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Voice4Africa – Tourism Day on 27.05.2020 in Berlin

Voice4Africa in front of the Reichstag in Berlin

Today we post in English to share emotions with our dear business partners in Africa about our peaceful call to our politicians.

Tourism Day on 27.05.2020. The biggest demo for our tourism industry in Germany took place in Berlin with more than 1.000 participants in about 10 different locations in Berlin with about 400 busses coming from all over in Germany. Also, to give a voice for all those in our industry, who do not have a voice anymore with the absurd EU free cancellation law still being place, despite the fact, this was never made for a pandemic.

It is our hope, that our politicians now finally take the time to study and realise the dramatic situation that the tourism industry in Germany is being faced with by still applying an EU travel law, that has never been made for a pandemic.

It is important that our politicians finally realise the urgency of suspending the law for the pandemic. The demand is for a comprehensive Corona rescue parachute to protect the tourism industry and save thousands of jobs. Our government needs to immediately stop the ‘free cancellation law’ and thus convince the consumer protection front of our EU Commission and explain why this is the better and more foresighted consumer protection than what the EU Commission is referring to as consumer protection.

Our Government with the Chancellor, Ministry of Economy and Ministry of Finance also need to explain the Ministry of Consumer Protection that responsible use of the financial resources of our companies and our government is just as important for this very same reason.

Germany, being the biggest net contributor to the EU, needs to also make this a valid point to the EU underlining the necessity of responsible budgetary planning.

It is high time now to realise this and to look beyond the horizon – for our future and the future of our consumers – and to the future of our consumer children as well as our consumer grandchildren.

Furthermore, also the EU Commission and our government need to realise better today than tomorrow the huge impact their decisions also have for our destinations in emerging and developing countries.

For the nature and wildlife protection as much as for the communities in our destinations in Africa, where this EU travel law with the free cancellation ride has already created huge damagePlease see this link for a short summary, we prepared on this subject with facts and figures.

The Task Force Voice4Africa has just been formed by the KPRN network GmbH and is a joint force of 9 tour operators from the DACH region specialising in Africa, including ourselves and Chamäleon Reisen in Berlin for example, whom we gave our voice with for our task force in front of the Reichstag.

Voice4Africa draws attention particularly to the serious consequences of the stop of tourism to Africa and the protection of species and nature in African countries. More info shortly on the www.voice4africa

Voice4Africa is primarily concerned with sustainability and the safeguarding of millions of jobs and therefore livelihoods in the African travel destinations, which are popular with German tourists. National Parks and Game Reserves in Africa are financed 70-100% by income from tourism through National Park Fees. If these funds are lost due to EU free cancellation law and a lack of tourism, parks and reserves lack the means to adequately protect the animals from poaching.

In South Africa alone, more than 700.000 people work in tourism, who each feed about 8 people in average, this means there are 5,6 Mio. dependants on tourism alone in South Africa, which reflect about 10% of the inhabitants. If there are no more tourists, numerous livelihoods are threatened.

Thank you!

With regards to T-Day in Berlin in front of the Reichstag, we would also like to thank the organisers of this event from the bottom of our heart!

Kevin from Reisebüro Fernweh and Anke from asr and Budde Urlaubsreisen, you have done an excellent job with efficient organisation! Anke, you have played a sensational part moderating the event!

Thomas Bösl from RTK, you have held an excellent speech. The very same applies to Ingo from Chamäleon Reisen, Rainer from AER.coop, Timo from America Unlimited and Ralf from Erlebe Fernreisen.

Thanks to all of you and sorry to those, who I may have forgotten to mention now.

Thank you, dearest Barbara and Florian from The Travelling Art Gallery in Cape Town for your spontaneous support on site and also for taking such great photographs.

Thank you Dr. Christoph Hoffmann for showing pro-active interest in our project!

Thank you to our politicians for showing faces and appreciation in front of the Reichstag and for going in a dialog with us. Marcel Klinge, Roman Mueller-Boehm, Paul Lehrieder, Markus Tressel, Thomas Bareiss, Gregor Gysi, Gabriele Hiller-Ohm and Yüksel Gülistan.

It is our deepest hope, that you are going to transfer the key points to the decision makers to show the urgency for immediate AND proper action.

To start with – all balloons are recyclable! It was an emotional day for the survival of sustainable tourism.

3.000 balloons symbolic for our 3 Mio. employees in tourism

3.000 balloons that were released into the air at 11:55 hrs in front of the Reichstag were symbolic for our 3 Mio. employees in Germany in the tourism industry alone. We are the 3rd biggest industry in Germany, before the car industry and after the health and retail sector, and the government now finally needs to realise, that our industry is relevant to our system.

The many colours symbolise the different facettes of our tourism industry. The 1.000 black balloons symbolise our traditional colour of mourning, therefore the number of jobs seriously threatened in our industry, whereby many of those have already sadly lost their jobs – mainly due to the EU free cancellation law still being in place, when it should have been stopped immediately with the beginning of the global travel ban.

To round up this emotional day, we were proud pioneers on the first official ThePioneer.One excursion on the Spree with Chief Editor Michael Bröcker for sustainable journalism. Not only gave he an excellent intro on their mega impressive project, it was also excellent sightseeing of the Government District in Berlin.

Predicate: truly worthwhile! Very different to a sunset cruise on the majestic Zambezi, however just as great, I have to admit…

Ending the day with an Italian dinner with Dirk Inger from DRV Deutscher Reiseverband. Thank you for your valueable time and great exchange!

For all those of you, who are interested in gaining more political insight, please also have a look at our previous Blogs, where we have also always linked the relevant insight details to our summaries on pdfs to present a more detailed picture on the comprehensive tourism subject.

Translations into English or French can easily be done with the German Start-up www.deepl.com who provide excellent translations.

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