Human Rights in Tourism – Holidays Without Question Mark?

The tourism industry, media, politicians, and consumers often display ambivalent behaviour. They are either relieved, like in the case of change looming in Myanmar, or – following the "Arabellion" – or feel a nightmarish uncertainty. On the one hand, there are demands to boycott destinations with dictatorial regimes, on the other hand there are people who would like to see a social debate, or those who regard "human rights" exclusively as a political task. Now what?

Karl Mertes

Speakers and Statements
Maja Liebig
Human rights – The responsibility of the tourism industry
Peter-Mario Kubsch
There is a need to join forces, but who will define the rules?
Heinz Fuchs
Rights for people – Rules for businesses
Prof. Karl Born
What is desirable in tourism, what is feasible, what is an illusion (?) – A pragmatic examination

2011: Connected - Generation Facebook on Holiday

What is the impact of the globally networking digital natives on the travel industry? Is there a new form of international mobility and intercultural encounters emerging? Or is it just a business with a virus called "friendship"?

Allegedly, there is a generation growing up which knows a traditional travel agency only from hearsay. Their attitude towards package tours, their consumer behaviour, and their use of the new media represent a challenge for the travel industry. For the Facebook generation the established structures seem to remain attractive only under certain conditions. There is a danger that customers under 30 will break off. Is that so?

According to Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ), as many as one in seven of the world’s citizens are already members of Facebook. In Germany, according to SZ, 18.6 million citizens are part of it – 87.4 percent more than in the previous year.

According the German association Bitkom, people who grew up with the Internet, the so-called ’digital natives’, are the least able to imagine a life without Internet. Among those below 30, for example, it is not even one in ten. 90 percent of them consider the Internet indispensable. Among people above 65, it is only one in four who already got so used to the Internet that they would not want to miss it. In comparison, according to Bitkom: “Those who are below 50 can rather do without books than without Internet. For those above 50, it is the other way round“.

Karl Mertes

Speakers and Statements
Guido Wiegand
Hyped, underestimated, slumberous. Does Facebook repeat the history of the Internet?
Dirk Föste
No shit storm: from a one-way street to interactive dialogue
Johannes Klaus
How I signed the Iranian constitution

2010: Outsourcing or no budget

Travel journalism between freedom and economic constraints. What about independence and diversity in reporting?

The changes, especially in the print media, are serious. Over the past twenty years, the travel pages of newspapers and magazines were slowly reduced, outsourced, adapted to the economic need to save, or had to then manage without a budget worth mentioning. The result: Articles which are critical or incur costs increasingly went to other departments. Contributions and reports which were earlier an integral part of the travel pages can today be found in the business pages or on page three.

Do the travel pages become mere ”sun pages“ (as in the early 1970s) and are they on these of all pages in competition with other media channels (such as Internet information, TripAdvisor, YouTube videos)? Is travel again to be depoliticised? Do publishers just want their peace, do they merely want a suitable environment for adverts? Will PR agencies in the future determine the content of TV programmes and contributions, or can travel reporting be continued independently – in line with journalistic principles? Does this development meet the expectations of tour operators and destinations and – last but not least – readers?

Karl Mertes

Speakers and Statements
Ulla Schickling
In transition
Peter-Mario Kubsch
No time, no space, no money
Dorothea Hohn
Travel journalism is service journalism
Jürgen Drensek
Life flourishes from the ruins

2009: Meet the people on holiday

Many people want to, but can’t: meet local people when travelling in countries with other cultures. If it is not just to be the hotel staff, "intercultural encounters on holiday" are still full of stumbling stones. Whether organised or spontaneously. On the one hand, they lack the tools, on the other hand the people to build bridges. Less on the side of specialised tour operators, but even more so in what is called "high volume tourism".

Recent research findings by the Institute for Tourism and Development show the specific interest of tourists in personally getting to know local people during their stay in developing and newly industrialised countries, for example on the basis of a common hobby or profession. 22 percent of the Germans can imagine making use of such “meet the people” offers. Among those with experience in developing countries, it is as many as 43 percent.

