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.
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.