2017 Buy Tourism Online: Artificial intelligence, Internet security and focus on Asia

The leader event of online travel at its tenth edition, returns to Fortezza da Basso of Florence on 29 and 30 November.

2017 Buy Tourism Online: Artificial intelligence, Internet security and focus on Asia

The global travel market this year is worth 1.33 trillion dollars compared to 1.26 of 2016, and in the last four years has been in constant increase. Europe (35%), America (31%) and Asia (21%) represent the reference areas of online travel, a market dominated by OTA (Online Travel Agency) that also in the USA has exceeded 50% of the entire sector. This is the picture taken by Phocuswright (October 2017 data) that, together with other researches, will be discussed from various points of view and by numerous national and international speakers in the next edition of BTO – Buy Tourism Online. The leader event of online travel at its tenth edition, returns to Fortezza da Basso of Florence on 29 and 30 November. It is not by chance that since 2008, year of its first edition, BTO – Buy Tourism Online has chosen Florence as its seat. Tuscany Region has assumed, for years now, a guidance role in Italy on digital and innovation tourism topics, leadership reconfirmed also by the second edition of Ecosistemi Digitali that will take place in Florence on 1 December, and by the recent launch of the new regional tourism website www.visittuscany.com, absolute novelty in the national scenario for concept and usability of the contents. BTO2017 | TEN includes four Halls and three Arenas, 161 appointments for two days of meetings, debates, and workshops dedicated to the connections between tourism and technology. This year’s focuses will be dedicated to Internet Security, Asia as emerging market and to the applications of Artificial Intelligence in the travel sector. Among the most waited for guests there is Paolo Pepper, robot concierge that will participate as speaker at some meetings answering the audience’s questions.

Four are the Halls of BTO2017 | TEN – WORLD, SERENDIPITY, FOCUS, GONG! – each of which with a specific declination, and three Arenas: Governance, Presentation, Innovation. A real international vision will be the main theme of the WORLD Hall by Toscana Aeroporti, which will open with the latest data by Phocuswright and presented by its top researcher Douglas Quinby, for the first time at BTO. Maud Bailly of Accor Hotels will talk about digital revolution in the travel sector, while Peter Verhoven of Booking.com will be the protagonist of a concise discussion with the scientific director of BTO2017 | TEN, Giancarlo Carniani. The meeting between Walter Lo Faro (Expedia) and Des O’Mahony (Bookassist) seems like a challenge: a confrontation of two distribution models, OTA vs disintermediation. Among the most awaited guests Malte Siewert of Trivago, who is returning to Florence to narrate ten years of the brand’s success and propose his personal analysis on how independent hoteliers can compete in the hotel metasearch engines world. Charlie Ballard of TripAdvisor will speak about the latest Italian trends through the more and more frequent use of the ‘owl; while Scott Shartford of Airdna – company that analyses the Airbnb data- will take stock of the Italian market status of house sharing, analyzing its growth and development aspects. One of the most waited appointments of BTO2017 | TEN will be dedicated to the topic Internet Security in the travel sector, with protagonist the hacker Max Uggieri and the expert of online frauds Umberto Rapetto. Fabio Vaccarono of Google will lead us to the discovery of the projects and ideas that from Mountain View will change world; while Ait Vonke of Expedia will talk about the recent agreement with Thomas Cook. Regarding the topic of Artificial Intelligence, unmissable is the meeting with Claudio Fadda who will present the Watson project by IBM, a system of cognitive computing that has many applications in the travel world (specifically in airports). Instead, in the meeting between Friedrich Joussen (TUI Group) and Stefano Zeni (GTA) there will be a discussion on digital strategies alternative to the duopoly Booking-Expedia; while Marco Grossi of Facebook will show how the social network can foresee our travel desires. The WORLD Hall will host the finale of Startup Italian Open, second edition of the travel startup contest produced by Travel Appeal and realized in collaboration with Fondazione Sistema Toscana and PromoFirenze.

The SERENDIPITY Hall hosts contaminations from other places to highlight the transversality of the travel universe. The Hall will be inaugurated with a discussion on tourism: will it remain immune from the changes caused by artificial intelligence? Mariarosaria Taddeo of Digital Ethics Lab – Oxford Internet Institute and Giovanni Boccia Artieri of the University of Urbino will participate in the discussion. A second panel on the same topic will also include Humanoids. At this point the robot Paolo Pepper will explain its point of view together with Gianluigi Marchetti of Google, Federica Monaguti of Ciset and Luca Vescovi of Jampaa. The SERENDIPITY Hall will give space also to videogames such as Father&Son, the game that has seen the active participation of the MANN, Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (National Archaeological Museum of Naples), and that represents the first attempt of integration between the videogames culture and a Museum Institution to create a product able to integrate two dimensions of extremely different “cultural heritages”. The debate will see the participation of Federico Fasce of ETT and Fabio Viola of Il tuo Museo, chaired by Stefano Monti di Monti & Taft. Space will be given then to the round table on the role of the foreign offices of governmental Tourism Offices and Agencies. Spain, Slovenia, and Italy will talk about the state-of-the-art and future projects. Gianni Bastianelli of ENIT – Agenzia Nazionale per il Turismo, Aljosa Ota of the Ente Sloveno del Turismo in Italy, and Jorge Rubio of the Instituto de Turismo de España (Turespaña) in Italy, will participate in the discussion.

In the FOCUS Hall by Keesy, Asia and its thousand of aspects will be under the spotlight, starting from the one full of contradictions of a country such as India, both as a destination and in terms of the Indian traveler needs. The arrival of the largest Asian majors in Europe will be analyzed, specifically WeChat and Ctrip, and one of the main themes of the last years will be discussed, that is, the diffusion of new payment methods; Piero Candela of Alipay Italy and Federico Zambelli Hosmer of Paypal will participate in the discussion. The FOCUS Hall will also analyze the Revenue Management topic, trying to understand what has changed in the last 10 years and how the new platforms such as Lodingq are developing.

On the GONG! Hall stage by Best Western there will be over 40 guests and speakers that have contributed to the success of the event and that with their short stories will retrace ten years of projects, ideas, and challenges won. Some of the speakers will be Roberta Milano, historical co-founder of BTO Educational; Sergio Cagol, destination manager and digital strategist; Andrew Morsi of eRevMax; Monica Fabris of Episteme; Fabio Galetto, Google Italy, Philip Wolf, founder of PhoCusWright; Andrea D’Amico, of Booking.com; Fabio Lazzerini of Alitalia and member of ENIT board. We must also mention Gigi Tagliapietra, Massimiliano Ventimiglia, Mirko Lalli, Michil Costa, Emilio Casalini, Mafe De Baggis, Francesco Tapinassi, and many others.

Some of the themes launched by BTO2017 | TEN will be collected by Ecosistemi Digitali, the event at its second edition scheduled on 1 December at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence. One hundred experts will discuss on how implementing the digitalization in the promotion of Italy as destination. Ecosistemi Digitali is a shared project promoted by MiBACT – Ministero per i beni e le attività culturali e il turismo (Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities) by MISE – Ministero dello Sviluppo Economico (Ministry for Economic Development), in collaboration with all Italian Regions and Autonomous Provinces within the Piano Strategico di Sviluppo del Turismo (Strategic Development Plan for Tourism) 2017-2022 context, developed together with Tuscany Region and Tuscany Tourism Promotion.

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