Roman Townsend

    7 March 2018

    When does a collective noun become an acronym? When it's called ITB


    A group of lions is a pride and rhinoceroses en masse are a crash. But what is the collective noun for a group of travel industry professionals? This week it´s not even a noun, it´s an acronym: ITB. And it´s taking place in Berlin.

    Stepping onto the plane from Palma de Mallorca to Berlin yesterday almost everyone in the departure lounge was speaking travel guru jargon: PAX this, source market that, revenue per seat mile, revenue per available room, and, of course, everyone was occupied by occupation rates.

    That unique ITB feeling only amplified as we took the train from the airport to our hotel, with travel industry professionals from every nation, some in rather fetching national dress outfits, speaking all manner of languages. In the hotel reception of the Park Inn waiting patiently to check-in it was all handshakes and even hugs with industry colleagues from near and far, competitors or not.

    Germans are Europe's number one traveler by both spend and absolute numbers. And this week we're all here to ensure that they'll keep coming back to fly with our airlines, check-in to our hotels and visit our beaches. In some cases newer destinations are muscling in, as we showed in a press release last week that confirmed more Germans will be travelling long-haul this summer.

    Besides, what self-respecting travel professional would miss this jamboree? Over 10,000 exhibitors and up to 160,000 visitors every year make it unmissable; and on the weekend it is open to the public as well, so those of us in the consumer end of the game get double value for money.

    At Hotelbeds Group we never miss a chance to visit ITB and this year we've a stand combining our Hotelbeds, Tourico and GTA brands all under one roof. A decent sized delegation has flown in from all over the world, including our colleagues from our car rental business (CARNECT) and our activities business (TAB).

    Aside from meeting hotel partners and travel intermediaries on our stand, this year we're also participating in interviews with the media and our Head of Innovation, Sergi Mesquida is giving a keynote speech about Artificial Intelligence (AI) on Friday on the eTravelLab stage at 1:30pm. Come along and hear him live? We'll be broadcasting a recap across our social media channels for those who can't attend.

    Otherwise pop by and visit us in Hall 9, Stand 110. Whatever language you speak, we know you want to speak about travel.