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Technology networks

12th ITB Hospitality Day talks digitalization, metasearch, security

Technologie Brainstorming
Digitisation, Automation, the Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence lead the industry to a new future. A panel at the ITB Hospitality Day will discuss the challenges. / photo: kentoh Fotolia

Berlin (February 24, 2017). What comes next after Super-Mario, the robot? At the "ITB Hospitality Day" 2015, the youngest employee at the Marriott Ghent in Belgium showed how to welcome and entertain guests. This year, the ITB convention continues this path and also wants to check out if the industry is already welcoming the digitalized world. Other panelists will discuss technology from the metasearch perspective. A crucial role plays technology when talking about safety and security. But, especially here, safety and security managers appeal to human colloaborations. On Thursday, 9 March at 10:30 a.m., the 12th ITB Hospitality Day has these highly interesting panel discussions in store. In Hall 7.1b/Auditorium London.

Trendy terminology is chasing people, some believe in worst-case scenarios, others curiously inhale the new world of automation, the Internet of Things, and of artificial intelligence. Robot Mario, who hands the room key to the guests, was only the beginning. By now, experiments accumulate with service robots, voice control in the rooms, and programs which pull up the exact customer profile via face recognition. Single hotel groups like Yotel already calculate work flows and the assignment of personnel differently. Rohan Takker, Vice President Strategic Development at Yotel, will talk more about this topic in the panel discussion "Does the hotel industry welcome digitalization?" (starting at 11:45 a.m.).

Kennedy Sarah  
Sarah Kennedy, Sabre


With him on stage: Frippe Stenberg, Vice President Brand and Guest Journey with tech-affluent Scandinavian Scandic Hotels. Which ideas and interfaces will bring new freedoms and satisfaction to hotels? Andreas Proefrock, Director Strategic Alliances and Technology Partnerships Worldwide at Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise International, can surely comment on this. His experiences from consulting hotel groups are not exactly euphoric. And again, hoteliers seem to be rather shy than daring and innovative.

What is coming towards them has now been captured in a recent study by Sabre Hospitality Solutions. Sarah Kennedy Ellis, Vice President Global Marketing + Portfolio Strategy, presents the future. The moderator regularly balances daily life, future, and research: Dr. Andriew Lim, professor for Innovation and Technopreneurship in Hospitality at the Hotelschool The Hague in the Netherlands.

Metasearcher are changing

Is it soon impossible to distinguish between metasearchers and OTAs? And why do OTA-platforms integrate metasearchers? All this seems to run into the "invisible battle for the guests" which is the subtitle of the panel discussion "Metasearcher & Co." (starting at 5:15 p.m.). Carolin Bauer, CEO of Quality Reservations and a reliable moderator at such complex technology discussions, would like to find out how big the influence of these platforms is today on the online performance of hoteliers. And which model promises the most success for the hotelier.

Ragge Tobias  
Tobias Ragge, HRS Group.


Engaging in this discussion are Johannes Thomas, CEO of the metasearch market leader Trivago, and Tobias Ragge, CEO of HRS Group, who are currently taking their first steps into the field of metasearchers, as well as Marius Donhauser, owner of the private hotel Der Salzburger Hof in Salzburg, who inquires into the cost-benefit calculation of all the platforms for professional hosts. An exciting continuation of the OTA duel between Google and from the previous year.

A network in crisis

Is it possible to deal with fear of terror and catastrophes in a calm manner? Safety & security managers do it every day. The worldwide incidents of the past two years, however, now result in a stronger network of these specialists, who push processes behind the scenes of large (hotel and tourist) companies and by order of cities, to better protect their citizens but also tourists. Therefore, it is "Safety First", starting at 2:45 p.m..

The circle of the panelists is top-level: Sébastien Maire, the new Chief Resilience Officer of the crisis-ridden city of Paris, who has only been holding this newly created position for the past couple of month, and who now intends to convince all important city partners of the importance of a finely tuned "contingency plan" and a security network.

  Moxness Paul
  Paul Moxness,
Carlson Rezidor.

With Paul Moxness, Vice President Corporate Safety and Security at Carlson Rezidor Hotel group, and Gerhard Struger, Regional Vice President Eastern Europe & Turkey at AccorHotels/Swissôtel, there are two hoteliers sitting in the panel who had to manage several crises themselves. Struger, who has been living in Istanbul for over 20 years, witnessed the most diverse crises, from earthquakes to terror attacks. Both hotel representatives know the importance of regaining the trust of tourists and business travelers.

The topic security has now found higher priority also with big corporations, Georges-Pierre Cladogenis says, Global Product Manager for Safety & Security at Carlson Wagonlit Travel. Questions about monitoring crisis-ridden regions increase just as much as questions about the protection of corporate travelers on the road. The moderator of this sensitive topic is the experienced hotel consultant Prof. Stephan Gerhard, Chief Executive Officer of Solutions Holding.

Reporting on

For the 12th time, ( with editor-in-chief Maria Puetz-Willems is the exclusive media partner and organizer of the ITB Hospitality Day. will introduce the individual session in its next issues until ITB and sum up the panels after ITB, every Friday on this website.

For the updated online progamme click here.

A live streaming of the ITB Hospitality Day is available on the internet. On March 9th, click this link.


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