Award winners from previous years always take part in presenting the outstanding women in tourism with the Celebrating Her Awards by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT). The award – initiated by men, by the way – is supported by ITB Berlin and CSR Officer Rika Jean-François. Nothing is more effective than learning from one another – that is the motto of the women executives and entrepreneurs in tourism, politics, the media, and NGOs that come together at the Palais am Funkturm on the eve of International Women’s Day.
Women and their qualities shape the business world by mutually supporting each other, working tenaciously to improve working conditions for women and gender equality, exchanging views with one another, and by building and maintaining a close network of contacts. In this case, they each persistently shape their own area of tourism into a sustainable, peace-making, and flourishing industry. “Each one of you is a role model for every one of us,” said US Moderator and Strategic Advisor Anita Mendiratta of CNN’s T.A.S.K. Group.
“This is a very important moment for me,” said Rika Jean- François in her greeting, “it is more important to me than International Women’s Day.” The day does not reflect “the urgency that we women have.” The day is necessary, however, as was summarised by the seminar on improved working conditions for women that took place on the occasion of the UN’s second Global Report on Women in Tourism. The Celebrating Her Award is presented in five categories. This year, Egyptian Minister of Tourism Rania al Mashat was happy to receive the award for Tourism Policy and Leadership, her Greek colleague Elena Kountoura for Tourism Strategy and Resilience, and long-time fighter Mechthild Maurer, CEO of ECPAT Germany, committed to socially responsible tourism, for Child Protection in Tourism. ITB is a member of ECPAT as well. In her words of introduction, Anita Mendiratta spoke about how, for over 25 years, winner Jane Madden, managing partner of FINN Partners, has given a voice to the voiceless and looks where others turn away. Jane Madden received the Sustainability Award for her dedication to Corporate Social Responsibility. Founder and President Helen Marano of Marano Perspectives was honoured by the UNWTO community. The long-time advocate sent her thanks in a video message. Former UNWTO General Secretary Thaleb Rifai accepted the award on her behalf and thanked her for her commitment to forging global alliances that bring tourism forward as a powerful force towards positive development for all.
International Women’s Day
As the world’s leading travel trade show we have focused on supporting women for many years. In 2019 for instance, we will again be honouring the outstanding achievements of women with the Celebrating Her Awards.
Sabine Neumann, Redaktionsbüro Schwartz