Ideas for sustainable travel:
Numbering close to 140 members, the umbrella association ‘forum anders reisen’ for sustainable tourism is promoting the development of sustainable forms of travel, for which it has established independent criteria. At ITB Berlin visitors to the stand in Hall 4.1 can find out about how the association works to promote sustainable tourism. The focus of the tour operators’ organisation is currently on climate protection, sustainable economics, marine conservation, CSR certification, eco-friendly travel, socially responsible destination development and travelling without plastic. It has also published a joint catalogue (Reiseperlen 2019) and catalogues for members featuring sustainable travel products.
’forum anders reisen’ partners with destinations to help develop sustainable tourism. Tourism can boost the economy of entire regions and support nature conservation. The basis for this is a common approach and close cooperation, so that local organisers can help determine and shape activities and benefit from tourism revenues. This results in travel products which benefit people and help the natural environment for both humans and wildlife. It is important to involve every interest group – including local inhabitants, hotel owners, workers, nature conservation organisations as well as tourists.
Marine conservation and travelling without plastic
The members of ‘forum anders reisen’ have taken a long look at tourists’ water consumption, for example. Solutions include using one’s own water bottle from durable materials to avoid purchasing disposable bottles every day, discussing how to reduce packaging and waste with hotel owners, wastewater management and marine conservation projects to protect turtles and dolphins. Tour planning also involves considering the social and ethical aspects of accessing water supplies. The first plastic-free tours have already been organised for the upcoming travel season.
Climate protection – from talking to taking action
In 2003 the association’s involvement in founding the climate protection organisation atmosfair was a milestone in its history. It forms part of the members’ independent climate protection strategy for air travel. Climate protection activities are a mandatory requirement for operating any tours in ’forum anders reisen’. In 2015 the members agreed to a fixed compensation quota which they intend to increase annually.
With the help of donations a joint climate protection project has been set up in Nepal which is breathing new life into the earthquake-stricken region. Last autumn witnessed the opening of Nepal’s first eco-friendly hiking trail: The Climate Trek Helambu is the brainchild of lodges, schools and partnering agencies, and combines support for eco-friendly renewables with sustainable destination development in a new travel product.
Since ‘forum anders reisen’ was established in 1998 its members have continually developed their ideas of what environmentally friendly, socially and economically responsible travel should be about and have successfully marketed their travel products. Forming the basis for their work is a catalogue they have published with criteria detailing how they define planning and organising sustainable travel. These criteria are recognised internationally and are a unique example of a set of high standards stipulated by an industry association. Thus, for the past 20 years the members of ’forum anders reisen’ have been pioneers in sustainable tourism development.
Hall 4.1, Stand 203