The award will highlight initiatives aimed at promoting peace and indigenous tourism, among others that are equally important for the region.
“The future is open. Be the change”. The theme of the WTM Latin America fourth edition encourages tourism professionals to take on a leading role in shaping the future of the industry. This assumption of responsibility is increasingly coupled with sustainability actions, what can be noted both by the urgency of solving environmental and social/economic challenges that impact the planet as well as by the demand from travelers themselves who have been giving preference to suppliers that are more concerned with minimizing these issues.
This scenario stresses the importance of being inspired by responsible tourism initiatives, a perspective that has in WTM Latin America a fertile ground. The variety of debates proposed in the trade show theaters and the annual awards given to outstanding initiatives are important incentives for changing the behavior of the supply chain and consumers. Even more so this year, when the Responsible Tourism Award has been given new categories that are in tune with the Latin American reality and strategic partners who specialize in the subject and work in different countries.
“We are delighted to have the opportunity to recognize initiatives showing a clear environmental, social and economic impact, highlighting issues of great importance to the Latin American community,” says Gustavo Pinto, advisor of WTM Latin America for Responsible Tourism and Award Coordinator. Registrations are already open in the website.
“The inclusion of the new award categories reflects our strategy of keeping a closer dialog with Latin America, bringing to the event even more discussions on key issues for the region such as, for example, tourism in indigenous and traditional communities,” highlights Bianca Pizzolito, head of WTM Latin America. “The original communities concentrate a great deal of cultural wealth on the continent and promote extremely enriching experiences, attracting tourists from different parts of the world,” Gustavo recalls.
Another change as to previous editions is the selection and awarding methodology, which this year has been strengthened by specialist organizations from different Latin American countries. “For the category related to indigenous and traditional communities, we invited the World Indigenous Tourism Alliance, an international alliance based in Chile. In social/economic development and peace promotion we will have the participation of Asociación Colombiana de Turismo Responsable and, for the category related to diversity and equity, we have the Brazilian Instituto Vivejar,” explains Gustavo, adding three entities to the list of strategic allies – La Mano del Mono (Mexico), Adventure Travel Trade Association and Fundación Panameña Turismo Sostenible.
All the associations collaborate to set up the panel of judges and each one will have space to present at least one panel within the Responsible Tourism program. “The debates on the subject have mobilized the trade and brought many spectators to the talks, debates and panels. I believe we will also have a great public turnout in 2024, with many people from Latin America attending, precisely because of the strategy adopted of calling people to take on a leading role in the change and construction of a better future for the tourism industry. It will be a historic edition for Responsible Tourism,” projects the coordinator.
The categories for the fourth edition of the WTM Latin America Responsible Tourism Awards are:
- Best initiatives for biodiversity conservation
- Best initiatives to promote diversity, equity and inclusion in tourism
- Best initiatives to promote the social/economic impact and peace building through tourism.
- Best networking initiatives to promote responsible tourism at the destinations.
- Best initiatives for Indigenous tourism and/or Traditional Communities
- Best initiatives for climate change mitigation
The allied organizations are:
Acotur – Asociación Colombiana de Turismo Responsable: An association that works for the development and promotion of responsible tourism in Colombia, committed to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage, as well as to rebuilding the social fabric for a better country through respect, honesty, legality and cooperation.
Adventure Travel Trade Association: A vital leadership voice and partner for the adventure travel industry worldwide, with a mission to empower the global travel community to protect natural and cultural capital while creating economic value that benefits both business partners and destinations.
Fundación Panameña Turismo Sostenible: Its mission is to co-create sustainable tourism strategies, networks and skills that enable the communities and destinations in Panama to thrive.
It seeks to act as a catalyst of transforming changes, promoting the conservation of the natural and cultural environment, bringing about equitable economic opportunities and enriching the visitor experience.
Instituto Vivejar: An organization that believes in responsible tourism as an effective strategy for changing the reality of destinations. It seeks to build bridges between all those involved in tourism with the purpose of accelerating change, fostering innovation in partnership with governments, destinations, companies, associations and tourists themselves.
La Mano del Mono: An organization that believes in the power of collaborative synergies with the purpose of conserving natural areas through alliances, innovative nature and experiential tourism business models to create well-being in the communities and individuals. It facilitates alliances and promotes innovative social and experiential business models for sustainable nature tourism.
Winta – World Indigenous Tourism Alliance: An alliance with the aim of providing a forum for indigenous peoples who seek to draw on and share their traditional experiences and universal indigenous values and, through tourism, seek to address the need for balance and harmony among different peoples and between people and the environment.
To find out the registration requirements for each theme and to remember the winners of the 2023 edition, just go to WTM Latin America website