ITB Berlin News – Preview Edition


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Today’s battle: righting the wrongs

Probably the biggest underlying theme of this year’s ITB Berlin is that of sustainability. It’s a simple fact that if a destination is overflowing with endless lines of tourists and its seas are covered with plastic refuse, the place suddenly becomes a liability rather than an asset. If a region’s forests are destroyed and all the wildlife gone, no one will want to come and visit. Today, tourism is often at direct loggerheads with manufacturing and agricultural industries due to a conflict of interests. It is indeed evident that it is in the interest of all players in the tourism industry that local communities, and the environment of each destination be preserved for the future. This year at ITB, we can observe an extraordinary gathering of leading figures in the fields of environmental protection and CSR, who are not only sounding the alarm – that change needs to take place in order to preserve destinations as “tourism assets” rather than “liabilities” – but that much more is at stake. We are proud to present, in today’s preview edition, interviews with the likes of Dr Monika Griefahn, one of the founders of Greenpeace and a former Federal Minister, as well as Eliza Jean Reid, First Lady of Iceland, United Nations Special Ambassador for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals. They underline, in no uncertain terms, that tourism is not only a force for peace and understanding in the world; it will also be key when it comes to saving the planet.

Richard Barnes

Editor-in-Chief, ITB Berlin News