For many years committing to sustainable, fair and socially responsible tourism has been one of the guiding principles of ITB Berlin. This year too, awards, lectures and presentations on climate protection, human rights and social equality will be the focus of ITB Berlin NOW. At the virtual event taking place from 9 to 12 March 2021 participants can watch the live presentations of the Celebrating Her Awards and TO DO Awards, exchange views with numerous exhibitors and organisations from around the world and meet at the ITB Responsible Tourism Café.
The key players and many interested users will come together on the ITB Berlin Responsible Tourism Brand Card. This is where visitors can engage virtually with NGOs such as ECPAT, The Code, Tourism Watch/Brot für die Welt, Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V., Atmosfair, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) and the Global Ecotourism Network (GEN). The Blue Yonder, the event’s long-standing ITB Responsible Tourism Partner, will also take part in this virtual edition, as will Marianna McGill, who for many years has organised the ITB PowWow. In 2021, our partners the Dutch non-profit organisation Green Destinations will again present the 100 Top Green Destinations with the ITB Earth Award. Every day, users can network, follow up ideas and plan joint projects at the ITB Responsible Tourism Café, which is presented by Georgia, this year’s Digital Adventure & Sustainability Partner.
Solutions for making tourism more sustainable
Participants can find out about new ideas and insights on the topic of social responsibility in international tourism at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention on Tuesday, 9 March 2021, at the Best Practice Responsible Tourism Track and on CSR In-Tourism Day on Friday, 12 March 2021. On Tuesday, 8 March on International Women’s Day, under the heading ’Women in Tourism Building Back Better’, leading women speakers will discuss resilience and sustainable travel, using technology and the role of organisations and tourism associations. At an event presented by the International Trade Center (ITC) and SheTrades, H.E.D. Sarangerel, Minister of the Environment and Tourism of Mongolia and Angela Njehia, director of Tierranjani Africa, Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the ITC, and Naa Oyoe Ofei-Aryeh, managing director of Sunset African Tours, will discuss the strong role played by women in tourism. Brilliant ideas contributing to social innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism are the subject of the presentation of the Social Entrepreneurship Award. The competition first launched by ITB Berlin, Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde (HNNE) and Travel Massive and which in 2021 is being supported for the first time by UNWTO, the TUI Care Foundation and SINA will also take place on Tuesday at ITB Berlin NOW.
For many years the presentation of the TO DO Awards has also been an established event at the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. Presented by Studienkreis für Tourismus e.V., the TO DO Award 2021 goes to the community-based tourism project Rutas Ancestrales Araucarias from Chile. The London-based organisation Equality in Tourism international is the winner of the TO DO Human Rights Award 2021. In an interview, Portugal’s State Secretary for Tourism Rita Marques will talk about new sustainable solutions and new initiatives for restarting the economy in her home country. She will also present A World For Travel (the Evora Forum) in Portugal, scheduled for May this year, at which leading tourism experts from around the world will discuss possible ways of achieving sustainable tourism in the future.
For the fifth time the ITB IIPT Celebrating Her Awards will celebrate the outstanding achievements of women in tourism. At an event organised in partnership with the International Institute of Peace in Tourism (IIPT), following a welcome speech this year’s winners will be announced live on stage by Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary General of UNWTO and Louis D‘Amore, founder of the IIPT. Afterwards, Stephanie M. Jones, founder and CEO of National Blacks in Travel & Tourism Collaborative, Iaia Pedemonte, founder and editor of Gender Responsible Tourism (GRT), Sandi Robinson, area director of Sales & Marketing of Godfrey Hotel Chicago, and the freelance journalist Tobias Sauer, will discuss discrimination experienced in tourism and how it can be combated. At the event to follow, Beverley O’Neil, founder and consultant, DesigningNations, Canada, Gopinath Parayil, founder of The BlueYonder, India, Ben Sherman, chairman of the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance (WINTA), USA, and Darren Capewell, Wula Guru Nyinda, Eco Cultural Adventures, Australia, will debate how indigenous tourism can take place in a sustainable and socially responsible manner in times of crisis and the role of resilience in that context.
Numerous organisations and tour operators will also host their own presentations on new projects and developments at ITB Berlin NOW. This year, Taiwan will focus on cycle tours and Finland will present a seven-stage programme in support of sustainable tourism. Panama and other destinations will have information on measures to protect biodiversity. Indonesia, Scotland and Slovenia will also impress with their sustainable tourism programmes. Visitors can find out about sustainable cross-border recovery projects in nature reserves such as the Wadden Sea. Myclimate, an organisation dedicated to offsetting carbon emissions, will show ways to reduce emissions and save costs. The German National Tourist Board (DZT) will host a panel discussion on future sustainable tourism scenarios and is also organising the 10th Accessible Tourism Day. In addition to supporting the ITB CSR Day, the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will present tourism projects in Albania and Tunisia. Green Tiny Houses will also be on the agenda as well as a discussion on whether the MICE industry can be a sustainability leader.