MONDAY 21 st MARCH 2016 REVIEW EDITION NEWS TRADE TALK ITB BERLIN CONVENTION EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW Dr Christian Göke Chief Executive Officer, Messe Berlin “Never before in its 50 years has ITB Berlin welcomed so many trade visitors to the exhibition halls.” Read page 6 Willem Niemeijer CEO, Yaana Ventures “Yaana will empower its entrepreneurs with the freedom to innovate, while providing background leadership and resources for them to thrive.” Read page 16 Florence Kaci Director, Sales, EMEA and European Market Specialist, Phocuswright “Mobile trip planning is on the rise. In 2013, 38% of respondents on average used their mobile device for this purpose, while in 2014, this had risen to 49%.” Read page 19 Gustavo Santos Minister of Tourism, Argentine Republic “There are entire regions of Argentina which would not exist, they would have literally nothing at all, if it weren’t for their tourism industry.” Read page 21 50 Years – What a Celebration! ITB Berlin reaches half century in style – with 7-billion euros in business signed on show floor The 50 th edition of ITB Berlin was more than ever a reliable indicator of the state of the industry, an indispensable networking platform and invaluable for providing an impetus for one of the world’s most important industries. As usual, the mood of the industry was retuned thanks to the world’s most “international” travel and tourism event, boasting 10,000 exhibitors, and 120,000 trade visitors. Business conducted during the trade show rose from last year’s figure of 6.7 billion euros to around seven billion this year. ITB Berlin has again provided evidence that this trade show, a global market place and a platform for personal encounters, provides a “firm foundation for the industry during turbulent times”, and in the digital age too it has lost none of its importance for the travel industry all over the world. Indeed, ITB Berlin is a harbinger of trends, and it looks like the next one will be travel to the African continent, as Botswana will take the place of honour as Official Partner Country in 2017 (see our special spotlight - page 20). Tshekedi Khama II Environment, Wildlife and Tourism Minister, Botswana SPECIAL FEATURE ROBOTS IN HOSPITALITY Mario, the world’s first humanoid hotel robot If one particular trend stood out at ITB Berlin 2016, it was no doubt the arrival of robots in the hospitality sector. At this year’s show, we were treated to closeup looks at robots from several different manufacturers, and with different use-cases. In the future, we may see robot maids that can make-up rooms in record time, robot security guards that never tire… but for now, they are already proving their usefulness in the service sector. From page 22.