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Us, the digital natives

8th ITB Hospitality Day: Experts talk about Mobile of Today and Tomorrow

  Mobile Arbeitsplatz
  Breaking through: Online and offline ultimately merge.
/ photo: violetkaipa Fotolia

Berlin (March 1, 2013). Modern man has become a digital nomad; his shoulders slightly stooped and his gaze constantly directed downwards: he permanently checks his smartphone or tablet. Which of these two mobile devices will win in the end? Experts already have a hunch. Which developments will the industry face in future? The panelists of the "Mobile" panel at this year's "ITB Hospitality Day" on Thursday, March 7, 2013 will try to describe the virtual world of tomorrow.

Panelists on the podium will be Andreas Erlemann, Managing Director of the software developer Zenith Hospitality Solutions; Dr. Bernd Fauser, Global Accounts Director Travel of Google; Susanne Fittkau, CEO of the data research company Fittkau & Maass Consulting; and Michael Hucho, Vice President Distribution Commercial of Accor Germany. None of them doubts the power of Mobile. What will this power create in future? The data researcher delivers well-founded figures, then the panelists turn their thoughts to the present and future of smartphones and tablets. A creative debate with a virtual ghost - moderated by Carolin Brauer, Managing Director of the internet support pool Quality Reservations.

Google statistics say:

• 29 percent own a smartphone in Germany, and 53 percent of the owners make use of mobile Internet every day, and 75 percent of them start a mobile search.
 28 percent of all mobile users look for special travel offers.
 22 percent of all purchases via a mobile device are travel products (Topwert, eMarketer).

Thus mobile is no longer a short-term trend, but mainstream since 2013.

Erlemann Andreas  
Andreas Erlemann.


Today's digital nomads often use numerous media channels (73 percent). But does mobile always stay the same? When tablets (like iPads) record 180 percent growth in 2013, and smartphones only achieve 68 percent, then tablets are a dimension of their own from now on. Therefore, it is likely that tour operators will need more than just one mobile site from 2013 – they need two: one for tablets and one for smartphones.

How does the hotel sector react?

Carolin Brauer of Quality Reservations considers "mobile to be a mega trend the hotel sector will need to show once more that it grows with the challenge." For 17 years the consultancy has been accompanying hotels, hotel chains, and consortiums in hotel sales.

  Brauer Carolin QR
  Carolin Brauer.

"Everything the hotel sector provides via PC must work on smartphones and tablets as well. Facing the increasing dominance of the mobile Internet, the industry has no other choice: the target group is rapidly growing, travels a lot and is attractive in terms of wealth.

In order to exploit this trend profitably, each hotel needs to find its own strategy. There are no stereotype solutions. Both a clear target and an exchange of experience are important."

For every hotel, it is fascinating to find the balance between 'product and guest', between 'today and future', between 'technology and human beings'… ITB Hospitality Day visitors may expect an exciting exchange, focussing less on distribution and system challenges this time than about the current status and realistic opportunities of tomorrow. Follow the discussion on ITB Thursday from 4-5 p.m. in Hall 7.1b/auditorium London. HospitalityInside is an exclusive media partner for this event for the 8th time. After ITB you will find summaries of all panels on (see "network" on published weekly. The content is accessible for all users. / kn



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