- Mr. Mahir Makol
- Tour Operators
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Exercising social responsibility while enjoying one holiday experience to the full is not a contradiction.In Hall 4.1, visitors to this year ITB Berlin can once again get inspiration for their adventure tours and sports trips and find out more from lectures about socially responsible tourism projects around the world.Hall 4.1b with its unique design and adventure course is certain to inspire visitors with a lust for travel.
Also in Hall 4.1, youth tour operators and youth hostels will be providing information for visitors on tours for young people.The segments Responsible Tourism, Adventure Travel and Youth Travel & Economy Accommodation will feature a total of more than 130 exhibitors from 35 countries at the world’s leading travel trade show.70 exhibitors will be represented in the segments Responsible Tourism and Adventure Travel alone.This year, newcomers include Armenia, Georgia, Greenland, New Zealand, Colombia and Jordan.
For example, Serconatural from Colombia will be presenting sustainable tourism projects which aim to provide support and protection for this country’s natural environment and culture.Detours from Jordan will be offering the experience of living in tents like Bedouins as well as ecologically responsible desert tours.This year the Indian luxury hotel chain CGH Earth has made a conscious decision to exhibit in Hall 4.1 in order to emphasise the importance of socially responsible tourism.
From 5 to 7 March, on the days reserved for trade visitors, the large stage in the hall will again be hosting outstanding events on sustainable tourism.Topics will include human rights in tourism, sustainable tourism initiatives following the Arab Spring in Tunisia, and wildlife poaching.The International Institute for Peace through Tourism (ICTP) will be celebrating its 25th anniversary, and ITB’s partner atmosfair, which handles all business travel compensation for the team of the ITB, will be inviting visitors to a debate on the future of tourism and climate change.The To DO! Awards for socially responsible tourism, organised by Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. and supported by ITB, will be presented on the Wednesday at 2.30 p.m.
On the days reserved for trade visitors the small stage in the centre of Hall 4.1 will be hosting the 9th Pow-wow for tourism professionals, who can find out all the latest about new projects and examples of best practices concerning sustainable tourism and adventure travel.
Well-known TV host Mary Amiri will moderate the three-day event,whose slogan is “Exploring Mountains, Canyons and Caves.“ Speakers will include Gera Voskanyan, Partnerships & Communications manager and Ecotourism expert of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), who will be talking about Armenia’s nature reserves and cultural heritage, as well as Rati Japaridze, chairman of the Agency of Protected Areas in Georgia, who will be talking about his country’s unrivalled bio-diversity. At the Master Class on Sustainable Mountain Tourism, Dr. Auliana Poon, managing director of Tourism Intelligence International, will be talking about how destinations can develop tourism in sustainable and socially responsible ways.
On day two of the Pow-wow the focus will also be on sustainable tourism.Speakers will include Matthias Leisinger, head of Corporate Responsibility, Kuoni Group, and Mechthild Maurer, managing director, ECPAT Deutschland, who will be talking about protecting children’s rights in tourism. Experts from Thailand, Greece, Colombia, Russia and UNWTO will be reporting on their projects.Haiti’s minister of tourism Stephanie Balmir Villedrouin, members of the embassy in Germany and a representative of the famine relief organisation Welthungerhilfe will be discussing reconstruction efforts and the development of sustainable tourism in Haiti. Also on day two of the Pow-wow, Tourism Intelligence International will be debating the topic of social media.
On day three, climate protection will be among the main topics, with the myclimate Awards due to be presented in four categories to companies for their outstanding achievements.Afterwards, discussion rounds will be examining how important geoparks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites are for tourism.Taking Portugal’s Naturtejo geopark as an example, Armindo Moreira da Palma Jacinto, president of the Administration Board, will be illustrating how educational and exciting a visit to a geopark can be.Cycling is a slightly different way to explore a country like Nepal.Raj Gyawali, founder and managing director of Socialtours, will be talking about how this environmentally responsible form of travel has become popular there.
Responsible Tourism Clinics organised by the The Blue Yonder, ITB’s Responsible Tourism Partner, will be taking place on all three days of the Pow-wow.On Friday at 6 p.m. the well-established ITB International Responsible Tourism Networking Event will be taking place, where participants in search of business partners will have an opportunity to meet.
Hall 4.1 will also feature the Youth Travel segment, where visitors can obtain tips on youth and student travel.The 63 exhibitors represented here will be showing how important this market segment has become for international tourism.Nowadays, backpacker hotels, budget hotel chains and internet platforms offer young travellers affordable trips to a variety of destinations around the world.On Friday, 7 March, the large stage inside the hall will be hosting a meeting of teachers who will be holding Germany’s biggest conference on the topic of school outings.Discussion will focus on a special topic, namely “the educational role of excursions to memorial sites”, as well as on issues regarding safety and organisation in connection with school and project tours.Discussions on au pair programmes, work experience at home and abroad and trips for everyone will round of the programme of events.
Over the weekend both stages in Hall 4.1 will also be featuring exciting events. The large stage will be hosting the ITB Travel Raffle, a book reading and international dancing, among which will be performances organised by Mexico, the Official ITB Berlin Partner Country 2014. On the small stage there will be numerous events, part of the adventure day for camping enthusiasts, hikers and globetrotters. Climate protection will also be among the topics.
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