ITB Berlin to Focus on Responsible Tourism


Berlin: Responsible travel and the designation by the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) of the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’ are the main themes at this year’s ITB Berlin, the world’s largest travel trade fair.

From March 8 to 12, nearly 60 exhibitors from 35 countries will be presenting their latest offers and products for adventure and ecological travel, and for economically and socially responsible tourism at ITB Berlin 2017.

The importance of this vigorously expanding market is reflected by the fact that the venue for Adventure Travel & Responsible Tourism, is fully booked for the first time..

During panel discussions, workshops and networking events more international tourism executives and experts than ever before, including those from the Caucasus, Germany, Mexico, Russia, Kenya, Spain and Iran, will be explaining and debating controversial issues concerning responsible tourism, climate change, sustainability, geo parks, wildlife and astro-tourism.

David Ruetz, Director of ITB Berlin, said: “There is an increasing awareness in society about the need for a more responsible approach. Nowadays, most people realise that this form of travel is a conscious recreational experience. Because of the internet and their own personal research, travellers are significantly better informed than they were just a few years ago. As long ago as 2004, an extensive platform for the sectors of adventure holidays and eco-tourism was being made available at ITB Berlin. In this way we want to support companies in their efforts to design tourism products and services that are economically, socially and ecologically responsible.“

Astro-tourism as a magnet for tourists

The 12th Pow-Wow is being opened by this year’s partner country Botswana with a cultural attraction that offers a foretaste of the show by the #ilovebotswana ensemble. On the first day, the main theme is that of astro-tourism. Botswana is one of those destinations with natural, clear night skies that are free of any light pollution. Trade visitors will be shown the importance of heavenly bodies for life on earth. Experts will explain the challenges facing the international travel industry as it seeks to implement astro-tourism in a sustainable and responsible way, and the impact on eco-systems of the increasing light pollution caused by artificial light.

The second day of the Pow-Wow is also devoted to socially compatible tourism. Here exhibitors and experts will be explaining how others can learn from the experience of those who are already engaged in sustainable tourism.

The ‘Responsible Tourism Clinics’ on March 10 will offer participants an opportunity to engage in direct discussions with