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Event Details

ITB Empowerment Forum 2


March 5, 2020

11:00 - 18:00

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 2 is a platform for Equality & Responsibility: The focus will be on diversity issues, on gender equality, on awarding outstanding LGBT+ pioneers, awarding women in travel as well as community-bases tourism initiatives.

A great part of ITB Thursday is focusing on diversity and gender equality; the day begins with a closer look at LGBT+ Tourism: A booming segment with many destinations benefitting from the growth – some of them even suffering from “overtourism”. The panel will discuss the reasons and look for sustainable solutions. Afterwards, the ITB LGBT+ Pioneer Award will for the 3rd time hand out a prize to a personality who has been an outstanding contributor to establish LGBT+ tourism as an equal travel segment.
A slot discussing Gender Equality in Tourism will be the next. A range of high-level women speakers will examine the subject out of a female perspective. A special emphasis will be put on identifying which obstacles prevent women from becoming leaders in travel technology.
Going to the next level, in the following session special female leaders in tourism will be recognized with the 5th ITB-IIPT Celebrating Her Awards. ‘
The rest of the day is dedicated to the best practices of community-based tourism: The winners of the renown international ToDo! Awards of the German Studienkreis für Tourismus, will be announced. Additionally, a special prize highlighting activists for Human Rights in Tourism will be honored in the same set-up, followed by a reception.


  • In the past years, we have seen a very positive development of LGBT+ Tourism in many regions worldwide
  • LGBT+ Tourism seems to be a growth engine, a highly appreciated niche market with high economic benefit
  • By now, some of these destinations suffer from “overtourism”, the climate protection debate also effects the LGBT+ segment
  • Will there be negative consequences, what can we done to prevent this, which sustainable solutions exist?
  • Experts will give a short overview of the current situation, discuss future challenges and look for sustainable solutions and best practices

Followed by ITB LGBT+ Pioneer Award Ceremony

Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin

Moderated by:
Dipl.-Kfm. Thomas Bömkes, Managing Director, LGBT Consultant of ITB Berlin, Germany, Diversity Tourism GmbH

Kristin Hansen, CEO & Founder, Hansen&Partner
Peter Jordan,

  • Which obstacles prevent women from becoming leaders in travel technology?
  • What is necessary to make women confident that they are capable of tackling tech jobs in the tourism industry?
  • What kind of support is really necessary to overcome the gender gap?
  • Which tips can successful female industry leaders give to their peers?
  • Which best business practices can be named and how to handle regional differences?

Moderated by:
Prof. Dr. Claudia Brözel, Lecturer, University of Sustainable Development Eberswalde/University of Sustainable Development / Department of Sustainable Economy/Faculty of Sustainable Business Administration

Panel guests:
Cara Frank, Vice President of Marketing
Roxane Kaempf, Innovation, Agile & Design Thinking Coach, Belgium
Anna Kofoed, Senior Vice President, Retail for Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Europe, Amadeus
Nicole Scott, Founder, Mobile Geeks

Traci Mercer, Senior Vice President, Global Lodging Ground & Sea, Sabre Travel Network
Chiara Quaia, Vice President Business Developments Travel, Master Card

Welcome note & Introduction:
Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin

  • The 5th IIPT India Global “Celebrating Her” Awards acknowledge and felicitate exceptional women in the fields of travel, tourism and hospitality.

Awards Ceremonies
Followed by a 30 min networking  reception

Rika Jean-Francois, CSR Commissioner, ITB Berlin

Ajay Prakash, President, International Institute for Peace Through Tourism - India

Moderated by:
Anita Mendiratta, Founder & President, Anita Mendiratta & Associates

  • International contest since 1995. The prize is awarded for tourism related projects which respect the interests of the local population during planning and implementation.
  • Additionally, the TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism is awarded for the fourth time, under the patronage of the German Commission for UNESCO.

Dr. Mathias John,
Member of the Board, Amnesty International Deutschland E.V.

Nadine Kreutzer
, Journalist Berlin

Winners TO DO Award 2020:
Esfahk Historic Village
Banteay Chhmar Community Based Tourism

Winner TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism 2020:

La Muralla Soy Yo

Press Contact:
Claudia Mitteneder
+49 (0) 171 5238 299