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ITB Empowerment Forum 3


March 6, 2020

11:00 - 14:00

Hall 19, Palais at Funkturm (fairground)

The ITB-Empowerment Days are focusing on putting a spotlight on responsible, sustainable tourism matters. This forum was founded to create awareness for sensible issues the tourism industry, finding solutions instead of looking away. They also serve as a best practice as many outstanding leaders in the field are being awarded with prizes during the three 3 days, inspiring others.

The Empowerment Forum 3 is a platform for Animal Welfare and Engagement: Crucial subjects related to ethical animal treatment in tourism as well as the support of women initiatives & women entrepreneurship in tourism will be debated.

ITB Friday confronts the audience with the necessity to take animal rights in tourism more seriously. This year’s session addresses especially touristic experiences which include dolphins and other sea mammals: Which practices are irresponsible, which alternative products do exist or can be developed, how can we do better?
The second highlight of Day3 is the Female Social Entrepreneurship Workshop bringing together women from all over the world who are -or want to become- social entrepreneurs in tourism to exchange their experiences and how to do better. To empower these women further we will invite female mentors helping with words and deeds.
The last event of Day3 will be the ceremony of the renown ITB Book Awards, celebrating authors and publishers of tourism-relevant books and print products for the German market, including guidebooks for ITB’s 2020 Guest Country Oman.


How travel industry leadership and support is vital to phase out captivity of cetaceans for entertainment purposes and increase responsibility of wild whale and dolphin watching operations.

The captive dolphin entertainment industry and whale and dolphin watching are both multi-billion-dollar industries. But what does a responsible future for whales and dolphins in tourism look like? This event will present the issues of exploiting captive whales and dolphins for entertainment purposes and the essential role the travel industry can play in supporting change. Ocean sanctuaries for whales and dolphins currently in captivity are one part of the solution, but only an end to captive breeding, imports and wild-capture with an increased availability of responsible alternatives will ensure this is the last generation of whales and dolphins in captivity.

Highlights will include key findings from World Animal Protection’s recent Behind the Smile report; World Cetacean Alliance presenting the opportunities for responsible whale and dolphin watching including turning whole destinations into Whale Heritage Sites and beacons of best practice; and Whale and Dolphin Conservation introducing the world’s first open water sanctuary for beluga whales and their goal to provide alternative, more natural homes for captive whales and dolphins. A leading travel brand will also present their perspective on corporate leadership and travel industry support for a dolphin-friendly future. Presentations will be followed by a moderated panel discussion on how a vision for a responsible future can be achieved.

Greeting and Introduction:
Nick Stewart, Global Head of Campaign, World Animal Protection

Keynote Speaker:
Rob Lott, End Captivity Policy Manager, Whale and Dolphin Conservation
Rachel McCaffery, Senior Advisor, Responsible Travel, G Adventures
Dr. Jan Schmidt-Burbach, Global Head of Research and Animal Welfare, World Animal Protection
Dylan Walker, CEO, World Cetacean Alliance

Moderated by:
Jeremy Smith, writer, speaker and sustainable tourism consultant

  • This Female Social Entrepreneurship Workshop brings together women from all over the world who are -or want to become- social entrepreneurs in tourism
  • The goal is to exchange experiences and learn, how to do better
  • In the 1st part we will share best practices of successful women
  • In the 2nd part we will discuss in small units (for support we have invited female mentors helping with words and deeds)
  • In the 3rd part we will share results

Tamari Bichashvili, Representative, International Trade Centre (ITC), SheTrades Commonwealth Programme
Prof. Dr. Claudia Brözel, Lecturer, University of Sustainable Development Eberswalde/University of Sustainable Development / Department of Sustainable Economy/Faculty of Sustainable Business Administration
Kirsi Hyvaerinen , Managing Director, PRÁTTO Consulting Partner, ITB Advisory
Dr. Mihee Kang, Director Asia-Pacific, GSTC
Chiara Quaia, Vice President Business Developments Travel, Master Card
Dr. Amina Tall, Director Branch Office, German Arab Association (D.A.G.)

Moderated by:
Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin

Panel guests:
Dana Artz, Sustainability Manager, Evaneos
Dr. Nicole Häusler, ITC
Gifty Mensah, CEO, Teyy-Net Travel and Tours & Recruitment Limited
Rose Topisian Belo, CEO, Luxury Safaris