Fu, Deputy director, International Marketing Division, Department of Tourism, Culture, Radio, Television and Sports of Hainan Province

Elsewhere in Asia, the Philippines is enjoying new flight connectivities and is looking to tap into newer markets such as Russia and the Middle East. Like other countries, the Philippines is increasingly putting its people at the heart of its tourism vision.

Marie Venus Q. Tan, CEO from the Tourism Promotions Board Philippines said:

She concludes by saying:

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