UNWTO shares an optimistic view on the future of tourism at ITB Berlin Now

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UNWTO shares an optimistic view on the future of tourism at ITB Berlin Now
Fri March 12, 2021

The World Tourism Organization has returned to the German fair to lead the conversation on the current challenges facing the sector


As the United Nations specialized agency leads the restart of world tourism after the unprecedented crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, three virtual events brought together voices from across the sector at the leading fair. In a context of constant uncertainty, UNWTO outlined a positive narrative for tourism, emphasizing its historic ability to lead from the front and adapt to new challenges.

Less waste, more opportunities

On the opening day of ITB Berlin Now, UNWTO ensured that sustainability was high on the agenda, leading efforts to ensure that the sector lives up to its responsibilities to the planet and to people. " Get rid of. Innovate. Circulate: Strategies from the Global Tourism Plastics Initiative ”, jointly organized by UNWTO, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, presented key information from the public and private sectors. The event showcased how addressing plastic waste and pollution within tourism can support the sector's sustainable recovery after the pandemic, noting both the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain to be faced.

Along with UNWTO's commitment to greater sustainability, the commitment to gender equality is a key priority. On the second day of ITB Berlin, and in the context of Women's History Month, UNWTO organized a special panel on “Game Changers” and women entrepreneurs in tourism. The event featured presentations by the five winning women of the UNWTO SDG Start-up Contest, who described how their companies can contribute to addressing key issues such as gender equality, poverty alleviation and job provision. decent for everyone.  

Communications for the recovery of tourism

Also at ITB Berlin, UNWTO looked towards restarting tourism, bringing together leading voices from the media to explore the need for a new narrative that fits the rethinking and restarting of tourism with sustainability as the primary goal. The "Communications for Recovery" event featured expert participants from Google Arts & Culture, the BBC, Euronews and Voyages Afrique, along with high-level participants from the private sector from Expedia and Stark Communications. The panel identified how the pandemic has changed the way the media presents tourism and promotes destinations, with members universally expressing optimism that tourism is not just returning to growth.

In addition to organizing events, UNWTO also contributed its expert knowledge to a debate on tourism for sustainable development. The event was organized by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Corporation for International Development (GIZ).

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