ITB Berlin focuses: Airbnb, China, startups, overtourism & hotel tech
ITB Berlin 2018, which took place last week, hosted 10,000 businesses from 186 countries and regions who showcased their products and services to more than 110,000 trade visitors.
Airbnb explains its new categories
Airbnb’s global influence on the travel and hospitality was an underlying theme in many of the conversations taking place across ITB Berlin. Nathan Blecharczyk, Airbnb’s co-founder and chief strategy officer, explained the addition of four new Airbnb accommodation categories – vacation home, bed and breakfast, unique and boutique – and how this will help it get towards its stated aim of one billion guest nights, per annum, by 2028.
China on a plate
From the travel tech companies based in China and expanding internationally to the destinations trying to attract the hundred-million-plus Chinese outbound travellers, China is no longer an emerging market (although that is not to say that it has finished growing).
Startups are global
The inaugural eTravelWorld StartUp Day provided all stakeholders in the travel startup ecosystem with access to intelligence and insights. Specific sessions drilling down into the scene in China, Germany and Spain provided a global backdrop to the day, while the five businesses selected for the ITB Startup Pitch Powered by Phocuswright represented a cross-section of niches with startup appeal.
Overtourism under scrutiny
Of the many buzzwords circulating around the halls, overtourism was the one which resonated the most widely – destinations are feeling under pressure from the volume of visitors, which then attracts the attention of local, regional and national governments.
The subjects discussed as part of the dedicated ITB Hospitality Tech Forum, which covered universal tech topics —artificial intelligence, blockchain and social recruiting, are as good an indicator as any of the broad reach that tech has into hospitality, as well as the role that the wider tech world is having in hospitality.
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