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Sustainable Travel Exchange – Travel with Sense at the ITB 2002

In the International Year of Eco-Tourism Messe<.> Berlin will be launching its "Sustainable Travel Exchange – Travel with Sense" at the International Tourism Exchange ITB<.> Berlin 2002

In the International Year of Eco-Tourism Messe  Berlin will be launching its “Sustainable Travel Exchange – Travel with Sense” at the International Tourism Exchange ITB  Berlin 2002 . This section of the fair serves the needs of a new travel segment, and will have its own accompanying specialist forum.

Around the world there are some 80 initiatives aimed at encouraging the sustainable development of tourism. These include voluntary state or corporate groupings devoted to a common model, and also a wealth of competitions and prizes. The most important of these are already represented at the travel and tourism world’s fair in Berlin. Now, for the first time, these initiatives and the various different forms that they take are being dealt with in their own segment of the market at the ITB.

Messe Berlin is thus continuing a tradition of encouraging environmentally and socially compatible tourism that stretches back many years. As long ago as 1984 the earliest developments were presented in a hall reserved specifically for “Gentle Travel”. During the years that followed Messe Berlin continued to lend its support to this process, creating the basis in 1985 for the establishment of a network known as “Tourism with Insight” from the many initiatives and institutions of “Gentle Tourism”.

In many countries throughout the world tourism is one of the most important growth industries and a vital economic factor. Over the past few decades there has been a growing awareness that there is no future for tourism development if it does not respect the natural basis and the socio-cultural situation in the host countries. The worldwide community of nations reached an agreement on the need for the sustainable development of tourism at the conference held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

There has also been an increase in the worldwide demand for a corresponding tourism product. For example, some 20 per cent of German vacationers are prepared to accept tourism products whose quality is largely determined by an awareness of environmental and social standards.

From 2002 onwards the “Sustainable Travel Exchange – Travel with Sense” will occupy around 400 m² in Hall 1.1., close to the South Entrance of the Berlin Exhibition Grounds. It will feature a wide range of initiatives and tourism attractions with the emphasis on environmental and social compatibility. Visitors will find initiatives by international tour operators and smaller providers too, as well as examples of models from over 50 countries.