There are still not many organised “meet the people” offers by tour operators and destinations. They miss the opportunity of enriching holiday trips with unusual "light bulb moments" and also of forging deeper connections – with the holiday destination and with the tour operator.

How could this be redressed? How should the respective products and services in the destinations be designed? Under what conditions can organised encounters on holidays be successful?

Karl Mertes

Speakers and Statements
Peter-Mario Kubsch
The farmer by the wayside is not enough!
Wybcke Meier
All inclusive if needed – The example of “Meet the people tours” in Turkey
Thomas Korbus
Learning from locals – away from the beach – to the interior?
Klaus Betz
From husk to kernel. Meet the people tours in Jamaica, Palestine, Cape Town, and Belfast


2008: the Russians are coming (and others too)

Gewohnte Reiseströme verändern sich:
Destinationen und Hoteliers konzentrieren sich auf neue Quellmärkte. Von dort kommen auch neue Investoren.

In diesem Jahr wollen wir uns mit dem Wachstum neuer Quellmärkte in Russland und in Schwellenländern beschäftigen, durch das sich bereits gewohnte Reiseströme verändert haben – und weiter verändern werden. Die Gäste kommen nicht länger vor allem aus Europa, Nordamerika oder Japan. Urlauber aus Russland, China, Indien und Brasilien machen den „Stammgästen“ zunehmend ihre exklusive Rolle streitig; man ist nicht länger unter sich.

Destinationen und Hoteliers konzentrieren sich vermehrt auf diese neuen Quellmärkte. Es findet
eine neue Phase der Internationalisierung der Gästestruktur statt – sowie der touristischen Investitionen. Welche Veränderungen, Chancen, Probleme und Herausforderungen ergeben sich für die Beteiligten, z.B. für die Empfängerdestinationen, Urlauber (Stammgäste) und für Touristikunternehmen in den „alten“ Entsendemärkten?

Presenter and Statements
Karl Mertes und Klaus Betz

Speakers and Statements
Jörg Roth
Cheaper is elsewhere – οτдыхаτь from a Russian perspective
Yvonne Coulin
The early bird... Five years of "Magic Cities" in China
Yusuf Hacisüleyman
The Russians are already there! The new source markets from the hoteliers’ perspective
Dietmar Gunz
New passports, new trips – Challenges for tour operators in high-volume tourist destinations

2007: Between hype and the need to act:

Are there climate-conscious travel solutions or do we prefer to celebrate continued self-deception? A round-up talk in het up times.

During this year’s ITB, “Climate and Tourism“ became a hot topic. Hackneyed advice was in demand, quick expert opinions, and ad-hoc solutions. In short, the usual.

And during the summer the issue kept simmering (G8 summit). Meanwhile, a kind of competition had also broken out between “atmosfair” and ”my climate”. The question is: Whose offer is better?

One week before the Ammerlander Talk, UNWTO in cooperation with UNEP invites to a ”Climate Change and Tourism Summit” to Davos (1st to 3rd October).

Just before the Ammerlander Talk, the issue is also on the agenda of this year’s tourism summit in Berlin.

And at the end of the day, we will all have to ask ourselves if we have become any wiser.

This year’s Ammerlander Talk is meant to summarise, give clarity – and pose questions: What has the debate to date benefited us? What (additional) value does it have? What solutions are on the horizon? Who will act in which way in the future – or will not act in which way? What needs to be considered? What is practical? And how does all of this look like from the perspective of developing countries?

Klaus Betz

Speaker and Statements
Dr. Wolf Michael Iwand
More tourism is less carbon. A sustainable plea for global development
Rolf Pfeifer
To Beijing by bike?
Jan-Philipp Görtz
Environmental rationalism instead of environmental populism – what does it mean?
Dr. Susanne Stemann-Acheampong
No flights, my heart is pure – I will leave the Third World on its own!?

2006: Out of the track?

The self-perception of tour operators – between image promotion and political abstinence.

Tourism is more than economic transactions. But who would (still) take this insight at face value, who would take it seriously? Who would make it a benchmark for their actions? In view of crises, disasters, and debates on culture – that is: more difficult travel conditions, does the travel industry remain unchanged in an apolitical space, does it remain uninvolved? Instead of acting, does it foster a rehearsed style of reacting? Does it only manage tourism logistics successfully, but not the logic of political action?

