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ITB Berlin uses its key role in the market to promote a dialogue with actors in the tourism value chain

Photo by Tobias Weinhold on Unsplash

Rika Jean-Francois will moderate a panel at the Sustainability Forum in Portugal and has been elected to the board of the GSTC for three years

ITB has a long tradition of supporting sustainability in tourism. The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show consistently supports environmental concerns as well as human rights and equal rights for minorities. Now, Rika Jean-Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB, is taking on two important roles.

On 16 and 17 September The World for Travel Forum, which is taking place in Évora, Portugal, will examine aspects of sustainable tourism in the future. The conference of the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council, which is due to take place shortly as a virtual and in-person event, will put the focus on travellers and local inhabitants alike. Its aim is to establish concepts for future tourism that respect the needs of all actors. At the conference, Rika Jean-Francois will moderate the panel entitled ’Tourism’s Positive Impact’. At the event, speakers will take a look at tourism and its positive impact on society – including equal rights, tolerance, employment, food security, safety, education and medical care. Fascinating case studies will endeavour to show the impact that corresponding travel concepts have already had around the world.

Among those taking part in the panel moderated by Rika Jean-Francois will be H.E. Memunatu Pratt, tourism minister of Sierra Leone, and Dalila Dias, executive director of Aldeias Históricas de Portugal, a group of 12 medieval villages in the country. Also taking part will be Vincent Fonvielle, president of Agir pour un Tourisme Responsable (ATR), an association of sustainable tourism actors, as well as Craig Spencer, founder of Transfrontier, an organisation committed to wildlife conservation in Africa. For more information please visit

Rika Jean-Francois has been elected to the board of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for three years. Other members of the board are Ameet Konkar, director of Sustainability at Airbnb, and Charlotte Wiebe, who occupies the same post at the TUI Group.

The organisation’s main aim is to make private and public sector actors more knowledgeable about sustainable tourism and more familiar with its practices. In order to achieve this the GSCT pursues several aims: developing international standards, establishing and improving sustainability at destinations, promoting market access, furthering knowledge and developing best practices, as well as providing support for validating sustainability standards.

Commenting on her election to the organisation’s board for the next three years, Rika Jean-Francois said “the state of our planet requires intelligent and immediate action. The GSTC’s criteria are a sharp instrument for combating climate change and promoting social equality. With them, every destination and every company can bring about change to ensure environmentally friendly and socially responsible tourism in the future. It gives me all the more pleasure to be able to work with this respected committee and help establish international awareness in this field.“

For more information on the GSTC please visit


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