It has been revealed that the Belize Tourism Board will sponsor the World Responsible Tourism Awards that take place later this year. For many, the announcement confirms Belize’s commitment to introducing responsible travel and tourism across the world.
The Belize Tourism Board has today cemented its commitment to responsible tourism with its sponsorship of the World Responsible Tourism Awards. In a statement announcing the partnership, the Central American country highlighted the importance of a joined up approach to sustainability to ensure that the local economy is stimulated and benefits from tourism, and natural resources are protected.
The comment comes as part of the announcement that Belize will be the headline sponsor of the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London, and is an extension of Belize’s national Sustainable Tourism Masterplan, which stipulates how to grow tourism in a sustainable manner.
The winners of the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards will all be organisations which have been recognised for their leadership and for the replicability worldwide of their projects and initiatives.
Justin Francis, CEO of Awards organisers Responsible Travel, said: “By sponsoring the World Responsible Tourism Awards this year, the Belize Tourism Board are sending a clear signal that they are fully committed to driving the development of responsible tourism both in Belize and in the wider world. We are delighted to be working with them.”
Belize is no stranger to the Awards, with two organisations based in the country recognised for their work in recent years. In 2011 community organisation ‘Peninsula Citizens for Sustainable Development’ was awarded ‘Best in a Marine Environment’ for its campaign for locally owned tourism development in the face of planned cruise tourism in the Placencia Peninsula of Belize. The judges were impressed that “After uniting the community to preserve the authenticity of the Peninsula, they have continued to promote collaboration between local tourism organisations and the village council to proactively develop sustainable tourism”.
In 2013 local tour operator and marine conservation organisation Reef CI were highly commended in the ‘Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences” category, in recognition of their successful and innovative tourism project to combat the ecological destruction of Belize’s barrier reef by reducing numbers of invasive lionfish species.
Karen Pike of the Belize Tourism Board said: “Responsible tourism is more than just a few gestures here and there, it’s about a way of life, and it’s something that is ingrained in Belize’s mentality. Our tourism development strategy goes hand in hand with sustainability and if we believe all destinations should consider this approach.
“Along with protecting the wildlife and natural resources, a key element of this strategy is ensuring that tourism truly benefits the local people and keeping Belize chain-free has greatly contributed to this, encouraging local enterprise and businesses to cater for tourists.”
The World Responsible Tourism Awards and the Belize Tourism Board are now making a final call to tourism businesses worldwide, big or small, to submit an entry into the 2016 event. To submit an entry visit the website. Entries will close on Sunday 8 May.
The 2016 categories are as follows:
Best accommodation for responsible employment
Best contribution to wildlife conservation – sponsored by Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council
Best innovation by a tour operator
Best for poverty reduction and inclusion – sponsored by the Tobago House of Assembly
Best responsible tourism campaign – sponsored by Exodus Travel
WTM London’s World Responsible Tourism Day, and the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 ceremony takes place on Tuesday 8 November.
Extra-Mile Water Conservation Efforts Amidst Shortage
While some states are literally flooding due to heavy rains and run-off, others are struggling to get the moisture they need. States like Arizona and California have faced water emergencies for the last few years; water conserving efforts from citizens help keep them out of trouble.
If your area is experiencing a water shortage, there are a few things you can do to go the extra mile.
Repair and Maintain Appliances
Leaks around the house – think showerheads, toilets, dishwashers, and more – lead to wasted water. Beyond that, the constant flow of water will cause water damage to your floors and walls. Have repairs done as soon as you spot any problems.
Sometimes, a leak won’t be evident until it gets bad. For that reason, make appointments to have your appliances inspected and maintained at least once per year. This will extend the life of each machine as well as nip water loss in the bud.
When your appliances are beyond repair, look into Energy Star rated replacements. They’re designed to use the least amount of water and energy possible, without compromising on effectiveness.
Only Run Dishwasher and Washer When Full
It might be easier to do a load of laundry a day rather than doing it once per week, but you’ll waste a lot more water this way. Save up your piles of clothes until you have enough to fully load the washing machine. You could also invest in a washing machine that senses the volume of water needed according to the volume of clothes.
