Max Haberstroh, Germany

Tourism Hero Max Haberstroh lives in Germany. He has been involved in Travel and Tourism for over 30 years on long and short-term assignments, mostly for government and non-government organizations (GTZ, CIM, OTCA/ACTO, Conservation International, IFES), in Asia (Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Middle East), Africa/Indian Ocean, the Balkans, Caucasus and Russia, and in South America.

Haberstroh was nominated for the Hero Status by Burkhard Herbote, publisher of the World Tourism Directory, and himself is seen as the Guru of global tourism connections.

Max was entrusted to help develop sustainable, responsible tourism on a national or regional level, focusing on institution building and marketing/promotion.

Three professional milestones include:

  • first international experiences as an assistant to diplomatic missions for Germany in Southeast Asia
  • Marketing director of the Nuremberg Municipality (7 years),
  • Consulting projects in Kyrgyzstan (7+ years) before Russia, Madagascar, Brazil, and other postings in Germany and abroad.

Extraordinary life experience:

Through the years following the break-up of the Soviet Union (1991) Max lived and worked in Russia and neighboring Central Asian transformation countries. Moreover, from 1976 to 2001, he witnessed spectacular economic changes that took capitalism to Maoist China due to business and leisure travel to China.

Herbote says in his nomination:

Max has not only a wonderful personality. I have known Max for around 40 years.

When one speaks to him, one realizes two things at one, not three. He is a competent expert in his field.

He is very open-minded and future-oriented, but at the same time, he is also ‘down-to-earth.

He thinks globally and acts locally. He can communicate with a head of state and the women cleaning the bathroom in his hotel.

Additionally, he has a huge sense of humor and uses this success to open doors and hearts.

He, of course, understands the “big picture” of “travel and tourism”, and the role tourism plays for “world peace.”

He may not have been THE first consultant in sustainable tourism, seeing the importance of bridging the tourism industry with the industries around “renewable energies.” Still definitive, he was one of the first ones.

Max was the one who connected the new IRENA International Renewable Energy Agency with the tourism industry.

He often participated in WTN Zoom conferences but often stayed in the background. He is not the character who would bring himself into the spotlight.

He is humbled and modest, and he delivers excellent work around the globe. Officially he has retired, but his channels remain open to every one of his contacts.

He deserves a “thank you,” an award from the tourism industry for his life’s work.

In accepting the HEROES recognition, Max responded by saying:

My special thanks go to Burghard Herbote, with whom I share a longtime friendship. It has constantly grown from the sound basis of a  multi-faceted professional relationship since the 1990s up to today’s ‘late youth maturity’ 😉

Juergen Steinmetz, chairman of World Tourism Network, congratulated Max Habertstroh in endorsing what Herbote said: “This recognition for Max is way overdue and deserved. A true expert, leader, and veteran of our sector.”