ITB 2011 – some more impressions

Some more impressions from ITB 2011

ITB world travel trends report was presented by IPK – lots of good news, especially from Asia. Economy and travel is soaring.

More or less every hotelier I talked to told me about strong pipelines with new projects in most of the emerging markets.

For more details have a look at world travel trends report.

Another interesting talk was presented by Rohit Talwar from Fast Future Research summarizing their study about major travel trends until 2020. One of those things standing out is the longing for personalization of the hotel stay. I guess there are two trends matching. First the trend for individualisation and the growing choices to chose from – no mather if wallpaper on your phone, destinations to travel or video content to be consumed everywhere. The choices are endless and people like the freedom to chose – last but not least their exact seat in the airplane for example.

And thats where the second trend comes into place: advanced technology. The longing for personalization might be nothing all that new, but nowadays technology enables much, much more than years ago. Online check in, chosing your seat and/or your meal preferences is already common today in the airline industry.

Or providing more than a few basic channels on the hotel tv. If you have lots of international guests they really appreciate to have their broadcasters available – and easy to find, because the system nows about their nationality and sorts the channels accordingly. Thats exactly what modern hotel tv systems do via interfacing with the pms.

Another very strong trend is mobile. Smartphones already outpaced desktop shipments last year. And of course they increasingly use the internet. No wonder that more or less every hotelier is talking about that always hungry bandwidth eating monster in the backyard which is growing and growing every day. And it is not only bandwidth to the property which causes challenges, it is also the infrastructure within: just think about the growing numbers of all those “small glass devices” with their comparatively weak antennas wandering in your hotel day by day wishing for wifi connectivity and you might get a feeling for the troubles you may encounter with your existing wifi infrastructure – build for much fewer devices with stronger antennas.

So it is definitively  no wonder too, that according to at-visions CEO Roman Kirisits one of the most appreciated features of their ONEvision appliance is the build in wifi access point, providing wifi in each room.

Last but not least: Digital signage everywhere. And as always, it is not (only) the technical execution but the content what counts. One of the most impressive solutions I’ve seen for a while was a massive 6×6 video wall on the egyptian booth.

They played a sequence of videos on this wall which were truly touching. Unfortunately I couldn’t find all of them online but have a look here, here and here to get a little impression. But believe me, watching them on a 6×6 video wall among lots of people from all around the world with open mouths and as far as I could tell also open hearts is a different and truly inspiring experience altogether!.