The same thing goes with the dishwasher. Don’t push start until you’ve filled it to capacity. If you have to wash dishes, don’t run the water while you’re washing. Fill the sink or a small bowl a quarter of the way full and use this to wash your dishes.
Recycle Water in Your Yard
Growing a garden in your backyard is a great way to cut down on energy and water waste from food growers and manufacturers, but it will require a lot more water on your part. Gardens must be watered, and this often leads to waste.
You can reduce this waste by participating in water recycling. Using things like a rain barrel, pebble filtering system, and other tools, you can save thousands of gallons a year and still keep your landscaping and garden beautiful and healthy.
Landscape with Drought-Resistant Plants
Recycling water in your yard is a great way to reduce your usage, but you can do even more by reducing the amount of water required to keep your yard looking great. The best drought-resistant plants are those that are native to the area. In California, for example, succulents grow very well, and varieties of cactus do well in states like Arizona or Texas.
Install Water-Saving Features
The average American household uses between 80 and 100 gallons of water every single day. You obviously can’t cut out things like showering or using the toilet, but you can install a few water-saving tools to make your water use more efficient.
There are low-flow showerheads, toilets, and faucet aerators. You could also use automatic shut-off nozzles, shower timers, and grey water diverters. Any of these water saving devices can easily cut your water usage in half.
Research Laws and Ordinances for Your City
Dry states like California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada must create certain laws to keep the water from running out. These laws are put into practice for the benefit of everyone, but they only work if you abide by the laws.
If you live in a state where drought is common, research your state and city’s laws. They might designate one day per week that you’re allowed to water your lawn or how full you can fill a pool. Many people are not well versed in the laws set by their states, and it would mean a lot to your community if you did your part.
Cyprus is the Forerunner for Ecotourism
When I was looking for a second citizenship, I happened to see One Visa’s offer on Cyprus Citizenship by investment program. I had heard about Cyprus being a beautiful country, but I did not know much else, so I decided to start my own research about this gem of a place.
After I did some research, I discovered that Cyprus is a popular destination for tourists. Unfortunately, heavy tourism and the associated development affected villages here and there, with some communities being slowly abandoned. To avoid this from happening any further, Cyprus went into ecotourism, and today, it is the forerunner in this arena. Let’s look in further detail at ecotourism in Cyprus here.
How was it started?
It all started in 2006 with the launch of the “Cyprus Sustainable Tourism Initiative.” This program has the sole scope of promoting ecotourism developments in the tourism industry. It concentrates on those areas which require conservation and environmental safety. At the same time, it helps develop social, as well as economic statuses in the rural parts of Cyprus. Through this program, the government was able to acknowledge that ecotourism will play an essential role in the future of Cyprus, with the concept gaining momentum among tourists from all over the globe.
How to go about it?
So, now you are interested in going for an ecotourism vacation in Cyprus. How will you go about it? I would immediately say that everyone should visit the quaint Cypriot villages spread throughout the island. These communities have a smaller population, and not many tourists visit. They make for a great relaxing spot. Enjoy seeing the bustle of village life go by where simple pleasures abound. Most hamlets are linked by specific minibus tours which ferry tourists to these havens. These trips will have a regular schedule, aimed at promoting ecotourism further. Such tours will be regulated to ensure that while the villages can benefit and develop, they do not get overpopulated or overcrowded with tourists. Therefore, you can be sure to enjoy the beautiful sceneries that nature has to offer here.
If you are wondering if there are any activities to do here, my answer would be: “Yes, plenty.” You can go for some guided walks across various regions here. Here you will be able to explore the diversified natural beauty and wildlife of the area. Several agritourism activities and services are planned to open shortly. Once launched, you will be able to engage in picking olives, milking goats, and several other such events here.
What can be learned?
Although we are aware that natural resources need to be preserved, we do not always remember it in real life. When we go on tours such as these, we can realize the significance of protecting nature. Also, when more and more people visit these places, the concept of ecotourism will become popular among more people. Awareness about ecotourism is set to grow and spread throughout the world. Subsequently, sustainable tourism will gain popularity around the globe with Cyprus being the forerunner for ecotourism .