Page content

Press Release

March 11, 2022

ITB Berlin Convention 2022: News highlights from Thursday, 10 March 2022

The World’s Leading Travel Show has the latest stories from the digital edition of the ITB Berlin Convention 2022 online in its ITB Newsroom and on ITB Berlin News. This is where media representatives and bloggers can obtain free articles for their editorial coverage of sessions at the ITB Berlin Convention, exhibitor press conferences and presentations as well as interviews with leading industry figures.

You missed a live- session? The videos of the ITB Berlin Convention are also available on YouTube.

After the Convention comes the Digital Business Day

Over the past few days the ITB Berlin Convention kicked off this year’s ITB. More than 220 experts exchanged views on important industry topics such as the future and resilience, digitalisation and sustainability at over 100 sessions. With the Digital Business Day on 17 March, ITB Berlin is entering its second round. At this event the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show is bringing buyers and providers together for audio and video chats to enable successful business. Attendees can take the opportunity to get ready during the onboarding days on 15 and 16 March by accessing the networking tool, setting up a profile and updating content.

Halving emissions within ten years
Climate researcher advises tourism industry to make greater efforts to reduce CO₂

Humankind is currently on a “path to disaster”, but if, instead of slow changes, there is a radical response to climate protection, it is still possible to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees. This was the positive view expressed by Prof. Dr. Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Research and Professor of Earth System Research at the University of Potsdam, in his keynote speech at the Responsible Tourism Track on Thursday. And the tourism sector can also be part of the solution.

ITB Berlin Convention 2022_News highlights_10 March 2022
A video with the highlights of this year's ITB Berlin Convention 2022, streamed live from the ITB broadcast studio. The video can be used free of charge for editorial purposes.

Sweden and Madrid well ahead on the Sustainable Travel Index
Increased demand for travel offers, and more awareness

The latest findings of the “Sustainable Travel Index” reveal that the awareness of sustainability and environmental protection is becoming an increasingly important factor, and one which has intensified and become more apparent as a result of the pandemic. The report by the market research company Euromonitor International, which was presented at the keynote speech “From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation” by Carolin Bremner, Head of Travel and Tourism Research, clearly shows the effects within the tourism sector. Among countries Sweden ranks first, followed by Slovakia and Austria. First among the cities is Madrid, ahead of Stockholm and Dublin.

Carbon neutrality alone is not enough
The pressure mounting on the industry demands further measures

The pressure is mounting on the tourism industry to introduce effective climate protection measures. That is why an integrated approach that goes beyond merely reducing the carbon footprint is very important. That was the essence of the discussion entitled “Carbon neutrality is not enough“, at which the panel also presented findings and suggestions for dispensing with short-haul flights as well as carbon capture and geological storage. Taking part in the discussion moderated by Randy Durband, CEO of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) were Dr. Susanne Etti, environmental impact specialist at Intrepid Travel, Céline Olesen, of Corporate Partnerships at Climeworks, Christian Delom, executive director at A World for Travel, EVORA Forum, and Jane Ashton, sustainability director at easyJet and easyJet Holidays.

Everyone has to do their bit for sustainability
Communicating makes it easier for customers to choose corresponding products

Carbon-neutral tourism is becoming an increasingly important issue for companies and customers alike. At the session entitled ’From Carbon Neutral Destinations to Regenerative Tourism: Boundaries and Implementation’, moderated by Prof. Dr. Willy Legrand and Xenia zu Hohenlohe, the focus was on achieving carbon-neutral targets. Taking part in the discussion were Sally Davey, CEO of Travalyst, Jeremy Smith, co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, Petra Thomas, managing director of forum anders reisen e.V. – association for sustainable tourism, and Jennifer Koskelin Gibbons, campaign manager for The Palau Pledge at the Palau Legacy Project.

Tourism authority becomes a refugee aid centre
How women are creating pragmatic and supportive solutions in times of crisis

In recent days Natalia Turcanu, head of the tourism authority of the Republic of Moldova, has offered an impressive example of successful female leadership in times of crisis. She abruptly converted her local authority, exclusively staffed by women, into a centre welcoming refugees from Ukraine, which surrounds the small southern European country on its northern, southern and eastern flanks. At the panel discussion Turcanu presented her country in a keynote speech. Women from India, South Africa, Jordan and Indonesia also presented their projects.

The tourism industry must show more diversity
Women and people of colour are still under-represented in boardrooms

The world is diverse and many-faceted – and it is what tourism thrives on. Travellers want to explore every corner and aspect of the planet, and tourism companies have the corresponding products. But where diversity in the industry is concerned, white, European (male) faces still dominate the boardrooms and dictate hiring decisions. That must and will change – the panel members discussing diversity, equity and inclusion were aware of that.

