The tourism network is based on artificial intelligence, is a learning system and constantly offers users relevant contact information for the travel industry. The Travel network can be accessed by all registered participants of the ITB Berlin 2020, ie trade visitors, congress participants, exhibitors and media representatives who have purchased a personalized ticket from the ITB store. Soon after launch, the network has a large number of subscribers. Numerous stakeholders have already registered, who previously received a personal invitation by email before the original opening date. Those who previously did not plan to visit the show in Berlin can also register now. Passenger network users can set up a profile, reconcile interests, contact and network. They can also follow other users, share contact information, talk and organize meetings. Virtual rooms where users can hold meetings, which they have scheduled before ITB Berlin, are available online. The video connection allows face-to-face meetings, and it is possible to communicate only via an audio connection. Under the headlines “Insights” and “News”, itb.com contains the latest news and reports on world travel and news trends ITB Berlin. Travel network – a new travel network of the B2B tourism industry At the advanced events of the Virtual ITB Convention, leading speakers will discuss how the global tourism industry can leverage intelligent strategies to ensure it survives in the future even in a challenging environment. Ahead of the latest developments, discussions on how the industry can deal with the coronavirus will play a key role. Between March 5 and 11, 2020, viewers can watch more than 20 exclusive live broadcasts and videos in English and German, some in real time and some with a delay on itb.com. Videos will then be available upon request. The extra will explain how trends affect personalization and individualization in the eTravel market; one of the sessions will study the topics “Voice Commerce: Selling Passenger and Hotel Rooms via Amazon, Alexa and Google Assistant” and “Instagram, Influencers & Co: An Underrated Challenge for Destinations”. Today, a new itb.com platform is launched: networking, industry news and the ITB Virtual Convention. itb.com is now open to everyone – 365-day platform for networking and content in English – ITB Virtual Convention March 5-11, 2020 with more than 20 exclusive live broadcasts and on-demand videos. In another keynote address, Eric La Bonnardière, co-founder of Evaneos, will address the topic of tourism and how local tour operators can deal with the phenomenon. Source and photo: itb.com (ITB Berlin) Nils Müller, CEO of TrendOne, will give his keynote address originally scheduled for the ITB Convention on Top 8 Trends in Tourism and Travel, asking “What trends, technologies and developments do you need to know and how to combine them to be successful in the future?” The recordings will take place in a specially equipped studio on the Berlin exhibition grounds, where numerous sessions will be broadcast live. Some speakers will join from remote locations via Skype. Viewers can also join: under the hashtag #ITBvirtualcon they can exchange opinions about the sessions and discuss them on social media. At the forums of the Forum for Catering Technologies, which is run by the Catering Club, experts will deal with revenue management, sustainability in catering and the future of network distribution. At the sessions in which top experts participate, topics such as the establishment and restructuring of brands will be discussed in detail, as well as “Catering 2025”. Despite canceling this year, ITB is offering digital services 365 days a year by launch itb.com. The world’s leading travel fair is establishing an entirely new online platform for the global tourism industry. This global website is expected to be a bridge between actual meetings and digital networking, and features innovative tools for business, networking, and exclusive content. The new Data Talks interviews, originally scheduled for ITB eTravel World, will discuss best practices on personalization and a network of multi-platform travel in the future. Other sessions will include a discussion in Berlin, attended by representatives of bookingkit and VisitBerlin, who will ask “What drives the industry in 2020?” The following events from the ITB Berlin Convention are also taking place: Sharry Sun of Travelzoo will present the eagerly awaited empirical study on “Global Customers of Luxury and Sustainability” conducted by the company together with ITB Berlin. This live session will be streamed from CubeClub. Caroline Bremner of Euromonitor will talk about the “future of the tourism industry” and respond to the devastating challenges facing the industry, including over-tourism, climate change and insolvency as in the recent case of Thomas Cook. A day later, her lecture will also be available in English. IPK World Travel Monitor® is based on about 500.000 interviews and is the world’s largest travel survey. Rolf Freitag, CEO of IPK International, will present the latest forecast figures for global and European travel trends – a necessary decision-making tool for the entire tourism industry. Throughout the program, fascinating contributions from ITB Digital and Tourismuszukunft can be followed online until Friday, March 6th. In addition to examining how the industry deals with coronavirus, the sessions will also look at New Work, AI, blogging and open data. Virtual ITB Convention: Extraordinary Sessions on Current Topics The streaming and video program will be updated regularly over the next few days to provide additional content. Details and upgrades are available on ITB.com at any time.
