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ITB Berlin News 2018 - Review Edition

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6 NEWS “Growing

6 NEWS “Growing Better” ITB Berlin 2018 Tourism has a responsibility to lead global sustainable development agenda says new UNWTO chief. Rika Jean Francois CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin ITB Berlin 2018 - Opening Ceremony Zurab Pololikashvili Secretary-General, World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) ITB Berlin Addresses Key CSR Challenges Zurab Pololikashvili, recently-appointed Secretary- General of the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), made a strong impression during his visit to ITB Berlin 2018. Appointed to the role in late 2017, the event was an opportunity for Pololikashvili to meet industry stakeholders and set out his organisation’s vision - some of which was laid out during his address at the opening of ITB Berlin on March 6. Speaking in the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, tourism ministers from around the world and the leaders of the tourism sector, Pololikashvili stressed how tourism not only needs to consolidate current growth rates, but “to grow better”. He said the tourism sector has a role and responsibility in contributing to sustainable development on a global scale. In 2017, international tourist numbers grew a record 7% to reach 1.3 billion. UNWTO’s message underlines the need to turn these figures into benefits for all people and communities. “Leaving no one behind”, said Pololikashvili, is the benchmark for true sustainability, which must also decouple growth from resource use and place climate change mitigation at the heart of the tourism sector’s agenda. “Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development,” said the UNWTO Secretary-General, while warning at the same time that it also brings many challenges. “Adapting to the challenges of safety and security, constant market changes, digitalisation and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action.” Along with sustainability and climate change, Pololikashvili also stressed education and job creation, innovation and technology, safety and security as the priorities for the sector if the UN’s 2030 Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development is to be achieved. Pololikashvili concluded that public/private cooperation as well as coordination “must be strengthened in order to translate tourism growth into more investment, more jobs and better livelihoods” As CSR Commissioner for ITB Berlin, Rika Jean Francois has observed that Overtourism is a key industry talking point this year. There were at least six panels dealing with the subject at ITB Berlin this year – all attempting to find lasting solutions. We urgently need to find solutions. Digitalisation can help, but smart visitor control systems are only one part of the solution – we also have to think about alternative concepts, like breaking seasonality or decentralisation. What other challenges have you observed? Another global concern is the on-going pollution of the oceans with persistent microand macroplastic waste as it has drastic effects on the ecology and our health and of course tourism! In a positive way, I think there is a trend to include sustainable and responsible thinking into destination management plans. For instance, our ITB Partner, Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, has developed numerous sustainable tourism projects. In cooperation with Mecklenburg-Vorpommern for the first time ever we left a zero carbon footprint for our opening ceremony. What was new at the show in terms of CSR initiatives, or exhibitors? The seminar on Gender Equality in Tourism at the Palais on Thursday, 8 March, International Women’s Day, was of special significance.The Zambia Tourism Forum was also of interest: ITB’s Convention and Culture Partner 2018 gave an insight into how heritage interpretation can be a development tool for rural tourism. How important is CSR and sustainability in the decision making process of buyers today and what is the trend there? Consumer behaviour is in the process of changing: Fair Trade is becoming more popular and so is Fair Travel. People have want to live a healthier, more balanced life style. Consumers will see (CSR and sustainability) as a matter of course and tourism providers shall be prepared, it will be considered de rigueur ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

NEWS 7 ITB Berlin Recognises Industry Pioneers Setting standards in nature preservation is the theme at the Sustainable Destination Top 100 Awards – The TO DO! Awards recognise social responsibility – Empowering women is the theme at the Celebrating Her Awards – Support for the LGBT segment honoured by the ITB LGBT + Pioneer Awards. SUSTAINABLE DESTINATIONS: THE WORLD’S TOP TEN The theme of this year’s competition was “Tourism benefiting local communities”. For the organisers it is important that destinations learn to involve local municipalities and residents in shaping sustainable tourism. Overtourism was a term dominating many of the discussions at this year’s ITB Berlin. Portugal received two awards, while Bhutan, Botswana, Malta, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Slovenia, Tajikistan and the USA each received one. TO DO! AWARDS Social responsibility was the main theme at the TO DO! Awards. The awards have been taking place since 1995 honouring tourism projects that safeguard local residents’ interests during the project’s planning and implementation phases. The TO DO! Award for Human Rights in Tourism was presented for the second time under the patronage of the German UNESCO Commission. Tren Ecuador (the national railway network) and Maquipucuna (a biodiversity conservation project), two projects from Ecuador, were honoured for their socially responsible approach to tourism. IKhwa ttu from South Africa was recognised for its dedication to preserving the San culture. In the opinion of the jury and the Study Group for Tourism and Development all three projects fulfilled the main criterion of the TO DO! Awards, namely involving local residents in planning and realising tourism projects. CELEBRATING HER AWARDS FOR EMPOWERED WOMEN The role of women was the focus of the Celebrating Her Awards for Empowered Women. The International Institute for Peace Through India (IIPT) awards the prize every year. “We are delighted to be partnering with IIPT India for the presentation of these exceptional awards”, said Rika Jean-Francois, the CSR commissioner at ITB Berlin. The awards went to five women whose commitment to tourism has been particularly inspiring. They were Sandra Howard Taylor, Colombian Deputy Minister of Tourism; Isabel Hill, Director of the National Travel & Tourism Office, US Department of Commerce; Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel, Euromonitor International; Daniela Wagner, Director, International Partnerships and Jacobs Media Group EMEA, PATA; and Jyotsna Suri of CMD Lalit Hotels, India. ITB LGBT+ PIONEER AWARDS This year saw the first presentation of the ITB LGBT+ Pioneer Awards at ITB Berlin. In holding these awards, ITB Berlin aimed to honour the support provided by destinations, tourism providers and outstanding personalities for the expanding LGBT travel segment. The winners were Gustavo Nuguera and Pablo de Luca, who represented Gnetwork CCGLAR The World’s Top 10 Sustainable Destinations To Do Award Celebrating Her Awards LGBT+ Pioneer Awards © Messe Berlin GmbH © Messe Berlin GmbH © Messe Berlin GmbH © Messe Berlin GmbH TOURCERT’S SUSTAINABLE TRAVEL FOR TOMORROW “Plan for the future, because that’s where you’ll spend the rest of your life.” In line with Mark Twain’s famous quote, TourCert, the Stuttgart-based innovation and certification company and its worldwide network, has succeeded in further anchoring sustainable tourism. The TourCert Community has grown by 50 percent in 2017. Today, it comprises around 250 companies that have either been certified with the TourCert label or have been awarded the TourCert Check. TourCert brings together experts from the fields of tourism, science, environment, development and politics. With many years of experience, the team is committed to responsible tourism. Travel for Tomorrow means making the travel industry fit for the future. Therefore, besides certification TourCert offers other services such as e-learning, workshops, seminars and events. 2018 has already begun promisingly, the good start continuing at ITB Berlin with TourCert presenting its work during its well-attended discussion on “Sustainable Coasts in Europe & Latin America” ITB BERLIN NEWS • Wednesday 21 st March 2018

ITB Berlin News