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Digital network forum
Sustainability in tourism in Germany: where is the journey going?

September 22, 2021  |  Speakers


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Nadine da Cruz Oliveira
Actress and educator, re: CET // create | empower | transform

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Lisa Blaschke
Actress and theater pedagogue, re: CET // create | empower | transform

Martin Balas
Coordinator, Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations

The tourism economist conducts research in national and international projects at the Eberswalde University for Sustainable Development and has already supported many German travel regions in their sustainability processes as a consultant. Martin Balas is a partner of TourCert and coordinates the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations. Internationally, he is involved in the European network of experts for sustainability in tourism, ECOTRANS.

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Dirk Dunkelberg
Deputy Managing Director, Deutscher Tourismusverband eV

Dirk Dunkelberg has been with DTV since 1994 and, among other things, is responsible for sustainability in tourism in Germany. He has accompanied and coordinated many successful projects to promote sustainable tourism, from national competitions to practical guides. He is also involved in many other projects at the federal level for the DTV, where he represents the interests of the tourist destinations at the federal and state as well as regional and municipal levels.

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Cilia Mayer
Customer Success, TourCert gGmbH

Cilia Mayer is a studied tourism manager and Head of Customer Success at TourCert gGmbH. She is responsible for project management there, among other things, and has accompanied the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations in the LIFT-funded project from the start. In addition, she has numerous other experiences in funding projects in Germany and also in the context of international development cooperation. In addition to project management, she oversees the TourCert Academy, which regularly offers workshops and online formats on sustainability in tourism in Germany.

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Marco Giraldo
Managing Partner, TourCert gGmbH

As a managing partner, Marco Giraldo has experience in various areas of tourism. He started his career with a bachelor's degree in Hotel and Gastronomy Management (BA) and then held various positions in sales management. While rethinking the tourism industry, he decided to set new standards and focus on sustainability. Activities in CSR consulting as well as in sales and marketing brought him to his current position at TourCert, which mainly deals with the certification of tourism companies and project management in international development cooperation.

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Jens Nordmann

Works as a graphic recorder and illustrator in Berlin.

His motto: Visualization helps thinking on the jumps!

Keynote speakers

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Prof. Dr. Harald Welzer
Social psychologist, publicist and bestselling author

With wit and astute arguments, the social psychologist is committed to a better and open society, sustainability and democracy. He is director of Futurzwei - Foundation for Future Capability and professor for transformation design at the University of Flensburg. He also teaches at the University of St. Gallen and at the ETH Zurich. He is a bestselling author of various books, including »Thinking yourself« (2013) or »Everything could be different. A social utopia for free people «(2019). His books have now appeared in 21 countries.

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Anna Pollock
Founder, Conscious.Travel

The founder of Conscious.Travel has over 45 years of experience in tourism as an independent consultant, strategist, international speaker and change agent. She was recognized by the Canadian Tourism Industry with the Visionary of the Year Award and has pioneered many areas of tourism, particularly education, sustainability and technology.

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Dr. Dirk Glaesser
Director for Sustainable Development, UNWTO

Dr. Dirk Glaeßer is Director of the Department for Sustainable Development of Tourism at the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). Under his leadership, the program deals with the challenges and opportunities of sustainable tourism development, in particular sustainable consumption and production patterns, climate change, biological diversity, health crises and travel relief.

Dr. Glaeßer has been active in the World Tourism Organization in various functions since 1997. Among other things, he headed the Risk and Crisis Management department and was responsible for the UNWTO advisory unit on biodiversity and tourism.

Dirk Glaeßer is a trained banker and reserve officer (Colonel of the Reserve). He received his doctorate from the University of Lüneburg and was awarded the ITB Science Prize for his work on crisis management in tourism.

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Norbert Kunz
Managing Director, Deutscher Tourismusverband eV

The political scientist took over the management of the German Tourism Association in 2019, having previously worked as a tourism policy advisor for DTV. He brings many years of experience in political work as the office manager of a member of the Bundestag into his work and is well networked and familiar with politics at the federal as well as at the state and local level.

