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Forward-looking, creative ideas on sustainability: ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival support ’The Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism’ competition

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For the second time Travel Massive, Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde (HNEE), ITB Berlin and the Berlin Travel Festival are joining forces to organise The Social Entrepreneurship in Tourism competition. It is the first and only one of its kind in the world and recognises social innovation and entrepreneurship in tourism. In particular, it addresses the problems that arise from tourism development and looks for innovative solutions for industry, government institutions, NGOs and municipalities.

The timing is apt: on 27 June the United Nations held MSME Day, honouring enterprises from micro-companies to SMEs for the part they play in the global economy. Particularly against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the occasion also shone a light on how small companies around the world are being impacted by the situation. The fact that compared with big industry players they have no lobbies and relatively small financial resources ultimately makes them very vulnerable. Rika Jean-Francois, the CSR commissioner of ITB, was among those who gave a talk at the video launch of the International Trade Center (ITC). The World’s Largest Travel Trade Show is strongly committed to supporting sustainable tourism. She stressed that in order to become resilient in the long term a globally coordinated approach was needed which embraced both environmental and socially responsible strategies and also stood for emancipation.

As of 22 June candidates have been invited to submit their ideas for the competition. The deadline for entries is 25 July 2020. This will be followed by an initial round of voting and a second phase in which ten finalists will take part. On 21 September 2020 a virtual award ceremony will be held. For more information please visit:

On Monday, 22 June a kick-off event took place. Under the heading ’Join the competition’, supporting organisations took part in the launch at a live online session. Rika Jean-Francois also joined in again. She talked about why ITB Berlin was involved in this field, the importance of small enterprises for the tourism industry, and the challenges and difficulties they face.  Furthermore, she emphasised that growing numbers of travellers clearly support sustainable tourism.

Other speakers included Prof. Claudia Brözel of Hochschule für Nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, who also organised the competition, Laura Kromminga, a consultant, coach and lecturer, whose focus is on social entrepreneurship, as well as Niky Anique, the founder of WeView, a virtual tourism platform that lets people all over the world visit places in real time via mobile videolink. She comes from Iran and thus well aware of how important it is to be able to see the world despite political restrictions. She was also among the winners of last year’s competition.

ITB Berlin is a long-standing supporter of sustainability in tourism. The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show has voiced its support for a wide range of aspects of socially responsible tourism for many years now. They include climate change, environmental protection, as well as the rights of women, children and the LGBT+ community. For more information on ITB Berlin’s activities please visit:

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