Burkhard Herbote was born in 1965 in Beckum Germany. Industrial Management Assistant Marketing and Sales (Export) is his profession. Burkhard started creating an archive with “not easy to reach” destinations in the 80s. This exotic archive was mentioned in German newspapers, magazines and by broadcast media quite often. Professional tourism companies obtained information to get contacts about new or “difficult” destinations. Burkhard decided to start creating the first global “guide to the guides of tourism and country information”, the Worldwide Travel Information Contact Book. Subsequently the title was changed into the World Tourism Directory. Further he is editor the Directory of German International Relations. Since 1983 he is trade visitor of the annual International Tourism Exchange in Berlin (ITB).
His publications or websites were called the “Bible of Tourism” or commented on like “Why are we still googling when it is easy to find everything with you?”
He states the question “Why you doing so – everything is online?!” is justified and not justified same time. A great deal of material is not available online or it is just automatically generated yellow pages without an editorial team and without quality control. Due to this fact data rubbish is growing. In fact the World Tourism Directory is more than a selection of 6,000 directories around the world many of which were created for WTD only.
Just because something is online it does not mean it is up-to-date, correct, or complete. Nearly every day he and his deputy editor-in-chief Denis Dionne find information websites which are somehow “official”, but not touched since months or even years. They just include a news teaser and produce the impression of a good and interactive website, but in fact it is a data cemetery. Burkhard wanted to do it different, to do it better. The progress is a result from dissatisfied people who want to make it better.
Burkhard Herbote is with the Advisory Board of the International Institute for Peace through Tourism, Consultant International Affairs of the World Association of Travel Agencies, and close partner of the International Coalition of Tourism Partners. Burkhard works with passion, love, competence in research, data quality, view for accuracy and details, and a view for the big picture at the same time.
There are too many “similar” “Yellow pages rubbish”, where nobody cares about quality after editing/transfer of data for the first time. Being different and better is the art. His work is not just to know about correct data structures of addresses, phone numbers etc., geography and international politics, the real work is bridging cultures, cross-cultural communication and intercultural competence in order to be able to get access to information sources, which, also in tech age, finally are human beings. Because of this reason B.H. is member of the Global Citizen Forum
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