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Markus Tressel
Member of the Bundestag, Bundestag Tourism Committee, Alliance 90 / Greens

Markus Tressel has been a Green Member of the Bundestag for Saarland since 2009. He is a member of the Tourism Committee and the Food and Agriculture Committee. Markus Tressel is also the spokesman for tourism policy and rural areas in the Green parliamentary group. He was also the state chairman of the Saarland Greens from 2017 to 2021.

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Leonie Bremer
Federal spokeswoman for Fridays for Future Germany

Leonie Bremer, born on March 27, 1997, studied Environment and Energy at the Rhein-Waal University of Applied Sciences. She is currently doing her Masters in Renewable Energy at the TH Köln and is fighting for justice with Fridays for Future. She mainly campaigns with the activists most affected by the climate crisis.

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Prof. Dr. Stefan Gössling
Climate and tourism researcher, Linnaeus University Sweden

The doctor of human ecology is the most cited tourism researcher worldwide and is on the global hot list of the most influential climate researchers. As a scientist, he has worked in various countries in Europe, the Middle East, East Africa / West Indian Ocean and the Caribbean. He also worked in an advisory capacity for the UNWTO, UNEP, UNDP, OECD and the World Bank.

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Thomas Dworak
Managing Director, Fresh Thoughts Consulting

Thomas Dworak is a specialist in environmental protection with a focus on marine and inland waters, agriculture and climate change. He has already led more than 50 projects, from small projects with a very short intervention period to large research projects. He has also been a consultant for the European Commission (DG Environment, DG Research and DG Climate) for a long time.

Topic forums speakers

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Olaf Schlieper
Innovation manager, German National Tourist Board

The qualified economic geographer has been with the German National Tourist Board (DZT) since 1999.

As an innovation manager, he has been responsible for the areas of sustainable tourism, barrier-free travel and (digital) innovation since 2013.

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Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Strasdas
Head, ZENAT Center for Sustainable Tourism

Wolfgang Strasdas has been leading research projects on sustainable tourism for over three decades and is active as a tourism advisor in development cooperation. In 2002, Wolfgang Strasdas was appointed professor at the Eberswalde University of Applied Sciences, where he set up the Master's degree in Sustainable Tourism Management, which he is currently head of. He is a member of the scientific advisory board of the Futouris sustainability initiative, the Certification Council of TourCert, the German National Committee for UNESCO Geoparks and the jury for the Destination Nature Award of Deutsche Bahn and leading German environmental organizations.

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Birgit Grauvogel
Managing Director, Tourismus Zentrale Saarland GmbH

Birgit Grauvogel has been managing director of Tourismus Zentrale Saarland GmbH for over 19 years. She played a key role in establishing tourism as a central component of the state's development and, as part of the state-wide sustainability strategy, made Saarland the first federal state to achieve sustainability certification as a “sustainable travel destination” in 2019. Under her leadership, the Saarland Tourism Center participates as a founding member and project partner in the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations. In addition, she is involved as a member of the board of the German Tourism Association (DTV) and the Association of German Central Mountains. She has been a member of the national MAB Committee since 2018 and a member of the Council of Experts on Rural Areas since 2020 (member delegated by the DTV). Both bodies advise the Federal Environment Ministry. 

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Catharina Fischer
Consultant, Realizing Progress

Catharina Fischer has been active in the tourism industry for 15 years and has supported numerous strategic and operational implementation processes in destinations and with service providers. Her focus is on digitization and future topics. She played a key role in initiating the two industry think tanks # change4destination and # impulse4travel and has been concerned with sustainability in tourism since the beginning of her career. Here in particular the resilient business models that a future-oriented tourism industry urgently needs.

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Herbert Hamele
CEO, Ecotrans eV

Herbert Hamele has been working in the field of environmentally friendly tourism development in Europe for over 30 years. In 1993 he co-founded the European network ECOTRANS. His particular expertise lies in the development, research and networking of voluntary initiatives, instruments and best practice examples for environmentally friendly, socially acceptable and economically viable tourism, with a special focus on certification systems worldwide. He represents in the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and manages the global portal for sustainable tourism. He is also a member of the voluntary TourCert certification council.