On the sidelines of the ongoing international conference on “Sustainable Maritime Development Towards 2030 and Beyond” being held in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, World Maritime News had the opportunity to speak with Nancy Karigithu, Principal Secretary for State Department for Shipping and Maritime Affairs (SD&MA), Kenya.Referring to the country’s progress and the future steps in availing of the potential of Blue Economy, Karigithu said that this is a new concept adopted by Kenya. Its development in terms of infrastructure has seen a lot of investment in that area with the aim “to create the right environment for investment and for facilitation of the Blue Economy.”The principal Kenyan seaport, the port of Mombasa, is the gateway to the eastern and central African region and therefore plays a big role in the Blue Economy move. Karigithu explained that the government is undertaking critical infrastructure projects, including the development of the railway system for the transportation of cargo from the port to the hinterland, as well as the ongoing development of another international port, namely the Lamu Port.As part of the Lamu Port-South Sudan-Ethiopia Transport Corridor, the new port represents a government initiative to develop a second deep sea port along the Kenyan coast. The first of the proposed 32 berths at the Lamu Port was scheduled for official opening in October this year.“Capacity building (in terms of human resources) is also the key of the government’s agenda due to creation of jobs and giving the youth the tools and skills to participate in international shipping,” she added.Capacity building would facilitate the development of the country’s own Blue Economy, therefore helping Kenya take part in the global industry in a sustainable manner, but it would also provide for export of labor. In November 2018, the country’s President Uhuru Kenyatta signed an executive order setting up the Bandari Maritime Academy in order to be able to create a maritime center of excellence in maritime training. The move was undertaken in order to develop Kenya’s maritime sector, but also to enable the country to tap into foreign exchange in terms of employment in the international shipping fleet.Furthermore, Kenya is hosting The Africa Maritime Technology Cooperation Centre that has a goal of reducing or mitigating the effects of shipping in port cities. MTCC Africa is undertaking a number of pilot projects towards this area in terms of data collection that are envisioned to lead to a reduction in greenhouse gases from the shipping and maritime sector.Speaking about the greatest maritime potential in Kenya, Karigithu pointed out the port industry as a sector that can facilitate trade and a gateway in terms of logistics. She explained that the country plans to create a free trade zone within the port, therefore enhancing the role it plays in the Blue Economy.“We are also looking at shipping, maritime training and capacity building, not only for Kenya but also for the region around Kenya and East Africa, as well as taking account of the developments in the region, such as the discovery of minerals which accelerated the development of the shipping segment,”Touching upon the topic of “Empowering Women” at this year’s conference in Jeddah, Karigithu said that Kenya has been “very focused on creating gender equality, not just in the maritime sector but in the work place generally.”She explained that the government has been very supportive of the initiative aiming to attract more women to the maritime sector. As an example, Kenya organized networks that enable women to get as much knowledge and information as possible, with an aim of providing the much needed information to young people, particularly girls. In this way, girls at an early age are being informed that there is “potential for lifelong satisfying careers in this sector.”Karigithu further said that the most common challenges that women face in the industry are based on the cultural mindsets that believe that the maritime sector is reserves for men.She listed home front as another challenge, saying that women are generally observed as being home makers. Such a career can become a challenge “unless the whole family stands by the woman,” Karigithu concluded.World Maritime News Staff