Travel with a positive impact: fair tourism at ITB Berlin

05.03.2015 – Responsible consumption is the trend in the travel sector, too. At ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, Fair Trade Tourism is presenting fair travel packages to Madagascar.

At ITB Berlin, the world’s leading travel trade show, responsible travellers will discover a new destination: Madagascar. The Fair Trade Tourism (FTT) organisation certified Malagasy tour operators for the first time in January.

As with fair trade coffee, demand for fair travel is growing. Fair Trade Tourism promotes socially and environmentally sustainable travel to southern Africa. For example, the organisation examines whether hotels, caterers, bus companies and service providers pay appropriate wages and offer good employment conditions. This includes granting leave to expectant mothers and treating employees equally, irrespective of their origin or sex. The organisation only confers its seal of approval if the tourism business benefits local communities. To be rated as fair, travel packages also have to be environmentally friendly and culturally sensitive.

Local travel agencies benefit from the seal of approval because it enables them to tap into new markets. FTT employee Manuel Bollmann helps them to get in touch with European tour operators. He was placed with the organisation by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM), which is run jointly by GIZ and the German Federal Employment Agency. A tourism expert, he develops and markets fair trade travel packages. ‘Tourism that complies with our standards provides the local people with prospects for the future and secures their incomes. South Africa is a case in point, showing how fair employment conditions enable people from all walks of life to find a responsible job.’ There, the fair trade concept is becoming established. Tourists book fair travel that is FTT-certified across the board, from a guesthouse in Cape Town through to a cycle tour in Soweto.

Fair trade travel packages are now available in Madagascar, too, and Mozambique is the next country in line.

Manuel Bollmann and his colleagues will be present at ITB Booth 201, jointly operated with GIZ, in Hall 4.1.