Targeting future customers

Some Peruvian performers at ITB 2002.

Messe Berlin and NIT (Institut für Tourismus- und Bäderforschung in Nordeuropa GmbH), Kiel, have been regularly staging an international conference at the ITB Berlin since 1993.

At the ITB 2003 participants in this international meeting will be discussing the subject of "Tomorrow's consumers: how the tourism sector can take advantage of social changes".

It will take place on March 8 in Hall 7 of the ICC Berlin. German and English will be used at this meeting (simultaneous interpreting).

An older growing society, less births, more education, more singles, more "patchwork families", new minorities and changing roles of men and women: these are examples of present demographic trends mainly influencing the western industrial societies. The discussion in the tourism industry however focuses on the present occurrences and developments on the supply side of market. The foreseeable, for most people rather well-known, demographic trends are hardly paid attention to at all - even though they could have dramatic consequences.

But what do these and other trends actually mean for the future tourism industry? Concentrating on the demand side of market, the international conference "Tourism in a changing society: how to profit from demographic trends" focuses on the impacts of demographic development.

The conference wants to show strategies for destinations, segments and companies on how to take advantage of this change.

An overview of the major (future) trends on the demand side will form the setting for the following examples from the tourism industry on how to cope and profit from these prevailing trends.

The following international tourism experts are asked to outline the future for their particular destination, product, etc:

• Stephan Krings, TUI (Germany)

• Peter Kruyt, FIYTO (Denmark, The Netherlands)

• Annette Karlsson, Haman Scandinavia (Sweden)

• Frank Haussels, Tourism Authority of Thailand (Thailand)

• Alvaro Blanco, Turespaña, (Spain) - not confirmed

• Frank Thumb, McCann-Erickson (Germany)

The audience is also invited to play an active role.

The aim of the conference is to promote flexible forward thinking in a fast changing world.