The ITB Travel Technology Congress will take place this year from March 14 to 16 in Hall 7.1b during Germany’s ITB travel fair. The opening event, on Sunday, March 14, will examine the opportunities for an upturn in the travel market in 2004, which could be brought about as a result of structural changes. Among the main issues to be dealt with by this congress is the extent to which the Internet will continue to influence the tourism market. Do opportunities still exist for package tours or will they be replaced by the services offered by low cost carriers? Is “dynamic packaging” the answer to the increasing individualization of travel? When will the traditional travel catalogues finally disappear from travel agents’ shelves?
These subjects will be discussed on the opening day of the congress by representatives of last.minute.com, L’tur and Thomas Cook. On the second day, Monday, March 15, discussions at the congress will focus on the future contribution that will be made to travel business by global distribution systems. Here the emphasis will be on real time communication and electronic purchasing of tourism services, an area that has been largely neglected so far.
The final day, Tuesday, March 16, will be concerned with problems currently affecting the hotel sector and business travel. Here too the question is whether cheap airlines are jeopardizing the future of the business travel sector.