ITB Asia commits to sustainable travel through responsible tourism initiatives

ITB Asia commits to sustainable travel through responsible tourism initiatives

Messe Berlin (Singapore), organizer of ITB Asia, “The Trade Show for the Asian Travel Market,“ has announced its commitment to promote social responsibility in tourism through the responsible tourism initiatives joining this year’s extensive conference line-up.

Taking place at The Sands Expo and Convention Center in Marina Bay Sands Singapore, ITB Asia 2012 will be held from October 17-19. All through the three days, responsible tourism practitioners and experts will be sharing their insights and advice on best business practices through various sessions focusing on different tourism segments and topics. ITB Asia delegates can also look forward to the responsible tourism forum and networking event, which will be held on the last day of the show.

“As the tourism industry in Asia continues to grow, we need to be aware of the practices used to develop our businesses to ensure they are also aimed at maximizing economic, social, and environmental benefits while minimizing costs to destinations,” said Nino Gruettke, Executive Director of ITB Asia.

“ITB Asia’s responsible tourism initiative will feature experts from various fields to share recommended practices for companies to cultivate a socially-responsible approach to their businesses. This will be mutually beneficial for both parties as it prolongs tourism operations in the region and preserves the environment,” added Gruettke.

Organized in cooperation with The Blue Yonder, Wild Asia, Green Circuit, and International Council of Tourism Partners (ICTP), this year’s responsible tourism initiative includes clinics featuring experienced practitioners from various fields such as sustainable architecture, digital marketing, and tourism management. Running throughout the three days of ITB Asia, delegates will have the chance to participate in one-on-one sessions with responsible tourism experts as they share their knowledge and success stories to sustainable tourism.

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The first session addressing “Holistic Property Management” will take place on the first day of ITB Asia. The session will be led by Andrew Jones, Guardian and Founder of Sanctuary Resorts, a company dedicated to offering responsible and sustainable tourism experiences to guests by providing holistic, environmentally-friendly accommodation space.

The responsible tourism clinics will continue on October 18 with “Responsible Tourism Reporting,” led by Founder Director of Social Tours, Raj Gyawali, who oversees the corporate marketing and strategic development of the organization.“Practical Applications of Social Media to Increase Profit in Business” will proceed in the afternoon with Ajay Jain, who actively builds travel communities online and offline through the Kunzum Travel Cafe concept.

The final session, facilitated by guest speaker Raj Basu on “Tourism is a tool for Conservation,” will also take place on October 18. As the founder member of various tourism and conservation organizations, Raj has more than 25 years of experience in supporting conservation through tourism, and is well-recognized for his contributions by His Majesty’s government of Nepal.

Concluding the responsible tourism initiative will be the Responsible Tourism Forum and Networking at ITB Asia 2012 event held on the last day of the show. The two-hour networking event will feature guest speakers representing The Blue Yonder Associates, ICTP, and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, as they share case studies and first-hand accounts of people who have made a difference in sustainable tourism.

A platform for sharing experiences, strengthening relationships, and potential business opportunities between socially-responsible travel trade professionals, the event aims to promote and raise awareness for responsible tourism across the Asian travel and tourism industry, and is open to all ITB Asia delegates and attendees. The event will also feature winners of Wild Asia’s Responsible Tourism Awards 2012.

In addition to the responsible tourism program, ITB Asia has forged new partnerships with leading travel industry experts representing UNWTO, MCI, the National Association of Travel Agents Singapore (NATAS), Panacea Publishing Asia, Global Business Travel Association (GBTA), and the Asia Cruise Assocation (ACA), and strengthened existing programs with WTTC, PhoCusWright, TTG Asia Media, and Web In Travel, delivering over 3,700 minutes of high-quality content altogether.

ITB Asia is an international platform that unites professionals and leaders from the travel and tourism industry to network and exchange invaluable first-hand experience and insights to the business. The leading travel trade show attracted over 7,500 attendees from over 90 countries in 2011, and promises to be even bigger and better with the 15 percent increase in exhibition space and variety of conference programs. ITB Asia is also a partner event of TravelRave, a mega travel and tourism festival week organized by the Singapore Tourism Board, to be held in Singapore in October 2012.