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August 05, 2020

ITB Virtual Convention: Three-part session series at focuses on the hotel industry and current crisis

The hospitality industry is facing turbulent times: On 11 August (2 - 4 p.m. CET) ITB Berlin will launch its next round of online sessions as part of the virtual ITB Berlin Convention. Under the heading ’ITB Virtual Convention Hospitality Update – Trends & Cases’, the three sessions and interviews on the global platform ( will focus on the topic of hospitality. The events will be streamed live in English and available shortly afterwards to anyone interested as videos on demand.

Kicking off the three-part series will be the session ‘Smart Hotel – Future Scenarios and Current Practice in the Crisis’ at 2 p.m., in which Prof. Dr. Ing. Vanessa Borkmann of the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO will provide valuable insights into technological scenarios and cognitive environments. She will highlight ways in which digitalisation can help the hotel industry in these challenging times and provide examples of how hotels are integrating smart solutions and new technologies to overcome the crisis.

This will be followed at 2.30 p.m. by ‘Ready, Set, Listen: Staying Fit in a Hotelier’s Race to Recovery’, an exclusive interview with Ben Jost, the CEO of TrustYou. In conversation with Iris Steinmetz, Senior Director of Operations EMEA, HRS International, he will discuss how hoteliers can maximise the potential of the Travel Health Index and why listening to guest and staff feedback will be the key to success during and after the pandemic.

Rounding off the series on 11 August at 3.15 p.m. will be a discussion round titled ‘How to Create a Comeback – Practical Learnings from the Crisis Period’, also moderated by Iris Steinmetz, Senior Director of Operations EMEA, HRS International. Together with other panel members, Andreas Westerburg, Head of Development, BWH Hotel Group, Stefan Matthiessen, Chief Brand Officer, Koncept Hotels, and Julie White, VP Commercial EMEA Wyndham Hotels & Resorts will outline the thorny road to recovery for all the various types will outline the thorny road to recovery for all the various types of hotels around the world. What direction are hotel brands taking? How are new, smaller brands positioning themselves, and how are the major established hotel companies finding their way? The practice-oriented panel discussion at this session will focus on sharing practical advice and experiences with representatives of different hotel brands.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2021 will be taking place from Wednesday, 10 to Sunday, 14 March, and from Wednesday to Friday will be open to trade visitors only. ITB Berlin is the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. In 2019 a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 181 countries exhibited their products and services to around 160,000 visitors, including 113.500 trade visitors. Parallel with the show the ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held from Wednesday, 10 to Saturday, 13 March 2021. Admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors and exhibitors. For more information please visit, and the ITB Social Media Newsroom.

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