The competition for the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM has started in earnest as the longlist of organisations vying for the top spot at WTM in London this November is announced.
The 206 tourism businesses, organisations and initiatives come from a record 69 countries worldwide and with the inclusion of the International Association of Antarctica Tour Operators in the longlist this year, 2015 is the first year the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Longlist encompasses every continent on the planet.
Among the list are the winners of the recent Irish Responsible Tourism Awards and African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa, the first two regional schemes in the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM family. Having already impressed the judges at a regional level with a range of inspirational, leading efforts in responsible tourism, these organisations are now going forward to compete on the world stage.
Justin Francis, Awards founder and managing director of organisers Responsible Travel comments: “The incredible variety of organisations which have made it through to the longlist this year demonstrates just how widely recognised and important responsible tourism is becoming around the world.
“We’re looking at everything from individual hotels and tiny local organisations to tourism giants such as TUI and Virgin Atlantic.
Each and every one of these organisations is playing an important role in championing responsible tourism – the submission forms have given us an exciting taste of what they are doing and we’re looking forward to discovering more about their unique and inspirational stories”.
World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press says: “The World Responsible Tourism Awards are a central pillar to World Responsible Tourism Day, the largest day of responsible tourism action around the globe.
“The awards act as an inspiration to the industry demonstrating what can be achieved with a focus on responsible tourism. The variety of companies, both big and small and from all around the world, on the 2015 long list demonstrates the industry’s commitment to protecting the environments it promotes.”
The longlisted organisations will now be put through their paces with the Awards customary rigourous questioning, which will then be shared with the judging team. Chair of Judges, Professor Harold Goodwin says “We have had an extraordinarily strong response to the Awards this year, both in terms of numbers and quality of submissions.
This is now the longlisted organisations’ opportunity to really demonstrate to us in detail what they are achieving in responsible tourism.
“Not all of the organisations below will make the cut and when it meets in July, the judging team will be looking for only the most innovative and inspirational examples of responsible tourism in practice to put forward as the 2015 shortlist”.
The independent judging team will debate and make their own decision as to the winners, based on the evidence and information provided to them. Any support or otherwise for the longlisted organisations can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read the full longlist at http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/media/press-release-2015-longlist.htm.
The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM shortlist will be announced in July 2015, with the winners announced in a ceremony on 4th November 2015 on World Responsible Tourism Day at WTM in London, part of the world’s largest event for responsible tourism action.
Notes to editors
About the World Responsible Tourism Awards
For more information on the World Responsible Tourism Awards visit www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com
Now in their 12th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded by Responsible Travel in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.
The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel and ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism). The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, during World Responsible Tourism Day, the world’s largest event for responsible tourism which this year takes place on Wednesday 4th November.
This year, the Awards feature 13 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism. For the first year tourism businesses and organisations around the world can submit themselves for consideration. The only publically voted Award is the People’s Choice Award. Public voting for the People’s Choice will be open early June.
Follow Awards news and updates on Twitter: @RTAwards or #WRTA2015 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/responsibletourismawards where you can also find stories from our previous international winners.
About Responsible Travel: Responsible Travel is the founder and organiser of the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the world’s leading market place for small and tailor-made tour operators, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.
Responsible Travel connects these operators with people looking for real & authentic holidays. Starting with just 2 tour operators in 2001 we’ve become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small & specialist tour companies in 197 countries. As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places & local people (not always positive) grows.
We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people & places responsibly.
In addition Responsible Travel:
– campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
– is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest travel guides
CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 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 World Travel Market
World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.
Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.
WTM, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.
World Travel Market is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s WTM portfolio, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. www.wtmworld.com