ITB Berlin Round-up

The weather has been fairly nice during ITB this year.

Unusual! It only started snowing again when the world’s largest travel trade fair closed its doors on Sunday afternoon.

The figures:
  • 179,351 visitors in total
  • 110,953 trade visitors
  • 68,398 visitors of the general public
  • 6 bn Euros in orders
  • 11,127 companies exhibited (2009: 11,098)
  • from 187 countries
  • 12,500 delegates taking part in the ITB Convention
  • approx. 7,200 journalists from around the world covered the show
The online and technology trends:

Social Media

Social Media was the most obvious trend at ITB Berlin this year.
People either love or hate it, but it’s in everybody’s mouth.
My favorite concept:
word of mouth becomes word of mouse

My favorite thought:
Google Live Search, Google Buzz – search is slowing down social media and enables the customer to find deals when they need them. @yenlee
The main questions asked:
How to generate tangible revenue using social media?
How to monitor and control reputation in social media and fight fires?
The main issue to be resolved in 2010:
How to track bookings generated through social media campaigns to the bottom line?
A couple of (technical) solutions:
  • Facebook Connect to transfer customer data
  • Facebook integration of booking interfaces
The largest events, featuring social media panel discussion, lectures, networking events etc. were:

iPhone apps

iPhone apps were displayed on almost every booth – at least that was my impression.
Everyone, from hotel and travel to technology company seems to have launched an iPhone or mobile app just in time for ITB. Some of them but not all were clearly rushed and need to be worked on in terms of usability.
Only a few examples:

Last but not least iPhone apps especially launched to get around ITB:

Is this the year of mobile as predicted at World Travel Market last November?

In which case an appeal to travel fair organizers around the world:
We need iPhone charge stations at the grounds to power up our mobiles after a long day of using all those apps and tweeting! How else would we be able to book our hotel room for the night?
It’s been a great show and I wish there was another one next week.
Thanks to everyone I’ve met for all the exciting discussions.
Keep in touch!

The Hotel and Travel Week #15

Monday, 1st March

Yotel, the futuristic hotel chain, will open a hotel in New York City in 2011. This will be the brand’s first hotel outside it’s current airport locations, London Heathrow, London Gatwick and Amsterdam Schiphol. The hotel will be an affordable and distinct luxury property in Manhattan, Yotel say the hotel will feature 669 stylish cabins as well as a restaurant, bar, meeting rooms, Club Lounge and the largest outside terrace of any hotel in New York. It will be the first and only Yotel full-service hotel.
Tuesday, 2nd March
IHG, the world’s largest by rooms hotel chain, is targeting candidates to fill job vacancies with Twitter-based job postings and mobile recruiting. They are working with TweetMyJOBS, a Twitter-based recruiting solution that connects job seekers with recruiters and companies instantly via social media. Job seekers can search TweetMyJOBS.com by type of work, location or company and receive instant notification on their mobile when a job matches their criteria. TweetMyJOBS say they have reached more than 18k highly-targeted applicants for the 1k open positions at IHG in January alone.
Wednesday, 3rd March
Revinate announce a new Online Reputation Management solution, specifically designed for individual hotels and hotel chains. The tool provides comprehensive monitoring of top review sites, blogs, news sites and social media services such as Flickr, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook and TripAdvisor.
There is a Reputation Dashboard with an analysis of reviews from sites such as Yelp, Priceline, Hotels.com, Orbitz and Travelocity, a section called Social Media Scorecard which tracks key performance metrics and benchmarks of competitors and a TweetConcierge with hotel-specific features like multi-user management and campaign tracking.
Revinate clients include InterContinental, Peninsula Hotels, Joie de Vivre Hotels and Trump Hotels.
Thursday, 4th March
Priceline.com launch the Big Deal Hotel Price Guarantee promotion. If a customer finds a better price until the day before check-in than the price they’ve booked a room for under Priceline’s Name Your Own Price® scheme, the company will match that price and pay the customer an additional USD25. Customers in the U.S. will also receive a USD50 coupon which they can use for future bookings on the site.
Friday, 5th March
ebookers.com waive hotel cancellation and amendment fees. Customers amending their booking will now only have to pay a fee if the hotel has their own cancellation policy. The OTA has also removed all booking fees throughout the entire hotel portfolio.