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ITB Berlin Brings Refugee Issue into the Spotlight

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One of the international travel industry’s major events, the ITB Berlin 2016, to take place in Germany on March 9-13, will cast the spotlight on one of the most controversial issues impacting the industry right now: the refugee crisis.

Archive photo of Syrian refugee parents hugging their daughters after landing on the Island of Lesvos, Greece. Photo © UNHCR/I.Prickett Photo © UNHCR/I.Prickett

Archive photo of Syrian refugee parents hugging their daughters after landing on the Island of Lesvos, Greece. Photo © UNHCR/I.Prickett Photo © UNHCR/I.Prickett

To be held at the Messe Berlin, this year’s ITB has invited experts, professionals, entrepreneurs, journalists and authorities to share insight, research findings, experience and solutions to an emerging problem that has had effects on tourism flows during a series of panel discussions and interactive events.

This year, a number of discussions, round-tables and lectures at the ITB Berlin Convention, the international travel industry’s leading think-tank, will examine the various aspects of the refugee crisis. Some of the issues to be explored include integrating refugees at the workplace, responsible tourism, flight and migration, security and migration, hostility versus the possibility of new kinds of hospitality emerging, challenges that result from absorbing refugees on the German employment market, integration and peace through tourism and how refugees can be integrated into the tourism industry.

On March 10, discussions will focus on Greece, as well as Jordan, Turkey and Italy, and how the massive refugee influx has posed major challenges for tourism destinations there. George Drakopoulos, special adviser to the Secretary General of UNWTO and president and CEO of tourism generis, will be taking part in the panel discussion on behalf of Greece.

In the meantime, on March 11, UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai will introduce an event organised by the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) paying tribute to women who promote peace in tourism.


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  1. kate Reply

    IF THEY NEED THINK TANKS TO FIND IDEAS WHAT TO DO WITH REFUGESS, ITS PROOF THAT NOONE WANTS TO MAKE ACTION TO STOP THE WAR. OF COURSE, WITH CITIES AND TOWNS IN RUBBLE, PEOPLE HAVE NOWHERE TO GO BACK TO.
    MEANWHILE, THE WAR MONGERS ARE HAVING A PARTY. BUT AT LEAST IF WAR ENDS, THEN THE BIG PLAYERS &’BENEFACTORS’ CAN OFFER ‘FINANCIAL AID’ TO REBUILD AND LEND THEM MONEY TO DO SO.

    THE WAR MUST END OR THE REFUGEE CRISIS WILL GET STEADILY WORSE.

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