ITB Berlin 2016: Refugee crisis examined by hospitality leaders

ITB Berlin 2016: Refugee crisis examined by hospitality leaders

For many months the refugee situation has been the focus of debate not only in politics, but in the travel industry as well.

This year, a number of discussion rounds and lectures at the ITB Berlin Convention, the international travel industry’s leading think tank, will examine the various aspects of this topic.

Scientists and experts will provide in-depth accounts and tourism professionals will relate their practical experiences, for example of integrating refugees at the workplace.

In Hall 4.1, where the focus is on responsible tourism, flight and migration will also be among the topics discussed.

On Wednesday, March 9th, day one of the ITB Destination Days at the ITB Berlin Convention, Interjections – powered by Studienkreis für Tourismus will be asking the question ’Old Europe, new borders?’

Following an introduction by Prof. Dr. Dietmar Herz, chairman of the board of Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V., Andreas Stopp, a journalist at Deutschlandfunk, will talk about the impact of the refugee crisis on tourism and how the industry has become involved in political events.

Father Frido Pflüger, director of the Jesuit organisation Flüchtlingsdienst Deutschland; Jasmin Taylor, managing partner of JT Touristik GmbH and founder of the refugee organisation Strong Independent Sisters, as well as Düzen Tekkal, a TV journalist, author, editor and war zone correspondent, will relate their experiences.

On Thursday, March 10th, day two of the ITB Destination Days, the latest international research findings in connection with flight, migration and tourism will be revealed.

The influx of refugees across Europe also poses major challenges for tourism destinations such as Jordan, Turkey, Greece and Italy.

After an introductory paper by Prof. Dr. Harald Pechlaner, president of the AIEST Department of Tourism at Katholische Universität Eichstädt-Ingolstadt, the participants will talk about feelings of hostility versus the possibility of new kinds of hospitality emerging.

The event will be hosted by Verena Papke, an expert on regional strategy development and tourism.

On Friday, March 11th, day three of the ITB Destination Days, as part of a discussion on ’Tourism and security in the light of recent events’, the panel members will look at how the increased threat to security in many regions, terror attacks and stricter border controls could affect tourism.

Following an introductory paper by Dörte Nordbeck, head of Travel and Logistics Germany GfK, experts will debate what conclusions can be drawn from early airline bookings made for 2016 and how destinations can be made safer in these times of crisis.