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Press Release

January 24, 2017

ITB Berlin highlights corporate social responsibility in tourism again

Corporate social responsibility in tourism will be a dominant theme at ITB Berlin – ITB CSR Day features the key topic ’Sustainable Food and Beverages in the Hotel Industry and at Tourism Destinations’ – admission to the ITB Berlin Convention is free for trade visitors

The United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has declared 2017 the year of sustainable tourism. The focus is on the economic, ecological and social objectives pursued by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. For many years, ITB Berlin, through numerous initiatives, has campaigned for greater social equality, protecting the environment and human rights. It makes use of its key role to promote a dialogue with companies in an effort to provide economically, socially and ecologically responsible tourism products and services.

In this context, the ITB CSR Day at the ITB Berlin Convention is a driving force. On 10 March, leading figures in politics, business and science will discuss innovative concepts, best practices and the economic potential of sustainable tourism. The main topic will be ’Sustainable Food and Beverages in the Hotel Industry and at Tourism Destinations’. Food and drink are vital to life, a part of people’s lifestyle and important in tourism. At an event moderated by Prof. Dr. Christine Demen Meier, the chair of Food and Beverages at Écolehôtelière de Lausanne EHL, Olaf Koch, CEO of Metro AG, and Prof. Dr. Carlos Martin-Rios, assistant professor at Ecolehôtelière de Lausanne, will discuss the future impact of ’Sustainable food and beverages’ and how hotel managers should address the issue and what obstacles need to be overcome.

Afterwards, a high-level panel discussion with sustainable tour operators, commercial airlines and experts from the German Travel Association (DRV) will debate ’Climate – Customers – Communication: How Can Sustainable Travel be Marketed Successfully?’. The panel will discuss the best communication methods for marketing tourism, which tools are tried and tested and the best arguments for convincing customers to book sustainable tours.

Under the heading of ’Sustainable Tourism Destinations – The Status Quo and Lessons Learned', one year after the practical guide to sustainable tourism destinations was launched with the Federal Ministry of the Environment (BMUB) and the Federal Nature Conservation Bureau (BfN) at ITB Berlin 2016, the German Tourism Association (DTV) will be summarising developments so far. Panel members will include Jochen Flasbarth, permanent secretary at the Federal Ministry for Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB), and Armin Dellnitz, vice-president of the DTV.

The session ’Luxury Tourism of Tomorrow: Gazing at the Stars at the door plate or under the Open Sky’ will be certain to spark debate. Eike Otto, a tourism and regional development adviser, will be asking Sybille Riedmiller, of Chumbe Island Coral Park Ltd., Zanzibar, how it is possible globally to reconcile luxury tourism with sustainability concepts and whether successful ideas such as the ’long-run initiative’ can expand into the mass market. A new ’hot seat’ format will round off the ITB CSR Day. Two opponents will engage in a lively debate on an up-to-the-minute topic: ‘Fanatical climate views versus total denial’.

Awards promote awareness for sustainable tourism

For ITB Berlin, awards for social and ecological responsibility in tourism are also a key theme. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic Traveler Magazine and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations - ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats - driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry. On 8 March 2017 at 4 p.m., the winners will be announced onstage at the presentation of the World Legacy Awards in the Palais am Funkturm, the new awards venue of ITB Berlin. On Thursday, the World’s Largest Travel Show will give the finalists an opportunity to present their innovative solutions to an international audience.

Also taking place on Wednesday, at 2 p.m., will be ’Celebrating Her – Global Awards for Empowered Women’, which will be held for the second time. Presented by the International Institute for Peace in Tourism (IIPT) India, the award is supported by ITB Berlin and since 2016 has been given to women who play an outstanding role in promoting sustainable tourism. The presentation ceremony will take place in the Palais am Funkturm on 8 March 2017.

On 9 March 2017, the Thursday of ITB, another festive event will take place in the Palais am Funkturm: the traditional presentation of the international TO DO! Awards of the Study Group for Tourism, a long-standing partner of ITB Berlin and outstanding pioneer of sustainable tourism.

CSR events dominate ITB Berlin

In addition to the ITB Convention numerous other events will also dwell on CSR. Thus, a wide range of papers and discussions on sustainability will be taking place again, mainly on the two stages in Hall 4.1.

Live streaming and convention programme on the internet

All of the above sessions at the ITB Berlin Convention will be streamed live on the internet. Selected sessions will also be documented as graphic recordings for social media. Full details of the programme of events at the ITB Convention can be found at www.itb-convention.com/program. Furthermore, a special CSR programme listing every ITB event on social and ecological responsibility in tourism is due to be compiled in print and online by the end of February 2017.

For more details please contact the CSR commissioner at ITB Berlin, Rika Jean-François, by emailing JeanFrancois@messe-berlin.de, or call on +49 (0)30 3038 2157.

Inside the Convention programme, all events on sustainability in tourism at the ITB Berlin Convention are marked with a CSR symbol and are chronologically listed on the internet under CSR@ITB Convention.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2017 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 8 to 12 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the trade show the ITB Berlin Convention, the world’s largest tourism convention, will be held from Wednesday, 8 to Saturday, 11 March 2017. The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is Co-Host of the ITB Berlin Convention. The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey are Platinum Sponsors. Metro AG is Gold Sponsor, Louvre Hotels and Studiosus are Silver Sponsors and the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) is Bronze Sponsor. More details are available at www.itb-convention.com. Slovenia is the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin 2017. ITB Berlin is the global travel industry’s leading trade show. In 2016 over 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to 180,000 visitors, including 120,000 trade visitors.

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