ITB Berlin Recognises Industry Pioneers

Setting standards in nature preservation is the theme at the Sustainable Destination Top 100 Awards – The TO DO! Awards recognise social responsibility – Empowering women is the theme at the Celebrating Her Awards – Support for the LGBT segment honoured by the ITB LGBT + Pioneer Awards.


The theme of this year’s competition was “Tourism benefiting local communities”. For the organisers it is important that destinations learn to involve local municipalities and residents in shaping sustainable tourism. Overtourism was a term dominating many of the discussions at this year’s ITB Berlin. Portugal received two awards, while Bhutan, Botswana, Malta, the Netherlands, Rwanda, Slovenia, Tajikistan and the USA each received one.


Social responsibility was the main theme at the TO DO! Awards. The awards have been taking place since 1995 honouring tourism projects that safeguard local residents’ interests during the project’s planning and implementation phases. The TO DO! Award for Human Rights in Tourism was presented for the second time under the patronage of the German UNESCO Commission. Tren Ecuador (the national railway network) and Maquipucuna (a biodiversity conservation project), two projects from Ecuador, were honoured for their socially responsible approach to tourism. IKhwa ttu from South Africa was recognised for its dedication to preserving the San culture. In the opinion of the jury and the Study Group for Tourism and Development all three projects fulfilled the main criterion of the TO DO! Awards, namely involving local residents in planning and realising tourism projects.


The role of women was the focus of the Celebrating Her Awards for Empowered Women. The International Institute for Peace Through India (IIPT) awards the prize every year. “We are delighted to be partnering with IIPT India for the presentation of these exceptional awards”, said Rika Jean-Francois, the CSR commissioner at ITB Berlin. The awards went to five women whose commitment to tourism has been particularly inspiring. They were Sandra Howard Taylor, Colombian Deputy Minister of Tourism; Isabel Hill, Director of the National Travel & Tourism Office, US Department of Commerce; Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel, Euromonitor International; Daniela Wagner, Director, International Partnerships and Jacobs Media Group EMEA, PATA; and Jyotsna Suri of CMD Lalit Hotels, India.


This year saw the first presentation of the ITB LGBT+ Pioneer Awards at ITB Berlin. In holding these awards, ITB Berlin aimed to honour the support provided by destinations, tourism providers and outstanding personalities for the expanding LGBT travel segment. The winners were Gustavo Nuguera and Pablo de Luca, who represented Gnetwork CCGLAR.