What’s the self-image of tour operators today, what self-image would be necessary in the future? Should travel remain a space free of politics, or is there a need to finally take into account what is happening in the world – also on holiday, beyond all image campaigns? Are press trips only about nice appearance/the world of catalogues or can the participating journalists also be familiarised with realities, with daily life in a holiday destination?

Is it better to be pro-active? If so, why? Or is it better to remain on the defensive and to become active in the background if necessary? Are tour operators already doing that? Are they doing more than they say? Is there a hidden solidarity (e.g. with the destinations)? Or is it just the appreciation by the national public, the national stock markets back home that counts?

Klaus Betz

Speaker and Statements
Mario Köpers
Sense of reality or fair weather rhetoric? Tour operators between economic constraints and social responsibility
Karl Born
The larger, the more image
Peter-Mario Kubsch
From duty to freestyle: What do customers and the public expect?


2005: Cheap and good? Travelling according to the discount principle.

“Aldisation“ in Tourism – What About Quality? Who Pays the Price?

In the travel industry, too, the discount principle is gaining market share. No frills airlines, cheap tour operators and cheap sales (via Internet or supermarkets such as Lidl and Aldi) may not yet dominate, but they get major attention – in the media, because of their prices and because of a philosophy positioned between “no frills“ and ”less for much less“. Surrounded by contentious slogans such as “Be nifty, get thrifty“ or “I'm not stupid, am I?“

This kind of competition seems to be advantageous for the individual consumer. But who pays the real price? Who can come out on top with a quality that’s worth its price, but is not cheap? What will be the impact if the same becomes prevalent in tourism as in markets for consumer goods: the reduction of diversity? Does anyone ask about the consequences for tourist destinations, for the people living there? And for the people here? What long term consequences will it have, what structural changes will evolve?

Klaus Betz

Speaker and Statements
Tilman Uhlig
Do tour operators become the grave diggers of package tours?
Ron Imelauer
Low price means work – brands make money
Peter Hauptvogel
Flying for 29 euros – how does that work?
Dietmar Gunz
The market is expanding: Growth due to low prices

2004: On the other side of Europe - on this side of the Orient

Travel to Muslim countries: How do tourism producers generate trust, dialogue, and encounters? How do the media report?

Many questions currently characterise the (lack of) relationship between Orient and Occident. Measured against the cultural/historical closeness and mutual enrichment of the past, the old religious and cultural communities seem to have become helpless – in dealing with each other.

Do we experience a process of alienation and disinterest – from each other, in each other?

What is it that blocks unprejudiced encounters, what blocks dialogue and trust in each other? What is it that causes fears outside Europe and on this side of the Orient? What losses do both sides incur in the current global political situation?

Or is there a basis of commonalities that holds even in difficult times, and that would – despite different cultural/religious opinions – need to be activated just now? What can tourism do “on this side and that side“ in order to promote encounters, to make people talk to each other, and to learn from each other during travel?

Bernward Kalbhenn

Speaker and Statements
Dr. Katajun Amirpur
Who is afraid of the Mussulman?
Mishel Kilo
Europe and the West from an oriental perspective
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Büttner
The Orient and Europe – Quo vadis?
Christopher Kubaseck
Turkey in Europe?
Dr. Dr. Paul Imhof
Visions on encounters between Orient and Occident – Travel to a future of tourism

2003: Tourism without visions? or: How will the future of tour operator packages look like?

Bernward Kalbhenn

Speaker and Statements
Klaus Betz
Mrs. Conrad, have you seen the folder “Visions“?
Ron Imelauer
The major loss of enjoyment
Dr. Cem Kinay
Frustration and visions of a tourism expert
Tilman Uhlig
Tourististic suicide by aldisation or refined packages with intelligent touristic content?
Prof. Karl Born
Groundhog Year: Is there a future for package tours?

2002: The dream is over - or: How much reality can tourism put up with ?

