Tourism trends in 2017: World's largest travel fair focuses on sustainability, astro-tourism and bicycle tourism
At the world’s largest travel trade fair in Berlin last week,В some of the biggest players and expertsВ in the industry discussed the growing importance of sustainable tourism, the rising popularity ofВ astro-tourism, bicycle tourism and wildlife watching .
In line with the UN World TourismВ Organization’s designation for 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, the overarching theme at ITB Berlin this year was the importance of responsible В travel, an umbrella theme that featured exhibitors promoting ecological , adventure and socially responsible tourism.
As part of the theme, the trade fair shone the spotlight on Botswana and the rise ofВ astro-tourism in the country, an emerging trend that aims to inspire in visitors an appreciation of clear, starry night skies , and highlight the dangers of light pollution caused by artificial light.
It is estimated that 60 percent of Europeans and 80 percent of North Americans can no longer see the Milky Way .
Attendees heard from researchers, astronomers and keynote speakers on the importance of darkness for human health and biodiversity.
Experts also spotlighted the rising popularity of what was formerly a niche product вЂ” bicycle tourism вЂ” and how it has become a booming sector.
Towards the end of the trade fair, attendees heard about how wildlife tourism is evolving, from whale watching in the Dominican Republic to followingВ wildcats in Costa Rica .
ITB Berlin kicked off March 8 and wrapped up March 12 in Berlin.