Help your favourite hotel or tour company win a World Responsible Tourism Award

Help your favourite hotel or tour company win a World Responsible Tourism Award

Have you been on holiday recently and been amazed at what your hotel was doing for the local community, or perhaps taken a tour that really impressed you for the way it was committed to the wildlife you went to see? Were they running a campaign or sharing stories that really inspired you?

Each year the World Responsible Tourism Awards celebrates the women and men working in tourism who deliver just these kinds of experiences. It doesn’t matter if they run a tiny tour company or a multinational hotel chain. If they are changing the world through travel, then they could win the longest running responsible tourism awards in the industry.

As the organisers of the awards, World Travel Market wants to make sure that as many great companies as possible to enter and stand a chance of winning. So this year they want tourists all across the world to get in touch with the travel businesses they love, either by email, on social media or through the nominate buttons on the website, and encourage them to apply. The awards are completely free to enter, and the process doesn’t take long at all.

For 2018, there are five categories that companies and organisations can enter:

  • ‘Best for Managing Success’ is seeking out those place destinations that are coping with the demands of so-called ‘Overtourism’. WTM is looking for the places that really made your stay more enjoyable by keeping crowds and queues down and making sure locals were happy to share their home with you.
  • ‘Best for Communicating Responsible Tourism’ seeks to recognise either a campaign by a company or organisation that has raised awareness of an issue, changed behaviour or a marketing campaign using the aspirations of Responsible Tourism. From elephant riding to orphanages or plastic waste, there have been many stories in the press about tourism recently. If a company’s campaign on one of these or any other issue really got to you – let them know.
  • ‘Best for Employment Conditions’ award will be given to the company leading the way to ensure quality work for its staff. Happy, engaged staff make for better holidays for us all, so if you were taken aback by your experiences with a company’s employees on holiday, maybe they deserve to win.
  • ‘Best for Local Economic Benefit’ is for ensuring best practice in benefiting the local economy through employment and local sourcing. We go on holiday to discover other cultures and find out what’s unique about them. Have any hotels or tour companies opened your eyes and given you the chance to live like a local for a few days?
  • ‘Best for Wildlife’ award will be given to the company or organisation who impresses the judges the most with its work using tourism to improve the conservation of species and/or animal welfare in the wild. From safaris to scuba diving, tourism is filled with amazing encounters with animals in the wild. The best ones are the ones that enrich the world we go to see as much as they do us. If you know about an amazing organisation protecting the natural world, help them be better known.

To help your favourite travel companies get the recognition they deserve, please share this post on their Facebook page, link to it and tag them on twitter, or send it to them by email. Entries close on August 6th.

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Jeremy Smith is a writer, speaker and sustainable tourism consultant. He is co-founder of Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, an initiative that supports tourism organisations in declaring a climate emergency and working together to reduce their carbon emissions in line with the Science Based Targets. He is the author of Transforming Travel - realising the potential of sustainable tourism (2018), and co-founder of, the travel industry sustainable tourism website news site. He consults widely on sustainable tourism strategy and communication, with recent clients including Bruges Ommeland, GSTC, English National Parks, Tripadvisor, the Travel Foundation, and the European Travel Commission. He is a member of Travalyst’s Independent Advisory Board and was a member of Rotterdam’s International Advisory Board in 2019, helping develop a new vision for the city’s tourism.

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