ITB 2016 - 50 years ITB Berlin
2016 is a very special year for ITB Berlin: the leading trade fair for the global travel industry turns 50. Started in 1966 with just 9 exhibitors from 5 countries, ITB is now a global success: more than 180 countries from five continents, 10,000 exhibitors and 160,000 visitors participate in the ITB every year. The ITB Berlin Congress with its 23,000 congress visitors has developed into the world’s most important information and networking platform for tourism professionals.
The field of sustainability also gains in importance through a targeted CSR management. Besides the CSR Day at the congress as well as the second ITB National Geographic World Legacy Awards, which is awarded in 5 categories for sustainable tourism projects, numerous events on ecologically, economically and socially responsible tourism in hall 4.1 are an important component. In light of recent events, several discussions about “involuntary travel” – the refugee issue – will take place at ITB 2016. On Friday, the renowned international “Responsible Tourism Networking Event” will take place.
Find the CSR program here.
More information and the full program of ITB 2016 can be found here.
atmosfair at “Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals”
A talk on sustainable tourism in Nepal
The ITB event “Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals” will address topics on responsible tourism, climate change and sustainability. Under the headline “Climate Protection in Focus” Dr. Brockhagen from atmosfair and Petra Thomas from forum anders reisen will present the joint project “New Energy for Nepal“ on 11th of March at 10.30h in hall 4.1b.
Since the devastating earthquakes in April and May 2015 in Nepal, atmosfair has been supporting the reconstruction of schools, infirmaries, private households and touristic infrastructure with renewable energies. Especially the popular trekking area Langtang in the Northeast of Kathmandu has been severely hit by earthquakes, and whole villages have been destroyed. People, whose livelihood has been build up on tourism, lost their base of life. Therefore, the aim is the Nepal’s rehabilitation with resource efficient and CO₂ saving technologies. atmosfair conducts this project together with forum anders reisen and local partners. By doing so, fast and practical help is ensured. More information on the project can be found here.
Rene Einhaus Shreshta reports on the engagement of his family: running a hotel themselves, they decided to follow its professional ethics to support the local population after the earthquake, using their sound hotel management knowledge and atmosfair’s financial support.
ITB and atmosfair
Long-standing cooperation for a better climate
For a couple of years now, ITB Berlin actively advocates climate protection. As an important multiplier in the tourism sector, ITB Berlin advertises the idea of a voluntary climate change levy and calls for its clients and partners to travel sustainably and responsibly. Of course, ITB compensates its incurring travels as well and contributes directly to climate protection. Visitors can decide to compensate their journey when booking their ITB ticket.
Biogas project in Bagepalli
An impressive initiative by local households
In 2016, ITB again supported the Bagepalli biogas project in South-West India, which is an impressive example of successful capacity-building. In a joint initiative originating from local households, atmosfair project partners managed to sustainably improve the living situation of more than 5,000 poor peasant families as well as to save 20,000 tons CO₂ per year. In a perennial process, the shortage in firewood as well as the bad cooking conditions were recognized as a central impairment in daily life. As most families own one or two cows, a practical solution to the problem was quickly found: small biogas plants operated with cow dung. Thereby, less firewood will be needed and CO₂ emissions are reduced. The plant does not only produce gas for a convenient, smoke-free and healthier way of cooking, but also fertiliser for use on the fields.
Under the umbrella of the Indian climate protection organization ADATS, local farmers adapted the technology little by little to local circumstances and managed to simultaneously decrease costs and increase the lifespan of the plants, which payed off: as independent TÜV auditors confirmed in October 2013, failure rates remained below the threshold of 5% even after several years of operation.
In addition to the improved carbon footprint, the project created job opportunities. The young man Krishnappa is happy about the project due to more than one reason: in the beginning, he helped with the construction of the biogas plants as mason. This did not only ensure a regular income but also made him become a respected member of the community as well.
The project has therefore multiple positive effects for households: CO₂ consumption is reduced, quality of life is enhanced, job opportunities are created and the health situation improved.