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Announcing the Finalists of the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015

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A worldwide campaign to end canned hunting, a tour operator offering locally-led alternative city tours and a mangrove conservation and education project in Madagascar are among the organisations included in list of finalists for the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM. But who will take the gold?

After intense debate by the judging panel, 37 organisations have been chosen across 12 categories, recognising achievements from animal welfare campaigns to accessible tourism practices in one of the most diverse lists of finalists the World Responsible Tourism Awards has ever seen. The organisations, which range from tourism industry giants such as TUI Travel UK & Ireland, to tiny individual enterprises such as Cnoc Suain in Ireland, or Felin Talgarth Mill in Wales, UK, are based in 20 countries worldwide, with Cyprus, Hong Kong and Finland represented for the first time ever.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 Finalists:

&Beyond
Agri Tourism Development Company Pvt Ltd
Aruba Tourism Authority
Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge
Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Reserve & Wellness Retreat
Campaign Against Canned Hunting
Cnoc Suain
Connemara Wild Escapes
Coral Cay Conservation
Cyprus Tourism Organisation
Endeavour Safaris
Felin Talgarth Mill
Gansbaai
Grootbos Private Nature Reserve
Hetta Huskies
Hong Kong Airport Authority
Honko Mangrove Education & Conservation
LooLa Adventure Resort
Loophead Peninsula
Lotus Travel AB
Matava Resort
North Island Seychelles
North Sailing
OneSeed Expeditions
RuralSuite Hotel-Apartamentos
Scandic
Shangri-La’s Vilingili Resort & Spa, Maldives
Soneva
The Donkey Sanctuary
Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge
Travel for Wildlife
TUI UK & Ireland
Turtle Bay Beach Club
Uakari Lodge
Ullswater Steamers
Uncornered Market
Urban Adventures

Commenting on the entries received this year, managing director of Responsible Travel, and founder of the Awards Justin Francis says “In our entries this year we’ve seen organisations clearly influenced by the work of our previous winners, for example city tours run by homeless guides. It is our responsibility to find those inspirational people again.

“Looking at our hugely diverse list of finalists this year, I think we have found these people. The organisations in the list really prove that responsible tourism is viable and can be successful in all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream. These organisations are the shining stars of responsible tourism.

Professor Harold Goodwin, chair of the Awards’ judging panel noted that 2015 has revealed some of the strongest entries ever received by the Awards team. He says “Our aim is to surprise and inspire, but the standard is rising, and we have to keep pushing up our expectations of our winners. Being a finalist for one of these Awards is not easy; the organisations are required to go through a rigorous process, evidencing the impact rather than intent of their work.

“We can only award those who enter, and I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to share their stories with the judges. The finalists we’ve chosen are just the tip of the iceberg of groundbreaking, inspirational work being done in responsible tourism across the globe”

Simon Press, Senior Director for World Travel Market London says “The judging for this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM has been the most competitive for many years. I am delighted with the quality and the diversity of the finalists. I look forward to congratulating the winners and all the finalised at the awards ceremony, which forms part of World Responsible Tourism Day -the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world- on Wednesday 4 November.”

Environment

4 Common Items That Can be Reused Again and Again

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reuse reduce recycle plastic bottles etc
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Vanatchanan | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/vanatchanan%20buahom

As a society we are getting much better at taking our obligations to the world and environment around us more seriously. This is undoubtedly a good thing! The effects of climate change are beginning to manifest across the world, and this is turning the issue from an abstract threat into a very real danger. Trying to introduce some greener, more eco-friendly practices into your life isn’t just a great way of doing something beneficial for society and the world around you. It is a wonderful way of engaging positively with the world and carries with it numerous psychological benefits.

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Being a greener, more ecologically friendly person doesn’t require any dramatic life changes. Breaking or making a few small habits is all it takes to make your life a greener one. In this article we look at one of the easiest, yet most effective green practices to get into: reusing everyday items.

Jars and Containers

Glass and metal are widely recycled, and recycling is a good thing! However, consider whether any containers you buy, whether it’s a tub of ice cream or a jar of coffee, can be washed out and reused for something else. Mason jars, for example, can be used to store homemade pasta sauce and can be washed for future use. Once you start thinking about it, you will find endless opportunities to reuse your old containers.