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Imke Gessinger
Sustainability Manager, Ostseefjord Schlei GmbH

The trained tourism manager Imke Gessinger is project manager for sustainability and assistant to the management at Ostseefjord Schlei GmbH, founding member of the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations. It drives the sustainable tourism development in the region and was able to successfully lead the Ostseefjord Schlei as the first travel region in Schleswig-Holstein to the certification "sustainable travel destination" in 2018.

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Gabriele Kuczmierczyk
Consultant, Federal Ministry for the Environment

The qualified landscape planner has already held various positions in business, science, associations and politics. She worked for many years in the state, federal and European parliaments. Since 2007 she has been a consultant at the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) for the topics of sustainable mobility and tourism.

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Eke Eijgelaar
Breda University of Applied Sciences

Eke Eijgelaar is a graduate of the master's degree in Sustainable Tourism Management at HNE Eberswalde. Since 2008 he has been working for the Center for Sustainability, Tourism and Transport at Breda University of Applied Sciences (Netherlands), where he has worked on many projects and publications on sustainable tourism, but above all on climate protection in tourism.

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Uta wood
Managing Director, Südliche Weinstrasse eV

The German Wine Route region has been a member of the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations since 2020. As an attractive wine region in the middle of Germany, it offers the best conditions for a sustainable holiday: a great landscape between vineyards and the Palatinate Forest biosphere reserve, a short journey, family-run hotels and holiday apartments and numerous direct marketers right on the doorstep. The German Wine Route region stands for active enjoyment of life in intact nature and grown culture - we see it as our task to further promote this and to preserve it for future generations .

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Prof. Dr. Dagmar Lund-Durlacher
Tourism researcher, ZENAT Center for Sustainable Tourism

Dagmar Lund-Durlacher is Professor Emerita at the Department for Tourism and Service Management at the Module University Vienna and tourism researcher at ZENAT. The doctor of social and economic science has been teaching and researching in the field of sustainable tourism for many years. She works in numerous international scientific networks and as a scientific and technical advisor for national and international organizations. She is one of the main authors of the current report Tourism and Climate Change in Austria of the Austrian Panel for Climate Change APCC.

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Detlef Raphael
Alderman of the German Association of Cities

For many years, the graduate social scientist dealt professionally with the thematic priorities of municipal financial policy and municipal economic and employment policy. He is involved in several socio-political organizations and represents the German Association of Cities and the Association of Cities in North Rhine-Westphalia in various associations and organizations in his field of activity.

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Wolfgang Günther
Head of Sustainability, NIT - Institute for Tourism and Swimming Pool Research in Northern Europe

The trained biologist and ecologist The trained biologist Wolfgang Günther is Head of Sustainability in Tourism at the NIT - Institute for Tourism and Swimming Pool Research in Northern Europe. Among other things, he was project manager for tourism and marine protection at BUND (Federation for Environment and Nature Conservation Germany) and set up an advice center for tourism and the environment for the Schleswig-Holstein Tourism Association before joining the NIT in 1999. His work focuses on the areas of consulting, research, concept development and moderation, in particular on the topics of sustainability in tourism, nature tourism as well as climate protection and climate adaptation.

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Robert Wenzel
Quality Manager Sustainability, TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH

Robert Wenzel is Quality Manager and Sustainability Officer at TourismusMarketing Niedersachsen GmbH, a member of the Excellence Initiative Sustainable Travel Destinations. After completing his master's degree at the University for Sustainable Development in Eberswalde, he worked as a project manager for tourism and development at Bread for the World before joining TMN. He is currently coordinating the project “Tackling Climate Change - Adaptation Strategies for Tourism in Lower Saxony” in cooperation with NIT, adelphi research, dwif-Consulting and Fresh Thoughts-Consulting.

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