Informal workers in tourism are disproportionately affected by the pandemic
Companies are often insufficiently aware of their responsibilities

The coronavirus crisis has affected the entire tourism industry, but its informal workers have suffered most of all. From taxi drivers to independent tour guides and cultural performers, they are an important factor in tourism all over the world and account for a large proportion of the industry. The pandemic has highlighted the precarious situation of these people. Experts attending a panel discussion discussed possible solutions for creating a greater respect for the human rights of informal workers.

The LGBTQ+ community is ready to travel
Members see the pandemic as offering lots of opportunities for growing tolerance

For many tourism destinations, the LGBTQ+ travel community is a solid and reliable market. In his keynote speech, David Paisley, senior research director of Community Marketing & Insights (CMI) declared “his“ community was ready to travel. Even after the other major crises of 9/11 and SARS, this community was the first to travel again. Perhaps that was the case now too. “Maybe because we have high vaccination rates, maybe because we want even more contact after frequently experiencing social isolation.“ Afterwards, at a panel moderated by Rika Jean Francois, CSR commissioner for ITB Berlin, and Thomas Bömkes, managing director of Diversity Tourism GmbH, the following took part in the discussion: Giovanna Ceccherini, advisor for AITGL – Associazione Italiana del Turismo Gay & Lesbian, Felipe Cardena, president, Colombian LGBT Chamber of Commerce, board chairman of IGLTA, Janette Carter, vice president of Marketing at VISIT TAMPA BAY, Kristi Kavanaugh, vice president of Global Marketing and Sales, Aspen Snowmass, and Frédéric Boutry, LGBT coordinator at Visit Brussels.

Not attracting all the visitors, just the right ones
Making sustainability accessible through well-told stories

Sustainability is a megatrend and one that tourism marketing cannot avoid either. One thing is certain as the sector starts up again after the pandemic: the days when more people and more hotel beds were the only success factors are definitely over. The ways in which destinations can use storytelling as a tool in order to attract environmentally aware travellers and to stimulate their enthusiasm, and the advantages for the destinations themselves, were explained by Rob Holmes, founder and Chief Strategist | GLP Films in “Sustainability Storytelling for Destination Management”.

Four stages to carbon neutrality and beyond
CEOs report on the companies‘ environmentally friendly activities

Hotels can implement their environmental objects both top-down and bottom-up. But they have to do it, and do it now. This urgent appeal, combined with a four-stage concept, from basic measures through carbon neutrality to “net positive” tourist facilities was issued by the Chairman of the Sustainable Hospitality Alliance, Wolfgang Neumann, to a panel of international CEOs from hotel chains. At this event they described how they intend to put words into action.

How can transport providers become carbon neutral?
Innovation, partnerships and transparency for a carbon-neutral future

The lion’s share of the carbon footprint caused by tourism is in the journey itself. A high-level panel with sustainability experts under the heading “It's the Journey that Matters: Challenges and Opportunities in Sustainable Mobility“ discussed the opportunities and challenges of making future journeys sustainable and carbon-neutral. Two of the panel members, Fatima da Gloria de Sousa, vice president, Sustainability at Air France-KLM, and Dr. Thomas Becker, vice president, Sustainability, Mobility at BMW, emphasised the need for partnerships and innovative technologies. Two other participants, Andrea Koepfer, senior director of Communications, Public Affairs & Responsibility at FlixMobility, and Sebnam Erzan, head of Travel Sustainability at Google, stressed the importance of information and transparency.

Scotland gets serious about sustainability
Glasgow declaration as the starting point for re-opening tourism

According to Malcolm Roughead, CEO of Visit Scotland, after various Covid-19 lockdowns the Scottish tourism authorities are aiming to make the most of the necessary recovery by fully aligning with the criteria of the 2021 COP26 climate conference in Glasgow. Highlights of the upcoming tourism season include the queen’s platinum jubilee, the seventy-fifth anniversary of the Edinburgh Festival, and numerous other tourism firsts.

XPRO focuses on the technology-based future of travel
Virtual Reality as a supplementary and exclusive travel experience

Travel that expands space and time, creating advertising and marketing possibilities, and discovering new customer bases: all this can be accomplished with technology-based and digital solutions, thereby ensuring a seamless, exciting, sustainable and barrier-free travel experience. This convincing presentation was made by Robert Eysoldt, Creative & Strategy Consultant at XPRO Berlin, and Laura Hirvi, Managing Director for the Virtual Reality Association Berlin Brandenburg (VRBB). XPRO is a new European B2B market place for experience technologies, products and services. The ARapp MauAR, for example, offers impressions along the former Berlin Wall, depicting them on a screen at the actual sites. Travellers experience the destination interactively, augmented by a spatial and temporal component.

