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© Cornelia Kühhas
© Cornelia Kühhas


Press release

QUALITY BEFORE QUANTITY – also in tourism!

Tourism needs to be fundamentally rethought, demand Naturefriends International before the opening of the ITB in Berlin.

The impending collapse of the world’s climate, conflicts caused by Overtourism and consumers’ demands shifting towards sustainability – if one believes the official press releases before the ITB; the world’s biggest international tourism fair, which starts in Berlin tomorrow, has also recognized the consequences of unlimited tourism development. However, while the planned discussions about the above-mentioned topics take place, thousands of tourism offers are being presented where sustainability is a buzzword at best.

„The issues regarding unregulated tourism development, which only focuses on maximizing profits for a few companies, have been known for years and been confirmed through various studies. While the awareness of travelers about the social and ecological consequences of their holidays is increasing, the performance targets of the tourism industry are mostly still focused on growth and short-term profit maximization. Even though it is clear that tourism is destroying its own product in the long term”, explains Andrea Lichtenecker, Executive Director of Naturefriends International (NFI).

„We need to be clear about one thing: The problems caused by the tourism industry can only be solved if tourism is thoroughly transformed”, Cornelia Kühhas, tourism expert with NFI, is convinced. Cut-price offers, especially for flights and cruises, are flooding the market and put pressure on popular destinations, increase negative environmental consequences and most often the local population has no say in the development of tourism infrastructure. “It’s high time for a paradigm shift in tourism! Sustainable tourism has to put quality over quantity, be careful with natural resources and act socially acceptable”, Kühhas demands.

This is especially true when it comes to respecting human rights and keeping social standards. “Behind the scenes it is not all fun and games”, explains Cornelia Kühhas. Often, working conditions for staff members are precarious, women and children are sexually exploited, tourism projects are decided without free, prior and informed consent, people have to leave their villages so tourism projects can be realized and natural resources – the livelihood for the local population – are destroyed.

Human Rights matter – also in tourism!
Together with the „Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism” (, NFI has been advocating for human rights in tourism for many years. At a panel discussion at ITB, the “Roundtable Human Rights in Tourism” will discuss the oftentimes precarious working conditions in the tourism industry and present good-practice examples. Respecting human rights and guaranteeing fair working conditions have to be integrated systematically into all business processes, including the management, and not just passively observed. In addition, travelers themselves can contribute to the protection of human rights by choosing their tour operators carefully, planning their holiday and acting appropriately during their stay.

Tip: Events at ITB regarding „Human Rights in Tourism“
Human Rights in practice – Working Conditions in Tourism 
Wednesday, 6.3.2018, 3 – 4 pm, Hall 4.2., Big stage

„TO DO Award Human Rights in Tourism” 
Thursday, 7.3.2019, 4.30 pm, Palais am Funkturm

Detailed information about „Human Rights in Tourism” are described in a video by NFI:

Naturefriends International (NFI) is the international umbrella organisation of the Naturefriends movement, uniting over 45 member organisations and approximately 350,000 members. The focus of NFI’s work is on creating and implementing sustainable development of the environment and society. NFI is member of the “Green 10”, a coalition of ten leading environmental NGOs active at the EU level. 
NFI has been advocating for sustainable tourism development for many years and is a partner organization of the platform “Transforming Tourism”, which demands a reorientation of the tourism industry ( The Naturefriends Climate Fund ( offers tourists the chance to make a personal contribution towards climate justice.  

DI Cornelia Kühhas
Naturefriends International, Press and Public Relation 
Tel.: +43 (0)1 89 23 877-41, Email:


Press release