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10 Years of the ITB Tourism Studies Centre

The Tourism Studies Centre at the ITB<.> Berlin has often been described as a launch pad for careers in tourism, and it has also established a career for itself…

The Tourism Studies Centre at the ITB<.> Berlin has often been described as a launch pad for careers in tourism, and it has also established a career for itself. Since 1992 it has become a regular component among the wealth of information and service facilities provided by travel and tourism's world fair, with a constantly improved range of opportunities for education and advanced training that has acquired a well-deserved reputation and widespread acceptance.

The exhibitors in Hall 5.3 on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds include universities, vocational colleges, technical colleges, private institutes and the departments of employment exchanges specialising in tourism. Together they provide a representative cross-section of national and international training and advanced training opportunities, with a range and depth that exists nowhere else.

Among the relevant target groups there has been an awareness for a long time that the ITB Tourism Studies Centre is not concerned solely with academic and educational aspects but also with communication and information of a highly practical relevance. However, in order to cover the widest possible tourism-related spectrum the overall concept is based on the modules of research – professional practice – training.

These include the specialist congress "Progress in Tourism Research" , which met with an excellent response in 2002 and is therefore being held for the third time. The second foundation stone is provided by the papers and presentations with a practical relevance which are being organised at the Tourism Forum, while the requirements of the training and educational sector are being met by an international range of exhibitors.

Specialist congress that looks to the future

Under the keynote theme of "Progress in Tourism Research", internationally renowned speakers will present some invaluable findings from recent research. In what has become a traditional feature, the Congress will take place on the Sunday at the ITB, 17 March 2002, in Hall 14.2. It is being organised jointly by Messe Berlin and Alpenforschungsinstitut, AFI, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, in collaboration with a well-known international association, AIEST (Association Internationale d'Experts Scientifiques du Tourisme / International Association of Scientific Tourism Experts), St. Gallen.

The subject matter of the congress is divided into three sections, each of which will be headed by an internationally renowned tourism expert. Dr. Thomas Bieger, University of St. Gallen, is responsible for Module 1, "Financing in Tourism" , Module 2 will be organised by Dr. Harald Pechlaner, University of Innsbruck, and deals with "Modern Complaint and Quality Management in Tourism". Dr. Thomas Bausch, Alpenforschungsinstitut, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, will head Module 3, "Information and Content Management for Tourism Communities".

With such a fascinating range of topics the congress is bound to be a major attraction for many trade visitors and for the representatives of research and business, who can make use of this constructive dialogue in order to obtain new findings with practical applications.

A diversity of papers at the Tourism Forum

Once again the supporting programme of papers provides an opportunity for many speakers to use the latest presentation techniques to acquaint an interested public with subjects of particular relevance to tourism.

The decision by the UNO to declare 2002 the "Year of Mountains" and "Year of Eco-Tourism" has provided a suitable occasion for the organiser of this series of papers, Alpenforschungsinstitut, to call for as many contributions as possible on these topics. The application forms have been sent to numerous universities and potentially interested individuals, and should be returned by 14 December 2001. A number of different possibilities are available for those wishing to take part in this supporting programme, with its emphasis on a dialogue and on practical aspects.

A time of 25 minutes is allotted for individual papers, while 25 to 40 minutes are available for projects / presentations prepared and presented by groups. Up to 55 minutes will be allowed for panel discussions.

The Tourism Forum will be an all-day event on Saturday, 16 March 2002, Monday, 18 March, and Tuesday, 19 March, and will also be held during the morning of Wednesday, 20 March.

Keen interest in the exhibition in Hall 5.3

There are already positive signals indicating a keen response, with nearly 40 exhibitors and international involvement from the Netherlands, Austria and the United Kingdom. The organisers intend to attract more international exhibitors to the ITB Tourism Studies Centre, with the aim of providing suppliers and visitors too with an attractive source of information that will continue to be of value in the future and to have a practical relevance.

Hall 5.3 provides an opportunity for exhibitors to present their entire range of services as a way of arousing the interest of newcomers to the tourism industry, and in addition the tourism industry itself is able to search for suitable young employees who possess the necessary qualifications.

The central employment exchange provided each year by Futurista e.V., the international association representing the initiative groups set up by tourism students, offers practical experience and opportunities to spend time abroad, and it is becoming increasingly popular. Various exhibitors are also represented here, along with official employment offices, and what they have to offer is bound to attract the attention and the interest of newcomers to the tourism industry.

Wider international approach for the ITB Tourism Studies Prize

In the year that sees the tenth anniversary of the ITB Tourism Studies Centre and the eighth annual presentation of the Tourism Studies Prize, a new emphasis has been given to the criteria used in selecting the winners. This reflects a more international approach and the focus on a specialised area within the tourism field.

The invitation is extended to all members of universities, technical colleges, vocational schools and other tourism training establishments to submit their best diploma or graduation work in any of three categories. This includes firstly the best work in a practical field, secondly the best theoretical and academic work and in 2002, for the first time, the best work on an international topic. In addition a special prize will be awarded for the best work on the subject of tourism at sea.

It is essential to use the forms provided by the Alpenforschungsinstitut when applying and submitting a brief summary. These may be obtained from the address given below (see under Contacts). Work dealing primarily with these topics should be submitted by 31 December 2001.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft fur Tourismuswissenschaft, DGT, under the chairmanship of Prof. Dr. Carmen Kissling, FH Braunschweig/Wolfenbuttel, is organising the presentation of these awards, which are of major importance to newcomers and trainees in the tourism sector. Together with leading representatives of tourism studies and the tourism industry, a jury will select the winners, who will receive attractive prizes in the form of travel or in kind, and the presentations will be made during the ITB 2002. The date of this event will be announced later.


The documentation of the Tourism Forum 2001, containing many of the contributions to the Tourism Studies Centre at the ITB 2001, is obtainable on the internet at A similar process is envisaged for 2002, and consequently, at the end of the event, all interested tourism experts will be able to obtain summaries of most of the papers.

Theodore Koumelis
Co-Founder & Managing Director - Travel Media Applications | Website

Theodore is the Co-Founder and Managing Editor of TravelDailyNews Media Network; his responsibilities include business development and planning for TravelDailyNews long-term opportunities.