Tech in tourism & climate-conscious strategies: insights from ITB Berlin 2024

5 Business Support Organizations (BSOs) presented their countries with stunning pavilions at this year’s ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade fair. The meetings and networking sessions with existing and potential partners help strengthen relationships and build prospective collaborations across Europe. 

Insights from ITB Berlin 2024

The 2024 edition of ITB Berlin took place from 4-7 March and showcased more than 5’500 exhibitors from 170 countries. It attracted close to 100’000 visitors – a sign that people continue to have a desire to travel.  

5 Business Support Organizations (BSOs), which collaborate with SIPPO, presented their countries at stunning pavilions: Albania (National Tourism Agency AKT- Agjencia Kombëtare e Turizmit), Colombia (PROCOLOMBIA and ACOTUR (Colombian Association of Responsible Tourism), North Macedonia Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism in North Macedonia) and Peru (Promperu). 

Trends in future tourism development
This year's trade fair highlighted the importance of climate-conscious strategies in future tourism development. A variety of informative and significant panels, presentations, and discussions ensured that this pressing topic received the attention it deserves.   

Jeremy Sampson, CEO of the Travel Foundation, presented a study entitled “Envisioning Tourism in 2030 and Beyond”. The content outlined 40 measures in six categories for achieving sustainable tourism by 2050. In an insightful meeting with Jeremy Sampson, Vasil Kolezi, Country Representative Albania, discussed the future of sustainable tourism in Albania, a destination experiencing rapid growth. Emphasizing the principles of Future of Tourism Coalition, they talked about the critical steps Albania needs to undertake to integrate sustainable practices across its tourism sector. “Jeremy Sampson stressed the importance of incorporating in the new tourism strategy, the inclusive approach, community engagement, environmental protection, and the ensuring that adequate assets are reinvested in destination rejuvenation and preservation of Albania's natural and cultural heritage”, Vasil Kolezi stated. 

Outlook: Albania to be the host country for ITB 2025
Albania is an emerging travel destination with great potential. What’s more, it will be the host country for ITB 2025. “We are proud of this collaboration with ITB Berlin and look forward to sharing our insights on responsible travel initiatives”, Vasil adds.  

AI & technology in tourism
A second predominant topic at the trade fair was the diligent use of technology in tourism. Participants discussed the use of Generative AI, which can be useful in assisting customer making travel plans, as well as a number of innovative technologies presented as part of the ITB Innovation Radar.  

The discussions around the decision-making process of how and when to use which technological solutions were particularly interesting and of added value. While digitization is on everyone's mind, it will of course take an effort to translate trends into tangible action. 
SIPPO facilitated the signing of MoUs
During ITB, SIPPO facilitated the signing of Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) between The Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism in the Republic of North Macedonia (APST) and two esteemed tourism organizations from Germany: Forum Anders Reisen (FAR) and Alliance of Independent Travel Traders (ASR).  

Elena Miloshevska Jovanovska, Country Representative North Macedonia at SIPPO, explained: “These agreements mark the beginning of numerous collaborative activities between APST and the German tourism organizations in the upcoming period. Exciting joint activities lie ahead, reinforcing our commitment to fostering tourism development and collaboration on an international scale.” 

 Susanne Reber, Lead Sustainable Tourism at SIPPO concluded: “Our SIPPO Country Teams held numerous meetings and networking sessions with existing and potential partners. These opportunities help strengthen existing relationships and build prospective collaborations.” 

We are looking back at productive and inspiring discussions and are keen to build on the existing momentum and turn dialog into action! 

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