BERLIN – This year, in addition to the ITB Aviation Day and the ITB Hospitality Day, the ITB Berlin Convention is for the first time organizing a Corporate Social Responsibility Day (CSR) for the tourism industry.

The global travel industry’s leading trade show will present the first empirical survey on CSR and travel at the CSR Day on March 12, 2009 in collaboration with GfK. Leading speakers will also be presenting and talking about their practical experiences.

The CSR Day will begin with two keynotes at 11:00 am: Erika Harms, executive director of sustainable development at the United Nations Foundation will speak about “Corporate Social Responsibility: From Nice-to-have to Need-to-have.” Afterwards, Fritz Pleitgen, general manager of Ruhr.2010 GmbH, will deliver a lecture on “Social Inclusion, a competitive advantage for tourism destinations,” giving insights into the plans and goals of the Ruhrgebiet. Roland Gaßner of GfK will then present the survey “Consumer price awareness concerning Corporate Social Responsibility” exclusively at ITB Berlin. The GfK survey illustrates CSR from the customer’s point of view, how much customers are willing to pay, and what CSR measures can be taken to improve corporate efficiency in the long term.

Three panel discussions are scheduled for the afternoon. Dr. Gerhard Prätorius, head of CSR and sustainability at Volkswagen AG; Peter-Mario Kubsch, managing partner of Studiosus; and Dr. Hans-Herwig Geyer, director of corporate responsibility & communications at Beluga Shipping GmbH will discuss the topic of “Benchmarking CSR.” These experts will point out successful examples of corporate social responsibility in other sectors and the impact they could have on the tourism industry. Along with representatives from around the world, the “CSR at Work“ panel will examine examples of best practice in international tourism. Following an introductory paper by David Ruetz, senior manager, ITB Berlin, a discussion round featuring leading figures will debate what objectives corporate concepts are pursuing and the impact of CSR concepts on the industry overall. Experts taking part in the next round focusing on “CSR Reporting and Transparency” will debate issues under the heading of ”Do good, talk about it – and then?” They will discuss whether reports on sustainability do indeed produce the desired effect and whether they can be made to work in large-scale travel companies. Thus, under the title of “Challenges & Solutions,” the TÜV Rheinland Group and representatives of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), tour operators, and hotels will debate issues concerning the practical and systemic aspects of implementing CSR.

A wealth of fascinating lectures on the subject of “CSR in Tourism” will also be taking place in Halls 4.1 and 5.1, as well as in the ICC. All events on the subject of CSR at ITB Berlin 2009 are presented in a program, which is available on the exhibition grounds.

ITB Berlin and ITB Berlin Convention

ITB Berlin 2009 will be taking place from Wednesday, March 11 to Sunday, March 15 and will be open to trade visitors from Wednesday to Friday. Parallel with the trade fair, the ITB Berlin Convention will be taking place from Wednesday, Marc 11 to Saturday, March 14, 2009. For full program details, click on

Fachhochschule Worms and the US-based market research company PhoCusWright, Inc. are partners of the ITB Berlin Convention. Turkey is co-hosting this year’s ITB Berlin Convention. Other sponsors of the ITB Berlin Convention include Top Alliance, responsible for VIP service;, as media partner of the ITB Hospitality Day; and Flug Revue as media partner of the ITB Aviation Day. The Planeterra Foundation is premium sponsor of the ITB Corporate Social Responsibility Day and Gebeco is the premium sponsor of the ITB Tourism and Culture Day. TÜV Rheinand Group is basic sponsor of the session “Practical Aspects of CSR.” The following are partners collaborating with the ITB Business Travel Days: Air Berlin PLC & Co. Luftverkehrs KG, Verband Deutsches Reisemanagement e.V. (VDR), Vereinigung Deutscher Veranstaltungsorganisatoren e.V., HSMA Deutschland e.V., Deutsche Bahn AG,,, Kerstin Schaefer e.K. – Mobility Services and Intergerma. Air Berlin is the premium sponsor of the ITB Business Travel Days 2009.