Tourism caught between reality and holiday dream

Bernward Kalbhenn

Speaker and Statements
Prof. Karl Born
...from the perspective of source markets
Ahmed Slouma
... from a destination perspective
Dirk Schulz
... from the Foreign Office’s perspective
Peter-Mario Kubsch
... from a tour operator’s perspective

2001: The holiday destinations

Makers or puppets of the markets?

Bernward Kalbhenn

Speaker and Statements
Dr. Yusuf Örnek
Power and powerlessness of self-determined tourism development in Turkey
Leida Buglass
Background actors at play – Who pulls the strings? The example of tourism development in the Dominican Republic
Biki S. Khurana
The small and beautiful ones – Is the market of the big ones the death of the small ones?
Prof. Karl Born
The integrated corporate tourism group: It’s the result that matters – and the analysts

2000: The future of resources used in tourism

Who bears the responsibility - and who acts in accordance with it?

Klaus Betz, Thomar Hopfgarten

Speaker and Statements
Prof. Dr. Hansruedi Müller
About the glamour and misery of resources used by tourism
Josep Moll Marqués
The case of the Balearic Islands – Who will pay the price after the boom?
Edith Hunzinger
The case of the Seychelles – Left alone with the responsibility?
Dr. Wolf Michael Iwand
From fig leaf to systematic responsibility

1999: Ethics in tourism - what is a good business

What is a good holiday trip?

Klaus Betz, Bernward Kalbhenn

Speaker and Statements
Prof. Dr. Dietmar Mieth
Ethics in the mine field of business and politics
Achim Lohrie
Self-image fair trade – business ethics at Otto Versand
Heinz Fuchs
The long path to the Global Code of Ethics for Tourism
Peter-Mario Kubsch
The Global Code of Ethics for Tourism – A critical appraisal for business practice

1998: All inclusive trips

Magic formula or deceptive packaging?

Klaus Betz, Thomas Hopfgarten

Speaker and Statements
Monika Röhr
… from an all-inclusive operator’s perspective
Falk Murko
… from the perspective of a consumer protection organisation
Ludmilla Tüting
… from the perspective of tourist destinations

1997: Tour operators´commitment to the environment

Global co-responsibility or ecological selling of indulgences? Where are the offers, where the customers?

Klaus Betz, Thomas Hopfgarten

Speaker and Statements
Dr. Wolf Michael Iwand
Giving answers: Environmental quality is not up for negotiation! The strategic management of sustainable development must be handled by the boss
Hans-Jörg Ruf
In search of eco-viruses. The environmental efforts of Swiss tour operators are in a deadlock
Dr. Hans-Jürgen Nantke
Sustainable tourism: The trend to eco-friendly travel does not yet exist

1996: Entrepreneurial concentration in the German travel industry

The danger of supply and marketing becoming sterile

Klaus Betz, Thomas Hopfgarten

Speaker and Statements
Brigitte Scherer
… from a consumer perspective (a satirical scenario)
Rainer Jansen
… from a travel agent’s perspective
Karin Gollan
… from the perspective of the protectors of fair competition

1995: Last Minute

industrial accident or tourism marketing of the future

Klaus Betz, Thomas Hopfgarten

Speaker and Statements

Karl-Heinz Kögel
… from the perspective of “Europe’s no. 1 for Last Minute”
Klaus Laepple
… from the perspective of a classic travel agent
Hans-Michael Krämer
… from the perspective of market research on tourism

1994: Tourism - victim of violence?

Forms and impact of terrorism and human rights violations in holiday destination countries

Dr. Joachim Braun, ZDF

Speaker and Statements

Theodor Geus
Terrorism in holiday destinations – A destruction of untroubled holiday enjoyment
Marc Weißgerber
Human rights violations in holiday destinations – The perspective of a human rights organisation
Prof. Dr. Friedemann Büttner
Background facts for the case study of Egypt: Political development and radical Islam movements
Dr. Yusuf Örnek
Background facts for the example of Turkey: Condition and perspectives of a “disabling society“
Elke Hetzel
Terrorism and human rights violations in holiday destinations – How does the travel industry react?“
Armin Vielhaber
Human rights violations in holiday destinations – Factor of influence on travel decisions?
Prof. Dr. Hans Ruh
Holidays in political crisis areas – An ethical challenge