CELTH and ETFI are dominating tourist world news at ITB

For the past few years, CELTH and ETFI have taken a leading position in the research arena concerning visitor pressure and overtourism. After Albert Postma finished his PhD thesis about “critical encounters in the development of tourism” from the perspective of local residents, the validity of the outcomes were tested in urban destinations. A pilot study was conducted in Berlin, Amsterdam and Riga. Upon the presentation of the results of this pilot study at the ITB in Berlin in 2015, the DMOs of Copenhagen, Berlin, Munich, Amsterdam, Barcelona and Lisbon commissioned CELTH to conduct a study in their cities. The outcomes were published as a UNWTO handbook with the title “‘Overtourism?’ Understanding and Managing Urban Tourism Growth beyond Perceptions”. This handbook was presented at the Urban Tourism Summit in Seoul in November 2018 and now can be downloaded here.

‘Overtourism?’ Understanding and Managing Urban Tourism Growth beyond Perceptions” vol. 2

Cities across the world were invited to contribute to a second volume of this handbook with an overview of case studies referring to the strategies presented in volume 1. The second volume was proudly presented at the ITB 2019 in Berlin. The ITB is the biggest tourism fair in the world, offering an extended conference programme as well. The conference itself draws 28,000 visitors, the fair 110,000 trade visitors and 60,000 consumers. CELTH, ETFI, BUAS and NHL Stenden dominated the tourist world news with two presentations:

Overtourism Revisited

The keynote panel session, in collaboration with UNWTO, was titled Overtourism Revisited: Best Demonstrated Practices Instead Of “Business As Usual”. The theme was introduced by Sunita Rajan, Senior Vice President Advertising Sales, CNN. Dr Albert Postma (representing CELTH, and ETFI/NHL Stenden) was one of the panel experts reflecting on the topic. The others were Dr Manuel Butler Halter (Executive Director, UNWTO), Sharry Sun (Global Head of Brand, Travelzoo), and Romana Vlasic (Director, DUBROVNIK TOURIST BOARD & Convention Bureau). 

Overtourism: Smart Control Via Digital Technologies

The second session was moderated by Dr Ko Koens (representing CELTH and BUAS) in collaboration with Dr Manuel Butler Halter (Executive Director, UNWTO). During the session, the cities of Amsterdam, Barcelona and Porto shared their experiences with regard to Overtourism: Smart Control Via Digital Technologies.

Exclusive interview with Secretary-General of the UNWTO Zurab Pololikashvili

In the ITB Newspaper of the first day an interview was published with Secretary-General Pololikashvili of the UNWTO in which he speaks about the handbook and the UNWTO-partners: CELTH, BUas en NHL Stenden.

The ITB has been an important step in the future collaboration with the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), ETOA European Association of Tour Operators (ETOA), and European Cities Marketing (ECM).