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ITB Berlin 2016: Social responsibility comes under spotlight

ITB Berlin 2016: Social responsibility comes under spotlight

Socially responsible tourism is a major topic at ITB Berlin.

In addition to the ITB CSR Day at the ITB Berlin Convention and the National Geographic World Legacy Awards, numerous events on sustainable tourism will be taking place in Hall 4.1.

From March 9th-11th experts and exhibitors will be meeting in the Responsible Tourism and Adventure Hall for a unique symposium.

Under the heading of a ’Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals’, topics dealing with responsible tourism, climate protection and sustainability will be examined.

The slogan of the eleventh edition of this event is ‘Cherishing Earth’s water resources – The blue planet amidst water abundance and scarcity’.
Artists representing the Maldives, the official partner country, will open the Pow-Wow.

Afterwards, Peter Südbeck, director of the Wadden Sea National Park, will deliver a keynote speech on the significance of the UNESCO Natural World Heritage Site of the Wadden Sea, which stretches along the German, Dutch and Danish coast for over 500 kilometres.

Peter DeBrine, a UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism programme specialist, will highlight the potentially positive impact of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on local economies and their prospects for sustainable tourism.

Afterwards, a documentary entitled ’The UNESCO’s World Heritage Marine Programme – A journey to three exceptional World Heritage Marine Sites’ will be shown.

In the film the Brazilian model Gisele Bündchen in her role as a United Nations Environment Programme goodwill ambassador talks about the programme’s biggest successes.

In Hall 4.1 numerous interactive events and a photo exhibition will also be placing the spotlight on UNESCO World Heritage Marine sites.

Moosa Zameer Hassan, deputy director general of the tourism ministry of the Maldives, will give a talk about special climate protection measures for islands and show a video on water management.

Water will also be the focus of several other sessions taking place the same day.

Thus, visitors can find out more about extracting water, a vital human resource, in the Pamir Mountains and the western Balkans, and about the Water Footprint project promoting resource awareness in hotels.

Other topics include water resource management as practised by nomads in Mongolia, the Massai Mara in Kenya and the Mapuche in Araucania in Chile.

Further lectures will take listeners on a trip to Lake Baikal in Russia, along the route of the Trans-Siberian railway and to the island of Cozumel in Mexico.

Day two of the Pow-Wow will kick off with a discussion on participatory tourism in Myanmar. Afterwards, Glenn Jampol, chairman of the Global Ecotourism Network, will talk about the aims and responsibilities of this organisation which was set up in 2015.

The presentation will conclude with ITB Berlin officially signing up as a member of the Ecotourism Network.

A further session with ECPAT, a partner of ITB, will dwell on the subject of protecting children against sexual exploitation in tourism and yet another, with TourismWatch, on defending human rights.

This will be followed by a discussion on cycling tours with EuroVelo, the European Cycling Network.

Afterwards, Evaneos from France will present itself to visitors as a model of sustainable tourism in combination with e-tourism.