ITB 2012 – confused but on a higher level (?)

Actually confused may not be the right wording – it is more a feeling of beeing confirmed that our world is confusing 😉

Literally minutes before Apple will present the iPad 3/iPad HD or however they will call it (which of course will have higher resolution, more processing power etc.) it becomes more obvious than ever: nowadays you are never set with your (digital) strategy.

Just a few impressions from day one in Berlin, most of it spent at the diverse conference sessions.

Economy isn’t Economy

While there are serious doubts if the current measurements targeting at rescuing greece within the euro zone are sound and sustainable and the scenarios with portugal, spain and italy following the same path are nothing to look forward to there are also positive signs for the travel industry. First the last crisis showed us that going on vacations isn’t the first thing people cut back when money gets tight. Second there are strong markets, both within the EU (eg Germany) and outside (eg Asia). Which brings us to the next point.

Asia isn’t Asia

As obvious as this might be it can’t be repeated too often in the western part of the hemisphere. Lots of differences there, not only between different countries but also within those countries. Good luck if you think rural china is very much the same than Shanghai and since both are in china and china is in asia there couldn’t be that much difference to let’s say Indonesia or Singapore. Just compare Thailand with round about 14 Million tourists to Myanmar. Quite similar size, similar population, similar climate etc. – but only 300.000 incoming tourists. Sounds like an opportunity? You bet. Btw: did you know that Indonesia is already the second largest Facebook population? And of course social media interaction is increasingly mobile. But guess what?

Mobile isn’t Mobile

Mobile is increasing. Boooring, already knew that. But it is still not that easy to get the whole impact right. First the devices and use cases are different. What we did on the smartphone a few years/months back, we now do more and more on a tablet. And btw what is a tablet? Screens of smartphones get bigger and bigger and on the other side tablet producers already also have very different sizes for different segments. Obviously the smallest smartphone is very different from the biggest tablet regarding screen size/usability. Do we have to look at them/optimize for them in different ways? Haven’t spoken about the different Operating Systems yet…

And still the sheer growth rates should convince everybody not to shy away from this confusion. Lots and lots of people actually will completely leapfrog what we have experienced: booking travel through an travel agency, later booking online on our desktop computer and now more and more on our mobile devices. Hell, it is quite likely that those people will book the first journey they ever make via mobile – as I said, still not easy to get the whole impact right 😉

What else? As always, lots of people. And fortunately lots of interest for modern in-room technology, integrating IP, Internet and smart devices in different ways. Seems that the awareness for the potential slowly surpasses the early adopters and gains attention in the early majority. Having all those presentations and numbers in mind I’ve seen today it is about time I’d say 😉 .