New Impetus for Social Responsibility

ITB Berlin raises awareness of Corporate Social Responsibility in tourism

This year, the world’s largest travel trade show has a special focus on the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017” – with forward-looking projects and a new impetus for social responsibility in tourism on the stages in Hall 4.1 and at the ITB Berlin Convention.

Economically, ecologically and socially responsible tourism has always been an important topic at the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. This year a fresh impetus for CSR in tourism comes from the United Nations declaration of 2017 as the “International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development”. The ITB Berlin Convention and the programme of stage events in Hall 4.1b will feature forwardlooking topics, including on climate protection, sustainable food and beverages in the hotel industry and at tourism destinations, as well as child protection and human rights. “Sustainability has long ceased to be a trend. It has become a firmly established topic at ITB Berlin. The Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development declared by UNWTO provides an opportunity to get the necessary industry changes under way. The aim is to support the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its sustainability goals in the context of tourism. This year, ITB Berlin will again be making its contribution towards greater responsibility and sustainability”, says Rika Jean-François, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin.

From 8 to 10 March 2017 at the 12th Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals in Hall 4.1b, lectures, panel discussions, workshops and networking events will present and debate up-to-the-minute topics. They include climate protection and nature conservation, geoparks, wildlife tourism, astro-tourism and socially-responsible tourism. On day one the key topic will be ‘Gazing into the night skies’ sparkling diamonds – A journey through the vast universe’.


At the ITB Berlin Convention social responsibility has been a topic for many years. On 8 March, day one of the ITB Destination Days, the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin 2017 will host the ’Green Panel of Slovenia’. Experts from Slovenia will explain the country’s transition, in record time, to its new recognised status as the first green destination. Botswana has set another example of how sustainability can drive tourism. On 9 March, day two of the Destination Days, the Botswana Forum will provide information on ’Nature conservation and sustainable tourism’ and the country’s pioneering role in wildlife protection. On Thursday, 9 March at ITB, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) will be organising a day on the subject of sustainable tourism. UNWTO will be extending an invitation to attend several tracks on social responsibility.

The ITB CSR Day also provides an important impetus for sustainable tourism. On 10 March, leading figures from politics and science will discuss innovative concepts and the economic potential of sustainable tourism. The main topic will be ’Sustainable Food and Beverages in the Hotel Industry and at Tourism Destinations’. Climate change and effective sustainable tourism measures will also be on the agenda. A discussion on how freethinkers around the world can reconcile luxury tourism with sustainability concepts will take place under the heading of ‘Luxury Tourism of Tomorrow: Gazing at the Stars at the Door Plate or under the Open Sky’. The ITB CSR Day will conclude with a lively discussion on ’fanatical climate views versus a denial of facts’ which, taking the cruise industry as an example, will attempt to dispel some preconceptions