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Are Blogs, Facebook & Other Social Media Replacing Travel Publications?

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Videos Thursday, 4 February 2010

On 12 March leading figures from politics, the media and the travel sector will meet at the first ITB Berlin Media Summit to discuss issues concerning the future of communications in the tourism industry. How will travellers and tourists of the future obtain their information? Will the role of the traditional media as a disseminator of information decline? What future lies in store for travel journalists?

Wolfgang Clement, former Federal Minister of Economics and Labour, and as a trained journalist for many years the Editor-in-Chief of various daily newspapers, will deliver the keynote address. Taking part in the discussions, which will be chaired by the Berlin media journalist Hajo Schumacher, will be Romanus Otte, General Manager Welt Online, Michael Ramstetter, Editor-in-Chief of ADAC Motorwelt and the ADAC Reisemagazin and also Public Relations Director for ADAC e.V., Tobias Jngert, Area Manager of the Corporate Communication Division of REWE, and Benjamin Jost, Chief Executive of TrustYou.

Sales of traditional media such as daily newspapers and magazines are plummeting, and social media such as Facebook, which currently has more than 350 million users worldwide, are dramatically changing the way people communicate. Dr. Martin Buck, Director Competence Centre Travel and Logistics at Messe Berlin, said, Changes in the way that the media are used will compel media companies to adopt a new way of thinking. Magazines are disappearing from the market, publications contain fewer pages, the daily papers are clearly losing their appeal, and their readers are turning to the internet. Quality journalism seems to be falling by the wayside. Meanwhile an uncertain travel industry is asking: How do we reach the consumer? At the ITB Media Summit we want to start people thinking, and provide some answers.

The choice of participants in this discussion promises a fascinating and controversial exchange of views. Romanus Otte provides a link between the online and offline media worlds, while Michael Ramstetter is an acknowledged champion of the traditional print media. Facing them will be Benjamin Jost founder and Chief Executive of TrustYou, a search engine for internet ratings. The growing popularity of internet rating portals for hotels and travel recommendations via friends and social media have placed traditional forms of advertising and the tourism media under unprecedented pressure, is the view of Benjamin Jost. Speaking on behalf of the travel industry will be Tobias Jngert, an acknowledged expert in his field, and until the end of 2008 Chief Executive of the German Travel Association (DRV). Prior to that he was Head of Communications for the association, and for many years an editor with the leading travel trade publication FVW International in Hamburg.

Part of the ITB Berlin Convention, this event is aimed at journalists, members of the media and of publishing companies, as well as advertising and marketing executives representing tour operators, the online travel industry, aviation, the hotel industry and tourism organisations.

The ITB Media Summit will be held on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds on Friday, 12 March 2010 from 12 noon to 2 p.m. in Hall 7.1a, Saal New York 3.

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