Can travel be sustainable? Industry charts new future at ITB Berlin

Can travel be sustainable? Industry charts new future at ITB Berlin
Copyright euronews
By Damon Embling
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With global travel and tourism expected to make a full recovery this year after the pandemic, the industry faces mounting pressure to deliver on its sustainability pledges.

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As thousands of travel and tourism representatives gathered in Berlin for the annual ITB trade event, they were in a buoyant mood, with the industry getting back to full strength after the health crisis. But now the heat is on to “build back better”.

In this edition of Focus, Euronews reporter Damon Embling speaks to representatives from some of the world’s biggest destinations about how they’re acting on sustainability to bring about decarbonisation and responsible travel.

He hears from Italy, which is now charging day-trippers a fee to visit the tourism hotspot of Venice during peak times of the year.

Damon also speaks to Oman, which is looking to grow visitor numbers with an emphasis on quality over quantity. While Japan highlights one of its key focuses going forward: encouraging visitors to look beyond the bright lights of the big cities by also exploring rural areas and interacting with local communities.

One of the other big trends coming out of this year’s ITB event is health and wellness tourism, which has gained further popularity since the pandemic. Thailand tells Damon that it’s seeing a 20% increase in demand, with the country offering all sorts of treatments and experiences, including traditional massage. Meanwhile, Algeria says it’s looking to promote its thermal waters, as it taps into the attraction of this type of tourism.

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