ITB 2018: Looking to the future

We were at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB, earlier this month. The convention is held in Berlin so we were on home ground!

We were at the world’s leading travel trade show, ITB, earlier this month. The convention is held in Berlin so we were on home ground! It’s a huge event for everyone in the travel industry - from hotels to travel managers and buyers. It was the perfect opportunity to network with existing partners and brought lots of potential for partnerships in the future. With a huge focus on digitalization and new technology in hospitality, there were a lot of valuable tips for hotels and hoteliers this year. We’ve rounded up the main points from the event! One of the main focuses at ITB this year was how hotels can use technology to boost their online presence. When it comes to booking trips, travel agents and magazine advertisements are increasingly a thing of the past. Travelers now have all the information they need less than a second away via Google. All hoteliers will know that review sites can be both a blessing and a curse, but it’s important to make the most of them as this is a vital step in the booking process for your guests. RJ Friedlander, Founder & CEO at ReviewPro discussed how hotels can use review sites to improve their experience and interact positively with guests. Hotels that keep pace with the latest technology have a huge competitive advantage. Hotel tech was big at ITB with Sergi Mesquida, Head of Innovation and New Ventures at Hotelbeds Group discussing how AI will transform hotel distribution. Machine learning and personalization are also coming to hotels and boring, repetitive tasks are increasingly becoming automated - giving you more valuable interactions with your guests! Optimizing the hotel experience for your guests is always at the top of the priority list for any hotel. Martin Sponholz, CEO and founder of AeroGuest, covered how hotels can use emerging technology to make their guest experience stand out. This includes offering virtual reality (VR) experiences - for example, your potential guests could explore your hotel as if they were there before booking using VR technology, as Karen Nementh of discussed. Social media ‘influencers’ have been a steadily rising force over the last few years and they’re not going away any time soon! They’re pros at promoting brands to a social media audience, so it’s helpful to use their expertise to boost your online presence and reach a younger audience. Why not reach out to a relevant influencer to offer them a stay or a spa treatment at your hotel in exchange for coverage on their social media channels?ITB is a good opportunity for hotels and hoteliers to discover insights into the future of hospitality and what changes will be fundamental in the coming years. For us, it was a valuable chance to network and spread our vision for how we will revolutionize business travel. We got to inspire the audience with with Max’s presentation on how we’re revolutionizing business travel and making it sexy. We inspired hoteliers with our talk on how Gen Z travelers will love personalized, modern hotel stays. We also got to motivate future entrepreneurs with Max’s founder story, encouraging everyone to move forward with their own ideas and not stop believing in themselves no matter how often they are turned down. Thanks to everyone who came to see us at our stand!