Visitors to fvw Kongress in Essen, Germany had the opportunity to take the pulse of the travel industry in Europe. The 17th edition of the leading B2B event for the German travel sector coincided with fvw Travel Expo, a trade fair focused on travel distribution, tour operators, and business travel management. Germany is the largest tourism market in Europe, but it remains fragmented and diversified.
In the introductory session, Deutsche Bahn’s Chairman Rüdiger Grube expressed concerns on the increasing threats they perceive from travel by coach, car sharing, and the “environmental protection cost imposed by regulators only on rail companies”. There was also hope, in his words, as they look beyond rail as a mobility, transport, and logistics company.
Stefan Pichler, CEO of Air Berlin, shed light on the future of the aviation industry or at least on how his company expects it to be. “Legacy carriers will shrink to a market niche while Low Cost Carriers will increase market share and further consolidate”, he said.
The role of European travel companies in the refugee crisis and also how Tunisia could return to a position as a stable tourism destination were also amongst the crucial topics discussed during the event.
Amadeus’ participants in the fvw Kongress reflected the aspirations of the industry.
Business travel is being hugely impacted by technology. Bernd Schulz, General Manager, Amadeus Germany, comments about the consequences for the players in the sector.
Uta Martens, Head of Sales, Amadeus Germany, explains why she thinks personalisation in travel, a key word for the future of the industry, is currently a myth.
Dynamic Packaging of travel products, IBEs (Internet Booking Engines) are quickly evolving and represent an opportunity for travel agencies. Bernhard Steffens, General Manager for TravelTainment, the Amadeus leisure group, talks about the importance and growing impact of these solutions.
IATA NDC was another of the recurrent topics raised by different presenters at fvw Kongress. Jochen Allstadt, Head of Airline Account Management, Europe & Leisure Carriers, Amadeus, elaborates about the common points of these presentations.