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Wednesday, 04 March, 2015, 11 : 00 AM [IST]

ITB Berlin 2015 to recognise best practices in Sustainable Tourism with World Legacy Awards

Featuring a more comprehensive line-up of interactive sessions, panel discussions, and exhibitions than the previous edition, ITB Berlin 2015 is about to make for an insightful, informative and exciting experience for both visitors and exhibitors. TravelBiz Monitor provides a gist of what to expect at the travel trade event, which will be held from March 4-8 at Messe Berlin
For the first time, the World Legacy Awards Ceremony will take place at ITB Berlin this year on March 5. The Awards, presented in association with National Geographic, will showcase the travel companies, organisations and destinations that are driving the Sustainable Tourism transformation of the global travel industry. The five award categories are Earth Changers; Sense of Place; Conserving the Natural World; Engaging Communities; and Destination Leadership.

Speakers at ITB Berlin 2015 will include senior executives, researchers, and politicians who will present latest data from the international travel industry. The programme of the event will also include papers and discussions on topics such as authoritarian regimes and Slum Tourism. For trade visitors at ITB Berlin, admission to the event is free. The convention will be open to public on the last two days. Tourism Malaysia is the Convention & Culture Partner of ITB Berlin.

On the first day of the convention, cruise analyst and maritime trade journalist, Thomas P. Illes will discuss shipyards’ decisions to relocate their business to new markets at ITB Future Day. Joining him will be Raoul Jack, Principal Consultant, PFJ Maritime Consulting; Dominic Paul, Senior Vice President, International Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises & Azamara Club Cruises, Managing Director RCL Cruises; and Giuseppe Tringali, Senior Naval Architect & General Manager, Greece; and Knud E. Hansen A/S, who will discuss new markets such as China and their impact on the international cruise industry.

dato_seri_mohamed_nazri_bin_tan_sri_abdul_aziz.jpgdr_taleb_rifai.jpgOn the second day, the convention will open with an address by Dato‘ Seri Mohamed Nazri bin Tan Sri Abdul Aziz, Minister of Tourism and Culture of Malaysia. This will be followed by three keynote speeches on the future of travel, by Nils Müller, CEO, Trend ONE; Lee McCabe, Head, Travel Strategy at Facebook; and Harald Eisenächer, Senior Vice President - Europe, Middle East and Africa Sabre, Travel Network.

dr_hannah_r_messerliThe ITB Marketing and Distribution Day, which will be on the third day of the event, will have Kenny Jacobs, Chief Marketing Officer, Ryanair, speaking on the transformation taking place at the airline, and the implications for Europe’s travel industry. A radical restructuring of the airline’s business model is currently under way in a bid to attract business travellers. On the same day, at the ITB CSR Day, Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO and Dr Hannah R Messerli, Senior Private Sector Development Specialist/Tourism Trade and Competitiveness Global Practice, The World Bank Group, will speak about the effects on tourism of the United Nations’ Sustainable Tourism Program.

itb_berlin_2014_2.jpgIndia Focus

The India Tourism pavilion will have Spiritual Tourism as the theme, and will have images of the Sanchi Stupa of Madhya Pradesh and the Ghat of Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh in the background, as informed by India Tourism Germany (Frankfurt) Office. The pavilion will cover an area of over 698 sq mtr. While the tourism boards of Punjab, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Delhi (NCR), Sikkim, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh, and West Bengal, along with the union territories of Chandigarh and Daman & Diu, and Dadra & Nagar Haveli will be exhibiting within the India Tourism pavilion, Kerala Tourism will set up an independent pavilion at ITB Berlin 2015.

Basanta Raj Kumar IFS, Executive Director, Punjab Heritage and Tourism Promotion Board, said that exhibiting at the India Tourism booth will not just be cost-effective, but also give the state’s tourism mileage from key markets such as Europe, Canada, Australia, USA, and UK. “For the first time at ITB Berlin, we will showcase Virasat-e-Khalsa, which is a museum of the Sikhs located in the holy town of Anandpur Sahib near Chandigarh. Besides, the Golden Temple, Farm Tourism, and Heritage Walk will also be promoted,” he added.

Like last year, Kerala Tourism will set up a separate pavilion at ITB Berlin 2015. “The focus will be Responsible Tourism, Backwater Tourism, and Spice Route. We will have a group of tour operators and hotels that will participate at the event. This will be followed by roadshows in London and Paris,” stated Anupama T V IAS, Additional Director General, Kerala Tourism.

Madhya Pradesh Tourism will also have an independent pavilion at the event. Ashwani Lohani, Commissioner & Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh State Tourism Development Corporation (MPSTDC) said that the pavilion will majorly showcase the highlights of Kumbh Mela (April 2016). “The theme will also feature the wildlife, heritage, pilgrimage, and caravan tourism, thereby promoting cruising in Madhya Pradesh and intra-state flight connectivity,” he added.

