ITB Asia’s poor carbon footprint


BANGKOK, 6 November 2017: Travel shows are embracing technology fast and it shows in the reduction of paper waste.  We no longer have the bulky sellers and buyers catalogues. Instead, there are apps that provide a calendar and online databases to provide sellers with access to buyer profiles.

It’s a pity that ITB Asia official trade media is living in the past churning out pulp dailies on heavy glossy paper that are destined for the garbage trucks.

Who takes ITB Asia show dailies home? Apart from the weight, the dailies are freely available online, downloadable to a flash drive in seconds.

In fact, they make for a better read online. The photos are crisper and when you arrive home you just print one digital page showing you were busy at the company booth so the boss will grunt “well done… you were having fun?”

I read both ITB Dailies every day, online, while sitting in the ITB Asia coffee corner, using the Wi-FI hot spot. So why bother printing them just to fill up garbage trucks by the ton?  Such a waste and it plays havoc with ITB Asia’s efforts to reduce its carbon footprint.

ITB Asia deserves criticism for its tacit approval that allows the media to dump two heavy glossy newspapers daily on delegates. Exhibitors  are clearly preoccupied with more important matters like fine-tuning their sales pitch for the day’s 10 to 15 appointments.

We are talking time warp here; a throw back to the 1990s that should have never survived to deliver throwaway pulp at the doors of ITB Asia 2017.  The wasteful and irrelevant practice should end and until it does it will mar the event’s claims of being eco-friendly. It even knocks off a few brownie points for the host venue, Marina Bay Sands, as it adds yet more tons of waste that clearly bog down the mega venue’s efforts to achieve a light carbon footprint.

We all enjoy a good read over coffee and the reminders of silly unflattering shots at the event’s parties. But take a look around the show booths; we are all glued to our mobile devices. That is where we want to read the news. Tap on it save send it home and save trees.  If ITB Asia can link sellers and buyers through an app for the duration of the show then it should be able to provide similar live news alerts to busy show goers via their mobiles, courtesy of the  show’s two endorsed publishers. To sanction print dailies is retro.  Let’s hope 2018 will see ITB Asia introduce a show news app, with all the party shots and sponsored posts that we can print on demand or press the delete button.