Partnering with the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Paris, the Wadden Sea World Heritage will once again be represented at ITB, the world’s largest tourism fair. It offers a rich and diverse programme around the motto “People. Protecting. Places” in hall 4.1, booth 230/216 at the Berlin fair grounds from 7 to 11 March 2018. The programme includes activities for both tourism professionals and individual visitors, professional workshops and presentations, and showcases best practices in sustainable tourism and cooperation across national borders.
“Four years ago we started with a booth of 8m². Now we host more than 100m²”, says Anja Domnick, Project Officer Sustainable Tourism Strategy at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS). “But our main goal remains: we want to highlight the importance of sustainable tourism solutions to both protect and experience natural treasures such as the Wadden Sea World Heritage. The fact that the space we occupy at ITB has grown so much confirms that both the tourism sector and travellers are becoming more and more aware of the benefits of nature conservation”. This year’s space is divided into two areas: at the main stand the Wadden Sea World Heritage and the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, Paris invite visitors to exchange knowledge in the context of World Heritage and sustainable tourism. A second area offers a stakeholder platform in form of a marketplace for Wadden Sea World Heritage related commercial services and products.
The Wadden Sea World Heritage and its co-exhibitors (UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme, UNESCO World Heritage Journeys Project and PFD Publication with its World Heritage Review Magazine) have created a programme corresponding to the daily themes of this year’s ITB. On ITB Young Professionals Day, 7 March, the Wadden Sea National Park Lower Saxony Germany, the Province of Fryslân (Netherlands) and the UNESCO Young Heritage Experts will talk about engaging youth and children. At the Adventure stage Peter Saabye Simonsen, National Park Vadehavet (Denmark), will open the 13th Pow-Wow for Tourism Professionals on behalf of the Wadden Sea World Heritage. His speech is followed by a master class addressing how to tackle marine plastic waste in the North Sea presented by the University of Oldenburg (Germany).
Around the theme of accessible tourism on 8 March, the main stand will be stage of various talks by partners from East Frisia, the Dolomites and Rammelsberg showing best practice examples to make World Heritage accessible to all. On 9 March, the day of coastal tourism, the Wadden Sea World Heritage stand showcases best practice examples by the Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Foundation, LT&C and Dr Jasper Heslinga. Ulrich Schmunkamp (Internationale Dollard-Route e.V.) takes the adventure stage to present the transboundary Dollard cycling route.
On the weekend, when the doors of the trade fair are open for all travel enthusiasts, visitors can experience the Wadden Sea through a broad range of activities, including games about beach finds, a virtual bird watching, a lottery and a photo shoot in front of a Wadden Sea scenery. There are tastings of typical products from the Wadden Sea region, such as honey and oysters.