The three top stories from ITB Berlin

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Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation Müller has appealled to the tourism industry’s c onscience

Speaking at the ITB Berlin Convention, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation Müller formulated three demands. He said that tourism had to conserve and protect while offering benefits, had to ensure fair employment and do more to protect the environment. Sustainable tourism had to become a global strategy, the minister said.

In that context the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has declared 2017 the ‘International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development’. Underlining his first demand, Müller cited the example of Botswana, the partner country of ITB Berlin, and the efforts it has made to fight poaching.

Fair employment could be achieved by bringing more local inhabitants on board. He called on the cruise industry to respect the environment more with its use of fuels.

 

Slovenia goes green

Slovenia, the world’s first green destination, can boast many achievements. 60 per cent of the country has been declared a nature reserve, and access to drinking water has been written into the constitution as a basic right. In 2016 the capital Ljubljana was awarded the title of European Green Capital by the European Commission. Visitors to the country can experience green tourism at first hand, for example by staying in a tree house, and they can also help in harvesting organic vegetables. Maja Pak, director of the Slovenian Tourism Office, explained the aims of the Culture & Convention Partner at this year’s ITB Berlin Convention: “Our vision is for a 100 per cent green Slovenia.”

 

Astro-tourism: Night sky at risk

Two-thirds of all Europeans have never seen the Milky Way. That would have been unthinkable 200 years ago, at a time when the stars were navigation aids and used to measure distances. Today’s pollution levels in many parts of the world make it difficult to see a naturally dark night sky full of stars. In their efforts to fight against light pollution and to preserve natural darkness, Dr Andreas Hänel and Harald Bardenhagen are taking part in the 12th Pow-Wow for Sustainable Tourism. Appealing to the tourism industry, Harald Bardenhagen says: “There are many ways to include the night sky in tourism products”, not just at faraway destinations but in tourism to Germany’s Eifel or Havelland regions as well.

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