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ITB Berlin News - Day 3

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8 NEWS BOTSWANA Official

8 NEWS BOTSWANA Official ITB Berlin Partner Country 2017 Exporting The Success Story ITB China “signed into life” at ITB Berlin It’s official. Starting in May 2017, ITB China will take place annually on the grounds of the Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Conference Center in a partnership between Messe Berlin and TravelDaily China, China’s leading online news portal and event organiser for the travel industry. ITB China is to be modelled along the lines of ITB Asia, held every October for the past eight years in Singapore. For its premiere, ITB China already counts the big names of China’s travel industry on its partner list. Ctrip, China’s leading online travel agency, has already committed to send its buyers to ITB China to make large purchases of new products. “Our company is constantly growing and we look forward to expanding our international trade relations at ITB China“, said John Zhong, head of International Hotel Business Ctrip. The company, which counts Baidu as one of its largest shareholders, recently drew attention by making investments in its Chinese competitors, Qunar and Elong. Alitrip, the travel brand of the Chinese internet giant Alibaba, has also announced that it will be sending buyers from affiliated travel agencies to ITB China. Last year, the company organised local and international trips for 100 million Chinese customers. Utour and Caissa, China’s leading offline tour operator, as well as Tuniu, China’s leading online leisure travel platform, have also partnered with the event. Charlie Li, Founder and CEO of TravelDaily China, said “We are very thrilled to partner with ITB to bring the world’s leading travel trade show to China, the largest travel market in the world. By combining ITB’s global network and 50- year experience of running travel trade show in Europe and Asia with TravelDaily’s experience of operating online media and organizing highquality executive conferences in China, we aim to build the bridge connecting international exhibitors and Chinese buyers, which ultimately will benefit the global travel industry.” Left to right: Xiaoxing Zhang, Chairman Assistant General Manager of Frankfurt Office, Caissa Touristic; John Zhong, Deputy General Manager of Accommondation Business and General Manager of International Hotel Business, Ctrip; Sherri Wu, Alitrip Chief Strategy Officer, Alibaba Group; Dr Martin Buck, Senior Vice President, Messe Berlin; Philip C. Wolf, Founder, Phocuswright; Charlie Li, Founder and CEO, TravelDaily China; Alex Yan, Co-founder & President, Tuniu; Dr Christian Göke, CEO, Messe Berlin. In a significant ceremony, Wednesday, Dr. Christian Göke, Chief Executive Officer of Messe Berlin GmbH and Tshekedi Khama II, Botswana’s Environment, Wildlife And Tourism Minister signed the official documents that confirmed Botswana as the official partner country for ITB Berlin 2017. Speaking to ITB Berlin News, Mr Khama said “There are importances and coincidences here - both Botswana and ITB Berlin are celebrating 50th anniversaries this year, so it’s a fantastic opportunity. Being the first African country to partner ITB Berlin? That’s a world first.” As 41% of Botswana’s Tshekedi Khama II, Dr Christian Göke and David Ruetz (l. to r.) land is reserved for wildlife management - including game reserves and national parks, the relationship between tourism and conservation is critical. The Minister is outspoken about Botswana’s strong anti-poaching stance, saying “we pride ourselves in Botswana being a premium safari destination. Our conservation policy, our relocation of black and white rhinos, we have an increased population of elephants - all this is because we defend our resources. That’s why we have the population of species we have.” One goal of the partnership with ITB Berlin for 2017, following in the footsteps of previous partner countries including the incumbent Maldives, is to enhance international awareness of the country as a tourism destination “We say Botswana is Africa’s best-kept secret, and now it’s time to unlock that secret!” he said. BOTSWANA IS AFRICA’S BEST- KEPT SECRET, AND NOW IT’S TIME TO UNLOCK THAT SECRET David Ruetz, Head Of ITB Berlin, commented “The diverse cultural heritage of the country, the warm hospitality shown by its people as well as sustainable tourism make Botswana an unrivalled holiday destination in southern Africa” Mr Khama said “When we look at the mix of people that come to ITB - the many diverse entities that are represented here - it became the obvious platform. And it forces us to raise our standards, to be equal to the standards of this event.” Hall 20 / Stand 131 ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 11 th March 2016 www.itb-berlin-news.com

NEWS 9 © Messe Berlin FROM ‘66TO‘16 50 glorious years of ITB – stepping back in time This year is the 50 th anniversary of ITB Berlin, marking a genuine success story “made in Berlin“. Each of this year’s editions of ITB Berlin News looks back at one of the highlights… National Geographic World Legacy Awards Recognising travel companies and destinations that work for the sake of the planet and human well being through tourism, the National Geographic Traveler World Legacy Awards were announced yesterday at a ceremony at ITB Berlin. “Sustainability is the core value for the future of our children”, declared Costas Christ, Chairman, National Geographic World Legacy Awards and Editor at National Geographic Traveler in his introduction. The importance of the awards for recognising and supporting sustainable tourism initiatives was stressed by Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General who also addressed the audience and told the 15 finalists: “You are all winners as you all inspire us. We know the challenge that tourism can represent for the delicate balance of earth. One billion international travellers can translate into one billion opportunities but it can also be one billion disasters. It is up to us to seize the chance to make things better”. During an impassioned speech, Christ added that “our responsibility as travellers and as businesses is to protect and take care of the species and of nature. Sustainability is not a trend, it is a real transformation.” The 15 selected World Legacy Awards finalists were taken from a list of 150 visionary travel leaders and businesses working to protect a fragile planet for future generations and to support the well-being of local people in destinations around the world. They represented 51 countries and six continents, while three finalists were selected in five categories. These included: Earth Changers - recognising cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon emission reduction. Inspira Santa Marta Hotel in Lisbon, Portugal Laguna Lodge Eco-Resort and Nature Reserve, Guatemala Mission Hills, China (winner) Sense of Place - acknowledges excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archeological sites, indigenous heritage, and artistic traditions. CGH Earth Experience Hotel, Southern India Tierra Patagonia Lodge, Chile Time Unlimited Tours, New Zealand (winner) Conserving the Natural World - recognising outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat, protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans. Arkaba by Wild Bush Luxury, Australian outback Elephant Hills Co. Ltd, Khao Sok National Park, Thailand Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, I.A.P, Mexico (winner) Engaging Communities - looking at direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care, and education. Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy, USA The Bushcamp Company, Luangwa, Zambia (winner) Grootbos Green Futures Foundation, Cape Province, South Africa Destination Leadership - recognising destination stewardship, including cities, provinces, states, countries and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection for cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local people, and educating travellers on the principles of sustainable tourism. Burren and Cliffs of Moher Geopark, Western Ireland (winner) Destination Røros, Norway Travel Oregon, United States. PART FOUR THE NINETIES: FOCUS ON HEALTH TOURISM AND PROTECTING THE ENVIRONMENT ITB Berlin 1990 Malaysia showcases its cultural heritage During the Nineties at ITB Berlin, trends such as sustainable tourism and health tourism were addressed, placed centre stage and positioned successfully on the market. This included creating special sections for new products and services for a variety of audiences including business travellers, health-conscious travellers and young people (Youth Travel Center). In 1992, ITB Berlin had already addressed the issue of human rights at holiday destinations and put protecting the environment on its agenda. The focus was on ecofriendly and energy-saving products, which helped to make people in the tourism market more aware of these aspects. ITB Berlin also adopted a pioneering role where corporate social responsibility was concerned. It regards the principles of ecological and social responsibility as fundamental to confronting the future and ensuring long-term success, not only in the market. ITB BERLIN NEWS • Friday 11 th March 2016

ITB Berlin News