12 March 2009

ITB2009 - What's it like?

From the Professor's perch - it looks pretty much the same.

The mad scrum to get into the building, at least this year you can print your entry badges but its still a mad dash. The halls seem just as full of carrier bag toting students and people from all countries. The organizers are saying its the biggest thus far. And it remains certainly very big.

From a Technology point of view there is clearly a lot less going on. The GDSs per se are not there. Travelport has a generic stand, Sabre is not there as a GDS and Amadeus is putting its Traveltainment best foot forward. Thus hall 6.1 is somewhat bereft of the usual players. No Tom Dillon this year to sparkle us with his Irish wit!

I attended quite a few meetings on day 1 and spoke to many people. Even made it to one party. I think I could categorize people into 2 possibly 3 groups. The possible third is the Denials. There are still a few out there. Fortunately only a very few now. So the other groups I will call the Pragmatists and the Deer.

The Pragmatists are hunkering down - chopping vere they can and making plans for the upturn. Survival is a word you hear frequently. Caution is another watchword. Adjusting to the new reality seems to be the focus. Further i think we can see that there are few who believe that this is a short term thing.

The Deer are what a good friend of mine described as those beyond denial. The are not just frozen in the headlights but actually looking for salvation in them. Unfortunately there are still quite of a lot of these.

One element I find interesting is the contrasting views from the geography of the participants. I have not spoken to many from Asia/Pacific but there is a clear contrast from Europe and the USA. More pertinent is that the USA collapse in confidence is not shared so broadly in Europe.

So for now I will keep on observing. There are some wonderful things going on that will make for a fascinating view of the new world order when confidence and the economies return from hiatus.

And what do you think?



Anonymous said...

european confidence is better than american confidence because you are not stuck with Barry Obama for the next 4 years.....

Professor Sabena said...

And your point of communication was what?

I publish this comment so that those who are thinkers can see that anon hiding with irrelevant statements does not contribute to the greater good. Irrespective of your political leanings - the expectation of the user community at large is that we all behave responsibly.

Case proven that the comment didn't quite measure up to anyone's standard?