In 2017, ‘Africa’s best-kept secret’ will be making its big appearance at ITB Berlin. Yesterday, Botswana’s Minister of the Environment Tshekedi Stanford Khama II and Thabo Brian Dithebe, CEO of the Botswana Tourism Organisation, signed a corresponding partnership agreement with ITB Berlin. The country has been exhibiting at the travel trade show every year since 1984. In 2017 the aim will be to focus on Botswana’s nature conservation achievements and to raise global awareness of this country among travellers.
At the first Start Tourism UP competition ASK HELMUT came out top with its electronic service for customised event ideas. Last year, the Berlin Senate Department for Economics, Technology and Research and ITB Berlin invited candidates to enter the start up competition for digital tourism solutions. At the eTravel World the five finalists were able to deliver live pitches presenting projects which aim to bring the digital economy and tourism closer together in the capital.
12-lane data highways, comprehensive global coverage with 5G from 2020, and pan-European data protection guidelines: Günther Oettinger, EU Commissioner for the digital economy and society, outlined his vision for the future of connectivity and open borders at the ITB Berlin Convention. With the enormous challenges that digitalization poses, political decision-makers are called upon to act. Oettinger pledged to make the necessary infrastructure available and to create suitable conditions for fair competition. At the same time data security would have to be regulated in an appropriate way.
As of May 2017 ITB Berlin will be taking on the Chinese travel market with a new trade fair. ITB China will be held annually in cooperation with TravelDaily China at the World Expo Exhibition and Conference Center in Shanghai. Corresponding agreements have already been made with Chinese companies, including Alitrip, the travel brand of China’s internet giant Alibaba, with Ctrip, the country’s leading online travel agency, and with the tour operator Utour. With ITB Asia in Singapore ITB Berlin has already established a successful travel trade show in Asia.