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We would like to thank everyone who participated in our Digital Debate at ITB Berlin 2014, and making this debate a great success! We were honoured to see so many people joining us before leaving ITB last Friday. Due to a great panel and intriguing questions that were discussed, we managed to fill a room with 400 people from destinations, to tourism businesses, professionals and students. The Think Tank Team was very pleased about seeing some old and new faces joining in our debate and tweeting along the discussion. A special Thank You to all our panelists for putting forward some great questions and sharing their knowledge and experiences with the industry:

  • Charlie Ballard from TripAdvisor
  • Gene Quinn from Tnooz
  • Martin Stoll from Sparkloft Media
  • Hans Petter Aalmo from Visit Norway
  • Sofia Caresten from Visit Stockholm
  • Claudia Capelli from Bologna Welcome

During the debate we asked our industry experts to put forward burning questions or concerns about key issues in digital marketing that are currently colouring the industry. We also invited a selection of DMOs to the panel who shared their experiences accordingly and this led to a highly interactive and insightful debate. The following questions were being discussed:

Charlie Ballard:

  • If you had access to unlimited data about your prospective customers’ travel history and preferences, what’s the very first piece of knowledge you’d want to acquire… and what’s the first way you’d take action on it?

Gene Quinn:

  • How do publicly-subsidized destination marketing organisations move from a role of brokering marketing funds collected as taxes on visitors (and other subsidies) to a new role as essential marketing partners for the businesses they represent in the global Digital Travel Economy?

Martin Stoll:

  • Why are DMOs so focused on their own social channels instead of focusing on getting travelers to tell the story of their destination?

Hans-Petter Aalmo:

  • Who will be our customers in the future? Many DMOs and NTOs have built their own booking systems and struggle to keep up with competition. Should we compete with or join the OTAs?

Join us to continue the discussion in the coming months at one of our events and/or through our Twitter channel.

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