In the second week of March, a group of 20 MU students from all programs went to the largest tourism fair in the world the 50th annual – International Tourism Fair & Congress, which takes place every year in Berlin, Germany. The purpose of the excursion is to give the students the opportunity to explore the tourism industry and its multitude of key players – Destination Management Organizations (DMO)s, hotels, travel agencies and others, and to offer networking opportunities. This year there were over 120,000 trade visitors and 10,000 exhibitors in attendance, networking and introducing people to new opportunities, concepts and methods of working related to the tourism industry.
Excursion organizer Ioana Benea, MSc student in International Tourism Management and Modul Career Officer, shared the excitement-packed MU program:
‘’We started our program with a tour of the Austrian National Tourist Office (Österreich Werbung) stand at the fair, where we learned about the role of the Austrian National Tourist Office as a DMO and the latest marketing campaign #Austriantime.
We had the honor to attend a presentation on the topic of “Destination Marketing: The untapped potential of university cities”, where our university president, prof. Karl Wöber was part of the panel discussion.
On the 3rd day at the fair we attended a presentation at the stand of Bookassist, partner of MODUL Career, a digital strategy partner for hotels, held by the Operations Manager, Mario Clemente.
The last point on our schedule was a company visit along a presentation about new media by L.I.K.E. Hospitality Consulting – a successful start-up by Fritz Dickamp, who we previously had as a guest speaker at MU at our Latest Trends & Innovations course. L.I.K.E., with its focus on New Media, aims to aid hospitality and non-hospitality firms in optimizing themselves and their online appearance. The company’s services include the community management of Social Media accounts and the management of review-site. The Pink Network, a new branch of L.I.K.E. which was additionally presented to us, will be launched this week at the Young Hotelier Summit in Lausanne. Their intent is to make the hospitality industry and its decision makers accessible for everyone, through personal interviews, live broadcasted events, video education and social media.
Another added value to our trip was the opportunity to meet and greet our alumni at the ITB Berlin. We visited Cem Meric (BBA graduate 2013), working in Sales & Marketing for the Jacaranda Hotels Head Office by TUI Club Magic, Joseph Kodath (MSc graduate 2013) who took over his family business, theNattika Beach Ayurveda Resort, and Micke Chowadee, who is helping out his family business – Bandara Hotels & Resorts Group. Our great time in Berlin came to an end with a tour of the Marriott and the Ritz Carlton Hotels in Berlin done by Laima Taurinskaite (MBA graduate 2014), who is Market Senior Sales Manager for the 2 properties. During the fair we also had the pleasure to run into other students and alumni of MU – Gloria Schneider, BBA graduate 2010, Front Office Assistant at 25hours Hotel Vienna;Moritz Christian, BBA graduate 2015, Head of Sales & Marketing at Tripwolf and Daniel Steiner, MBA student, Head of Digital Media Strategy at the Austrian National Tourist Office.
If you didn’t get the opportunity to attend this year’s ITB edition you can now view online most of the congress presentations or panel discussion. And to see the pictures from our excursion click here.’’
More Student Impressions
“I had the opportunity to visit the ITB 2016 in Berlin for the very first time in my life and it was an exceptional and very motivating experience introducing me to a totally different and more modern hospitality industry. For me the most exciting and educative part was to be able to listen to all the academics as well as to attend panels where young entrepreneurs were able to introduce innovative ideas. Also as student I had the impression that it is a fair focusing more on B2B relations where business can collaborate or one can find investors for new products or sell them. From a BBA student’s perspective it is an eye-opening experience which shows you how advanced and competitive today’s market has become, regardless of which industry it is. Nevertheless, I enjoyed every single bit of it and I would recommend every tourism student to attend the ITB” (Sufian Ahmed, BBA student)
“It was very interesting for me, because this was the first time for me to visit such an international fair. There were different segments for the countries as well as for tourism companies, where the exhibitors were able to give an impression about their company or country to attract other businesses. At the ITB you can see the latest trends in tourism and the technological innovations of the industry. I really enjoyed it, but I think to visit every segment you need to be there every day for the entire time of the fair and you should carefully plan it, because there are many exhibitors.” (Vera Veiner, BBA student)
“I was the only one representing the MBA program. Ioana Benea from the MODUL Career Office organized the trip and made sure the event was a great experience for everyone. I was amazed by the scale of the event. On the first day I walked nonstop but only managed to cover, superficially, a third of the exhibition area and got blisters on my feet. It is therefore important to be well prepared before attending the ITB, bring good shoes, and know exactly what you want to see and experience. Personally what I enjoyed the most at the ITB was making contact with all the lovely people at the stands. This included various cultural activities, dances and tasting of local food and drinks. The coffee from Guatemala was particularly good!” (Sveinn Traustason, MBA student)