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  • © Shane Rounce

    OECD expert Alain Dupeyras at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention on the importance of best practice examples

    Short term crisis management is of no longer of any use for tourism during and after the Covid 19 pandemic. “We cannot just act in the short term, we have to adopt a long term approach, develop a new concept for tourism and apply innovations", declared Alain Dupeyras, Head of Regional Development and Tourism Division for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development OECD, in his keynote speech on Friday afternoon at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. According to Dupeyras the crisis has revealed a number of weaknesses for which remedies must be found. For example, there have been major deficiencies in the coordination between countries, while statistics and the bases for data have frequently proved inadequate.

    In future, according to Dupeyras, there is no point in returning to the previous situation that caused over-tourism to become a problem in many places prior to the pandemic. “In some cases local inhabitants were completely marginalised", said the expert from the OECD. If the right approach is adopted, however, tourism can also benefit the local population, for example by making places more attractive and thereby attracting foreign investors. Dupeyras also called for a greater diversification of tourism facilities and attractions in the future, and for more attention to be paid to small and micro-enterprises. As Dupeyras pointed out, the OECD is aware of the importance of this issue and has therefore compiled a wide-ranging report, which can be accessed online.

    Dupeyras believes that it is an important task for the OECD to promote communication between countries and to make them aware of best practice examples. He drew attention to Canada and the...

  • © Macu Ic

    Much needs to be done to equip tourism for the future: at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention experts are calling for fairer and more sustainable changes

    Stumbling from one crisis to the next and not learning anything – this is something that tourism must avoid. For reasons of climate policy alone there is a need for new concepts to make travel more sustainable. This view was shared by the participants in a panel discussion at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention. But what form should changes take if they are to be fair and protect the climate? “Tourism will have to change, and instead of being an industry with high emissions and small margins it should produce a high added value and low emissions", declared Prof. Dr. Stefan Gössling, who conducts research into sustainable tourism at the Linnaeus University School of Business and Economics. “We need a new model for destinations, aimed at achieving optimisation and not maximisation", according to Gössling.

    One positive example of this is the tour operator Intrepid Travel, which has set itself ambitious CO2 reduction targets, which also take into account the supply chain, and has acquired “B Corp" certification in 2018. This confirms that the company is committed to “benefit" as a corporate objective and has undertaken to maintain the highest standards in the areas of social involvement, the environment, transparency and responsibility. “B Corp is a certificate awarded to ethically run companies that view their business activities as a force for good", according to Zina Bencheikh, Managing Director EMEA at Intrepid Travel.

    Judy Kepher-Gona from the Kenyan consultancy Sustainable Travel and Tourism Agenda STTA pointed out that there is still a great deal to be done in the tourism sector in terms of sustainability and social...

  • © Max van den Oetelaar

    Ingo Schweder at the ITB Berlin NOW Convention on prospects, objectives met, and what remains to be done

    “Wellness is a segment that will continue to grow”, according to Ingo Schweder at ITB Berlin NOW. Even during the worldwide financial crisis in 2009 sales in this area doubled, which is why he is confident that the wellness curve will continue to go upwards after the Covid pandemic is over: ”After all, health and well-being are now firmly fixed in people’s minds.”

    Schweder maintains that there will be even more demand for wellness products and services because people are exhausted and suffering coronavirus fatigue. Many have less money at their disposal and want to book holidays that offer them something of value. There is more on offer now in the two to four star categories, and therefore wellness will be available to everyone, and not just a select few. “Health is important to everyone”, said Schweder – and this will be reflected in what is on offer and again in sales. The combination of wellness offers with medical treatment is one aspect that will gain importance: “Wellness will evolve from being a strictly luxury product to something that is available in all areas of life and at all levels.”

    Ingo Schweder has more than 30 years of experience in the health spa and hospitality sector.  He is continually developing outstanding concepts in the wellness field for GocoHospitality and Horwath HTL Health and Wellness. His company operates health spas under the Goco brand name in Greece and in the United Arab Emirates, and also owns Glen Ivy Hot Springs in southern California, the oldest health spa in the USA. 

    Media contact:

    Text: Antje Lückingsmeier

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