Wadden Sea World Heritage showcases sustainable tourism at the ITB 2017

For the third time, the Wadden Sea World Heritage is organizing a stand on sustainable tourism at the world’s largest tourism fair ITB. Partnering with the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme, the Wadden Sea World Heritage offers a rich and diverse programme around the motto “People. Protecting. Places” in hall 4.1.b, booth 228 at the Berlin fair grounds from 8 to 12 March 2017. The programme includes activities for both tourism professionals and individual visitors, professional workshops and presentations, and showcases of best practices of sustainable tourism and cooperating across national borders.

“We want to show that World Heritage sites can be both flagships for conservation and extraordinary treasures to experience and inspire”, says Anja Domnick, Project Officer Sustainable Tourism Strategy at the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat (CWSS). “World Natural Heritage sites like the Wadden Sea are important travel destinations and protected nature rolled into one. It is our responsibility to strengthen people’s appreciation and respect for these landscapes, and keep the public in touch with the sites and their activities. That is why our stand’s main focus is on sustainable tourism. By showcasing best practice examples, we seek to inform about the challenges of tourism in a fragile environment as well as the benefits of being a World Heritage site. Luckily, travellers are becoming more and more aware of nature conservation and asking to see the whole picture.”

“The UNESCO World Heritage Convention is one of the most successful UN instruments for promoting international cooperation for and dialogue on the conservation of the cultural and natural heritage of humankind. So we are especially gratified to partner once again with the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism Programme in showcasing World Heritage-related activities,” states Rüdiger Strempel, CWSS Executive Secretary.

The Wadden Sea World Heritage and its co-exhibitors (the Messel Pit World Heritage site, Fondazione Dolomiti, Die Nordsee GmbH, PFD Publication – World Heritage Review) have created a rich and diverse fair programme with different overarching themes. One of these themes is how to involve the young generation. Accordingly, on Wednesday, 8 March three workshops organised by the German Commission for UNESCO, World Heritage Trainees, Zentrum Welterbe Bamberg, Young Heritage Experts, and Tourismus-Akademie Nordwest e.V. will focus on education and communication at World Heritage sites.

On 9 March, the Wadden Sea World Heritage stand will hold a round table on sustainable development. Speakers include Harald Marencic, Deputy Executive Secretary, CWSS, Wadden Sea World Heritage, Peter Debrine from the UNESCO World Heritage and Sustainable Tourism programme, and Mariagrazia Santoro, President of Fondazione Dolomiti UNESCO, and its Director Marcella Morandini, representing the Dolomites World Heritage site.

The Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative will be showcased at the 12th PowWow on Friday 10 March. Specialists from Sierra Leone, as well as from the Danish, German and Dutch Wadden Sea regions will discuss bird watching and tourism and the importance of transboundary cooperation along the flyways of migratory birds.

During the weekend, individual visitors can experience the Wadden Sea through a broad range of activities, including games about beach finds and bird migration, a lottery and a photo shoot in front of a Wadden Sea scenery. There are tastings of typical Wadden Sea products, such as honey, and oysters. A highlight of the weekend is the premiere of “Clupea harengus - Der Hering”. The one-person play by “Frollein Brehm’s Life of Animals” on the herring and its habitat will be performed for the first time at the adventure stage in hall 4.1 on Sunday, 12 March.