【DE】Equality with the automotive industry: The Federal Government’s Tourism Commissioner, Claudia Müller, announced an increased exchange with industry experts at the “VIR Online Innovation Days” in Berlin

“The tourist offers must not end at administrative borders.” Claudia Müller, coordinator of the Federal Government for the maritime economy and tourism, pleaded in her keynote on the first day of the “VIR Online Innovation Days 2022” of the Association Internet Reisevertrieb e.V. (VIR) in the Marshall House of Messe Berlin for the creation of significantly more cross-connected offers in tourism.


“If you travel, you want a networked experience stronger than ever,” the federal politician was convinced. At the same time, she reaffirmed the new federal government’s plan to set up a national platform for tourism – such a plenary has so far only existed for the automotive industry and, according to VIR board member Michael Buller, means that tourism in its importance in political perception has now reached the level of the automotive industry.



photo: v-i-r.de



At the meeting of the digital tourism experts in Berlin, which was also joined by start-ups and representatives of universities, everything revolved around sustainability, one of the core topics at this year’s industry event. As in previous years, Messe Berlin is a partner. The event, whose leitmotif is “Back to the Future”, will take place again in live presence for the first time after three years. However, it can also be tracked virtually and free of charge for the first time via a digital platform.


VIR board member Michael Buller was pleased in front of around 300 participants in his opening speech that tourism has survived the more than two-year crisis period due to the corona pandemic in its range. “This was only possible through the interaction of the associations with politicians, who worked together to develop solutions to preserve the industry.” For this, he explicitly thanked all participants in this process.


“However, the times of stability and predictability are over,” he warned. What we need now are managers who act quickly and agilely and can still think long-term to make their business models scalable.


He was convinced that companies that have internalized a digital mindset could deal with the challenges more easily – as they are used to change.


Hakan Ardic, Vice President Hospitality & Mobility of Wirelane, spoke in his lecture on sustainable mobility solutions. In-depth background information on the ESG rating and the Supply Chain Act was provided by Dr. Daniel Walden from Advant Beiten.


At the workshop on the topic of “Sustainability in Tourism”, it became interactive: In groups, the participants exchanged views with Catharina Fischer (Network Associate, Realizing Progress), Antje Monshausen (Head of Tourism Watch at Brot für die Welt) and Petra Thomas (Managing Director, forum anders reisen e.V.) about the economic, social and ecological dimensions of creating sustainable tourist offers.


With uniform certifications and common standards, the customer must be offered transparency and clarity for the selection of his respective holiday products, was one of the core results of the three sessions. For this, it is urgently necessary for the industry to finally take the scepter into its own hands. Among other things, a climate protection master plan for all tourist players was required.


Tomorrow, the second day of the VIR Online Innovation Days will deal with the topics of artificial intelligence and blockchain. The event can also be followed virtually at https://oit.connected- events.de. Around 100 participants made use of this on the first day.



About the VIR:


The Association of Internet Travel Sales e.V. (VIR) is the interest group of German digital tourism, which according to FUR figures from 2021 accounts for around 66 percent of holiday trips from one night with pre-booked services. The VIR is not only the point of contact for the industry, but also for consumers, media and politics. VIR members include over 80 companies active in digital tourism. They are divided into the four clusters OTA, Supplier & Tour Operator, Service & Travel Technology Provider and Start-up. The tasks of the VIR also include the promotion of young talent, the support of innovations and new developments, as well as the awareness of tourism for important trends and topics.


VIR members are: A3M, ACCON-RVS, act, adigi, AERTicket, Allianz Travel, Amadeus Germany, Backpackertrail, Bewotec, Berge & Sea, Booking.com, BPCS Consulting Services, CamperBoys, Concardis, DER Touristik, DynAmaze, EC Travel, elysium audio





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