Soda Bottles

An ice-cold soda is a wonderful treat on a hot day, but buying soda can get expensive, and the manufacturing and distribution of the drinks themselves isn’t great for the environment. However, by holding on to your old soda bottles and repurposing them as water bottles, you can save money on drinks, or use them to measure out water for your garden.

Plastic Bags

Most of the time groceries come in paper bags, which are better for the environment than the plastic alternatives, but they are less durable and thus harder to reuse. Whenever the store places your items in a plastic bag, hang onto it so you can reuse the bags again. If you want to take it one step further, consider looking into buying some personalized recycled bags. These bags are designed to last for a long time and are made of recycled materials. They look striking and unique, they’ll turn heads, and maybe even attitudes!

Seeds

If you’re a keen gardener, then you will already probably know how to reseed your plants in order to ensure a fresh crop after each plant’s lifecycle. If you have space in your garden, or haven’t yet tried your hand at gardening, then consider planting a small vegetable plot. Growing your own veggies means that you’ll be helping to cut back on the emissions generated by their transport and production. The best part about growing your own food in this way is that, by harvesting properly and saving the seeds, you can be set up with fresh vegetables for life!

Reusing and recycling common household items is an easy way to make your world a little bit greener. Once you start looking for these opportunities you’ll realize that they’re everywhere!

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Environment

These 5 Green Office Mistakes Are Costing You Money

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eco-friendly green offices
Shutterstock Licensed Photo - By Stokkete | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/cyano

The sudden interest in green business is very encouraging. According to recent reports, 42% of all companies have rated sustainability as an important element of their business. Unfortunately, the focus on sustainability will only last if companies can find ways to use it to boost their ROI.

Many businesses get so caught up in being socially conscious that they hope the financial aspect of it takes care of itself. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to go green and boost your net income at the same time.

Here are some important mistakes that you will want to avoid.

Only implementing sustainability on micro-scale

The biggest reason that brands are going green is to improve their optics with their customers. Too many businesses are making very minor changes, such as processing paperwork online and calling themselves green.

Customers have become wary of these types of companies. If you want to earn their business, you are going to need to go all the way. Bring in a green business consultant and make every feasible change to demonstrate that you are a green organization from top to bottom.

Not prioritizing investments by long-term ROI

It isn’t realistic to build an entirely green organization overnight. You will need to allocate your capital wisely.

Before investing in any green assets or services, you should always conduct a long-term cost benefit analysis. The initial investment for some green services may be over $20,000. If they don’t shave your cost by at least $3,000 a year, they probably aren’t worth the investment.

Determine which green investments will have the best pay off over the next 10 years. Make these investments before anything else. Then compare your options within each of those categories.

Implementing green changes without a plan

Effective, long-term planning is the key to business success. This principle needs to be applied to green organizations as well.

Before implementing a green strategy, you must answer the following questions:

  • How will I communicate my green business philosophy to my customers?
  • How will running a green business affect my revenue stream?
  • How will adopting green business strategies change my monthly expenses? Will they increase or decrease them?
  • How will my company finance green upgrades and other investments?

The biggest mistake that too many green businesses make is being overly optimistic with these forecasts. Take the time to collect objective data and make your decisions accordingly. This will help you run a much more profitable green business.

Not considering the benefits of green printing

Too many companies believe that going paperless is the only way to run a green organization. Unfortunately, going 100% paperless it’s not feasible for most companies.

Rather than aim for an unrealistic goal, consider the option of using a more environmentally friendly printer. It won’t be perfect, but it will be better than the alternative.

According to experts from Doranix, environmental printers have several benefits:

  • They can process paper that has been completely recycled.
  • They consume less energy than traditional printers.
  • They use ink that is more environmentally friendly.

You want to take a look at different green printers and compare them. You’ll find that some will meet your needs as a green business.

Poorly communicating your green business strategy to customers

Brand positioning doesn’t happen on its own. If you want to run a successful green business, you must communicate your message to customers as clearly as possible. You must also avoid the appearance that you are patronizing them.

The best approach is to be clear when you were first making the change. I’ll make an announcement about your company‘s commitment to sustainability.

You also want to reinforce this message overtime by using green labels on all of your products. You don’t have to be blatant with your messaging at this stage. Simply provide a small, daily reminder on your products and invoices.

Finally, it is a good idea to participate in green business seminars and other events. If your community has a local Green Chamber of Commerce, you should consider joining as well.

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