Heroes of responsible tourism take one step closer to Awards

Heroes of responsible tourism take one step closer to Awards

Debate over who will win the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014, sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism, begins in earnest today as the official Longlist is released.

Included on the list are organisations as diverse as the London Science Museum, the Cape Town Carnival, and British Airways, while destinations from Mexico and Arizona, Iceland and the Cotswolds are also represented.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards, which will be hosted at WTM, the leading global event for the travel industry in London on Wednesday 5 November have released the the 200+ longlist in their first steps towards deciding this year’s selection of the most exciting and enduring responsible holiday experiences in the world. Including organisations longlisted for their approach to animal welfare, carbon reduction, accessibility and even beach tourism, the Longlist offers a snapshot of some of the industry’s most pressing – and contentious – issues.

Speaking about the Longlist, Justin Francis, founder of the Awards and Managing Director of responsibletravel.com, said: “At this stage of the Awards we don’t know enough about the Longlist to decide the winners, but we’ve had just enough of a taste to get excited about the possibilities. The organisations selected from public nomination each represent very different, in some cases competing, approaches to responsible tourism. Looking through that list should give a distinct flavour of the trends and new developments in responsible tourism.”

The longlisted organisations will now be put through their paces with a specially designed application requiring them to provide detailed metrics and information about their policies, practices and achievements in responsible tourism before being submitted to the Judging Panel.

Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Awards Judging Panel, was keen to impress being on the Longlist is no guarantee of an Award: “Our Judges have yet to see the organisations in the Longlist, which have been drawn from public nomination, and there is still much work to be done before the Panel meets to decide the winners in September.  Not all of those listed here will make the cut. In the next month we’ll be asking them to put forward the best possible case for why they feel they can be credible and inspirational winners this year.”

This year marks the first year the Awards have released their Longlist to the public, demonstrating the wide range of responsible tourism programmes considered every year.

Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, World Travel Market commented: “I am delighted that WTM are once again hosting the World Responsible Tourism Awards and that there has been a really great response, as seen on the released longlist, from organisations who want to be awarded for their efforts. World Responsible Tourism Day has grown to be the world’s biggest responsible tourism event, so it really does make it the perfect platform to reward those companies.

Commenting on the diversity, Alison Cryer, Director of Oman Ministry of Tourism, MBR office UK & Ireland said: “The Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism is pleased to support the announcement of such a diverse Longlist for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014, and to see so many interesting responsible tourism initiatives nominated this year. We will be looking forward to seeing who will be selected for the announcement of the Shortlist in September.

Holidaymakers and the industry are encouraged to review the list and share their opinions on who they think might deserve to win an Award this year. Read the full Longlist and share your opinions on who will win on the official World Responsible Tourism Awards website.

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Notes to editors

About the Awards

For more information on the World Responsible Tourism Awards visit www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com

Now in their 11th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards are headline sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism, and were founded in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.

The Awards are organised by responsibletravel.com and ICRT (International Center for Responsible Tourism). The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market during its dedicated World Responsible Tourism Day, which this year takes place on Wednesday 05 November.

The event has the support of prominent mainstream media partners such as Metro, as well as industry broadcasters such as TTG (Scandinavia, Middle East and North Africa), and Selling Long Haul.

This year, the Awards feature 11 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism.

About responsibletravel.com:

responsibletravel.com is the world’s leading online travel agent for responsible holidays and a pioneer of responsible tourism. Started in 2001 with backing from Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop the site’s mantra is ‘travel like a local’. It sells holidays that are about more than just a brief stay somewhere – instead it is travel that offers a real connection with the people, the landscape, the culture, the food and the environment. The holidays also support communities and conservation.

In addition responsibletravel.com:

– founded and organises The World Responsible Tourism Awards, celebrating 11 years at World Travel Market this year

– campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.

– is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest 2 minute travel guides

CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisier’s The Future 500, Thames and Hudson’s 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism.

The company is based in Brighton’s North Laine district, England.

About the Sultanate of Oman:

The Sultanate of Oman’s diverse landscape includes 3165 kilometres of pristine, sandy Indian ocean beaches, magnificent desert expanses, majestic fjords in Musandam in the far north, the striking Hajar Mountains, and the lush green valleys of Dhofar, in the south. Approximately the size of Germany Oman’s diverse natural biodiversity will leave you breathless.

Whether you have a passion for adventure, culture or luxury Oman has something for everyone. From diving and sailing to dolphin and turtle spotting the adventure possibilities are endless. Home of frankincense, Oman’s 6000 years of history includes four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 500 forts and castles, and the modern day Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque and Royal Opera House.

Oman air has a wide range of international flight connections to Oman’s capital city Muscat including daily non – stop flights from London Heathrow arriving 7 hours later in Muscat with a wide range of connecting flights to Salalah and Musandam.

Oman is committed to developing tourism that supports its local communities and also promotes cultural integrity and the protection of the environment, historic and cultural heritage. For more information visit www.omantourism.gov.om

About Harold Goodwin:

Harold Goodwin has chaired the Judges since the wards were launched, Harold is Responsible Tourism Advisor to World Travel Market and is responsible for the Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London (which attracts 2000 participants every year), Cape Town and Sao Paulo. He co-chairs the series of International Conferences on Responsible Tourism in Destinations and Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University. www.haroldgoodwin.into www.crtmmu.org


Alexander Lyons

07842614731 (UK)