Santosh Misra IAS, Managing Director, Chhattisgarh Tourism Board, said that they would focus on promoting the waterfalls, natural beauty, Ecotourism (in Gangrel and Barnawapara Wildlife Sanctuary) and tribal traditions of in Bastar, targeting the prominent inbound markets of South East Asia.

eTravel World
This year, more than 50 exhibitors from 19 countries will gather at the eTravel World of ITB Berlin. From March 4-7, visitors can find out more about innovative products and apps for tour operators, the hospitality industry and destinations. A range of papers and workshops will offer information on the important changes taking place in the digital world. For the first time, the event will feature the toolsLounge—a collaboration between ITB Berlin and the ‘tools’ Expo + Conference. Taking ‘Working Web-Based in Tourism’ as their slogan, Schober Information Group Deutschland GmbH and United Planet GmbH will be among those showcasing web-based business solutions that target tourism market professionals and show how business processes can be successfully digitised and automated.

itb_berlin_2014.jpgDestination Days
H.E. Hisham Zaazou, Tourism Minister of Egypt, will deliver a speech, opening the ITB Destination Days, which will be held through the first three days of the event. These sessions will be dedicated to the challenges and perspectives of international destination management. The focus will be on forms of travel and destinations with great growth potential, innovative approaches to destination marketing, and the specific aspects of select tourism destinations.

Destination Day 1 will see Christine Duffy, President and CEO, CLIA, giving the keynote speech, explaining how destinations can participate in the cruise industry boom. Later, Loveleen Tandan, Co-director of the Oscar-winning movie ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, will deliver a speech on ‘Slums, War Zones and Extreme Regions: Development Potential and Tourism Destinations’.

Destination Day 2 will open with a keynote speech by H.E. Sheikha Mai Al Khalifa, Minister of Culture of the Kingdom of Bahrain, on the topic, ‘Cultural Heritage: Bahrain as an example of valorisation and tourism marketing’. In the wake of the FIFA World Cup and ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games, the world is still looking at Brazil and the whole of South America. At an event moderated by Andreas M. Gross, Chairman of ARGE Lateinamerika e.V., Tom Rostek, Director, DERTOUR live Sports & Events; Wilhelm von Breymann, Tourism Minister of Costa Rica; and journalist, Eva von Steinburg will discuss how large-scale sports events benefit Local Tourism.

Destination Day 3 will feature the ‘Interjections’ events of Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V., focusing on the combined efforts of Palestinians and Israelis to achieve a better understanding and fair tourism in the Holy Land.

India Forum: India Outbound – India Inbound, Initiatives For Peace Through Tourism - Focus On The Woman Traveller

After the presentation of a brand-new Outbound Tourism Study on India, based on surveys of tourism trade organisations across nine Indian cities, on March 4, a panel of eminent personalities from the tourism sector will address Inbound Tourism. They will deliberate on questions such as ‘Indian Outbound is growing, what about Indian Inbound?’, ‘What can be done to celebrate the female traveller in India?’, ‘Which measures have been taken? Can tourism be a vehicle for a better understanding in a society?’, ‘Could Ambassadors of Peace through Tourism help to deplete conflict?’, and ‘Can tourism positively affect change?’.

The session, which will be held in Hall 4.1, Room Regensburg from 3 pm-4 pm, will be opened by Rika Jean-François, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin. The introductory presentations will be made by Swarup B R, Director, Stark Communications Pvt. Ltd., India; Dr Taleb Rifai, Secretary General, UNWTO; and Dr Suman Billa, Joint Secretary - Tourism, Government of India. Sheldon Santwan, COO & Editor, TravelBiz Monitor, will moderate the session. The panellists will include Hannah R Drechsel, Director, The Blue Yonder, India; Anita Mendiratta, Founder & Managing Director, CACHET CONSULTING, Lead Consultant, CNN International’s T.A.S.K.; Ajay Prakash, Founder & President, International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) India; Prof. Dr. Ajit Singh Sikand, Institute of Indology, Gutenberg University of Mainz, President/CEO, HBC Tourism Consulting; and Valsa Nair Singh, Secretary for Tourism, Government of Maharashtra.

Adventure Travel & Social Responsibility
Through the five days of the convention, more than 130 exhibitors from 40 countries will present their latest adventure travel products as well as those supporting ecologically, economically and socially Responsible Tourism. On March 4, the ceremony of the TO DO! Awards of the Study Group for Tourism and Development, sponsored by ITB Berlin, will be held. Entries were invited from tourism projects for the TO DO! Competition for Socially Responsible Tourism, which take the interests of local inhabitants into account by actively involving them in the planning and implementation stages in an exemplary manner.

Pink Pavilion
The Gay & Lesbian Travel Pavilion will have new exhibitors. There will also be a discussion on the prospects for LGBT social media campaigns. Among the exhibitors at the Pink Pavilion are Mykonos Accommodation Center with Gay-friendly Hotels from Mykonos, the Stockholm Gay & Lesbian Network with EuroGames 2015, the Dorsett Hotel Group with hotels in Asia and the UK, gay tour operator Zenith Travel from Ecuador and Servicewerk Berlin with partners from Belgium, Spartacus Gay Guide, Brazil with ABRAT and Embratur, Argentina Turismo LGBT, Diversity Consulting from Madrid, the Ella Festival from Majorca, Gay Gran Canaria, the IGLTA (International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association), World Rainbow Hotels, Gay Guide 365, Here Media, and co-exhibitors from Tel Aviv and Barcelona.
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