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ITB Berlin’s 365-day commitment strengthens awareness for CSR in tourism

TB Berlin 2018 - ITB Tourism for Sustainable Development Day – Initiative mit der Kreuzschifffahrt zum Schutz mariner und küstennaher Ökosysteme – Franziska Eckhard, Referentin für Umwelt, nachhaltige Ressourcennutzung, Meeresschutz und Biodiversität Bund

ITB Berlin is committed to supporting corporate social responsibility (CSR). Together with a host of international partners it supports and implements numerous responsible tourism projects 365 days a year. In March 2018 the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show hosted an opening ceremony that left a zero carbon footprint, a new milestone in the history of the event.

Once again, ITB Berlin showed that it is a driving force of CSR in tourism. For the first time in its over fifty-year history the event hosted an opening ceremony that left a zero carbon footprint. Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partner country of ITB Berlin 2018, made this possible with its sustainable tourism concept. Tourists visiting the federal state in Germany’s northeast can achieve a zero carbon footprint by purchasing forest shares, for example. Planting five square metres of mixed woodland there costs ten euros. On Fleesensee in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, reforestation of 3,500 square metres of woodland will compensate for around 323 tonnes of CO2. Visitors to the opening ceremony of the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show were able to sustainably offset their travel footprint by this conspicuous and unusual measure.

Sustainability and corporate social responsibility have been key topics at ITB Berlin for many years. By offering a growing number of workshops and seminars on sustainable tourism the show has helped to raise awareness for this topic. Since 2004 the World’s Largest Travel Trade Show has provided a broad platform for the Adventure Tourism and Eco-tourism segments, with its displays in Hall 4.1 for example. Since 2009 corporate social responsibility has been a topic that concerns everyone at the ITB Berlin Convention, which regularly culminates with the CSR Day. ITB Berlin provides in-depth knowledge on the ecological, economic and social aspects of sustainable tourism not only during the show, but throughout the year as well at the ITB Academy.

ITB Berlin has always maintained a 365-day commitment to supporting sustainability in tourism. For many years ITB Berlin has been campaigning for human rights, against the sexual exploitation of children and women in tourism, for social justice, nature conservation, and protecting the climate and wildlife. In 2011 ITB Berlin was the world’s first trade show to sign the Child Protection Code which pledges to protect children from sexual exploitation in tourism. ITB Berlin is also helping ECPAT (End Child Prostitution, Pornography and Trafficking of Children) to strengthen awareness among tourism professionals and travellers and provide information on sexual exploitation practices and protection measures. ITB Berlin is a founding member of the Round Table on Human Rights in Tourism which conducts an international awareness campaign supporting human rights in tourism and is also represented on the committee of Code International. ITB Berlin is a signatory to the Global Code of Ethics recommended by UNWTO and supports its implementation. The World’s Leading Travel Trade Show also supports social projects at community level such as Berliner Aidshilfe, Berliner Kältehilfe and Sozialhelden.

Not least, ITB Berlin has a CSR officer in charge of all activities concerning sustainable tourism, who besides supporting climate protection campaigns vigorously for human rights and children’s rights in this industry, not only at the show but 365 days a year.

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