In 2021, the World Responsible Tourism Awards went global

In 2021, the World Responsible Tourism Awards went global

With the launch of the Global Awards this year, chosen by an international panel of judges from amongst the regional Gold Awards, the programme has come of age.

Four of the six Global Awards went to India, one went to South Africa and another one to the Maldives. 

In 2004 the Responsible Tourism Awards were launched to recognise those taking responsibility to make tourism better and encourage others to replicate practices that make tourism better. We have recognised hundreds of businesses and destinations that have tried and tested ways to increase tourism’s positive impacts and reduce the negative ones. These “tried-and-tested” means will be showcased on the WTM’s Platform for Change, being built over the next year to be the centrepiece of WTM London in 2022, 20 years from the Cape Town Declaration.

Organised from 2004 to 2015 by Responsible Travel, they have been presented at WTM London for 18 years and have grown to include regional awards in Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of the World. Next year we shall expand to include the Far East. These are now very prestigious awards; they are not easy to win. However, every year remarkable new examples of responsible businesses and destinations are “discovered” and recognised through the Awards. Do not be daunted by the application questionnaire – see it rather as an opportunity to document what you are doing and its impact, and use the information you send us to communicate what you have achieved with your clients, suppliers, partners and neighbours. There is a business advantage in that.

With the Platform for Change, there will be a more significant profile for those winners selected to go on the platform and willing to share their approach to taking responsibility — and more significant impact for the Awards in driving change across the industry.

In 2008 Kerala invited us to hold the second International Conference on Responsible Tourism in Destinations in Kochi (Cochin). The state was already experimenting with Responsible Tourism but wanted to learn from international experience. More than 500 Indian and foreign delegates and 61 speakers from more than 29 countries attended the Conference. It assisted Kerala in establishing Responsible Tourism as its tourism strategy at the state and local level. Other states and many businesses across the sub-continent are now adopting Responsible Tourism, in no small part inspired by the success of the Responsible Tourism approaches, many piloted in and proven in Kerala. India is sure to be prominent at WTM London in November 2022, when we look back over 20 years of the movement.

The 2021 Indian Responsible Tourism Awards Winners with the judges’ reasons can be found here.

The judges’ reasons for the 2021 Rest of the World Responsible Tourism Awards Winners can be found here.

The Africa and Latin America Awards remain open and will be presented at WTM Africa and WTM Latin America in 2022.

To read more about our prestigious award winners, please click here.

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Harold is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracted 4000 participants in 2020 and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and chairs the panels of judges for the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family, Africa, India and Latin America. Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.

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