Slovenia is well prepared for the resumption of tourism
Sustainability champion presents itself as a “green sports hall”

Whether it is skiing and ski jumping in Planica, kayaking on the Soca or hiking along the Alps – Adriatic trail – Slovenia is a paradise for lovers of the outdoor life, as well as being one of the world’s most sustainable destinations. Even well before the coronavirus pandemic the country was fully committed to green tourism, and is now developing this aspect further. This view was shared by those attending the press conference “SLOVENIA – presenting one of the most sustainable and safest countries in the world”, organised by the Slovenia Tourist Board. Those attending included Simon Zajc, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economic Development and Technology, Ilona Stermecki, CEO of the Slovenian Tourist Board, Rebeka Kumer Bizjak, Director of the Slovenia Tourist Board in Germany, Matej Kampare, President of Slovenian Outdoor, and Ilka Štuhec, a Slovenian competitive skier and an ambassador for Slovenian tourism.

Projects worth copying from South Africa, Australia and Mongolia
ITB Berlin Convention 2022 presents and promotes socially oriented tourism startups

Tourism is not just about making money. In addition to purely commercial enterprises, socially oriented companies are playing an increasing role. On Wednesday, Rika Jean-Francois, commissioner for Corporate Social Responsibility at ITB Berlin, presented three innovative startups whose ideas and concepts were so convincing that they received support from Hochschule für nachhaltige Entwicklung Eberswalde, Travel Massiv, ITB Berlin and TUI Stiftung. They were the Khusvegi English and Nomadic Cultural Camp in Mongolia, the Khwela Womxn initiative from South Africa and the Getaboutable project from Australia. (Note: This session took place on 9 March).

Information for the media and bloggers:

Digital Business Day: press accreditation is required –

Upon approval of your accreditation you will receive a personalised link for the Digital Business Day. As of Tuesday, 15 March 2022 this link will be active and provide access for onboarding and participation in the Digital Business Day.

ITB Newsroom and ITB Berlin News: the latest industry news, first-hand
Every day, journalists, bloggers and other interested visitors can find these news stories and many more from the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show in the ITB Newsroom and on ITB Berlin News. The ITB Newsroom is currently reporting in English and German on the highlights of this year’s entirely virtual event. ITB Berlin News has the latest industry news and stories from the ITB Berlin Convention 2022 in English only. Topics at the ITB Berlin Convention, the global travel industry’s leading thin tank, are also widely covered by the two news portals.

About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention

Since 1966, ITB Berlin has been the World’s Leading Travel Trade Show. The ITB Berlin Convention, the largest event of its kind, will be held in the period originally scheduled as an entirely virtual event on the new brand website The World Tourism Cities Federation (WTCF) is official “overall sponsor” of the ITB Berlin Convention. Mascontour is sponsor of the Future & Resilience Track at the ITB Berlin Convention. On 17 March the Digital Business Day will give the industry an opportunity to exchange views and do business in a virtual setting from anywhere in the world. As a virtual industry marketplace, it is a further addition to the ITB brand family. A series of B2B networking events which ITB Berlin is planning at European host destinations this year will round off the concept. 3,513 exhibitors from 120 countries were represented at the virtual edition of ITB Berlin NOW 2021 for the duration of the event. Some 65,700 users visited the new online platform, around two-thirds of whom were from abroad. In 2019 around 10,000 exhibitors from 181 countries displayed their products and services to 160,000 visitors, including 113,500 trade visitors. Additional information is available at www.itb.comand from the ITB Social Media Newsroom

About Messe Berlin

Berlin has been a trade fair location for 200 years, and one of the most important in the world for many decades. As the state-owned trade fair company, Messe Berlin makes a major contribution to the city’s position. It designs, markets and organizes hundreds of live events every year. Its broad portfolio includes the global brands and leading trade fairs IFA, InnoTrans, ITB, FRUIT LOGISTICA and the International Green Week, as well as major conferences and outstanding events, such as the Fan Mile at the Brandenburg Gate. With around 90 offices abroad, Messe Berlin markets its events in over 170 countries. Every year around 25,000 media representatives from all over the world are accredited to the events at the company's headquarters under the Radio Tower in Berlin alone. Messe Berlin strives to be an outstanding host to visitors at all of its events, to provide the best possible business impetus and to ensure fair conditions for everyone. This self-image is reflected in the company motto: Messe Berlin - Hosting the World.

Join the ITB Press Newsroom on LinkedIn.
Become a fan of ITB Berlin at
Follow ITB Berlin on

You can find press releases on the internet at under the section heading Press / Press Releases.