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World Responsible Tourism Awards highlight best in industry



The best players in the responsible tourism industry have been recognised at a prestigious awards ceremony that aims to encourage and inspire the tourism industry to consider its impact.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards were announced earlier this month to mark world responsible tourism day. The awards were presented by Justin Francis, managing director of, organiser and founder of the award, and Her Excellency Maitha Al Mahrouqi, undersecretary of Oman Ministry for Tourism.

The awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. The awards argue that all types of tourism can and should be organised in a way that respects and benefits the destinations, from people to the environment.

This year the judges wanted to recognise two very different category winners that demonstrate that it is possible to address the rights agenda whilst being commercially successful.

The first was the South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance (SAASA). The SAASA ‘re-wilds’ animals back to the state where they can be released into semi-wild, multi-species, free-roaming sanctuaries. Currently they have three sanctuaries and they use tourism to help fund conservation efforts.

The second is Campo and Parque dos Sonhos, which has become a model of accessible tourism that recognises the importance for incorporating accessibility. Parque dos Sanhos has raised the bar in terms of accessibility and in outdoor and adventure tourism.

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 winners

Best animal welfare initiative

Gold winners: World Animal Protection, and South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance

Best aviation programme for carbon reduction

Gold winner: Thomson Airways

Best for beach tourism

Gold winner: Chloe Mjini Conservations & Development

Silver winner: Casa de las Olas

Best city hotel

Gold winner: Hotel Verde

Silver winners: ITC Grand Chola, and Jurys Inn Brighton

Best cultural heritage attraction

Silver winner: Festivals of Puebla

Best Destination

Gold winner: V&A Waterfront, Cape Town

Best for engaging people & culture

Gold winner: Kutch Adventures

Silver winner: Footsteps Eco Lodge

People’s choice for responsible tourism

Winner: Nam Nern Night Safari

Finalists: Chepu Adventures Ecolodge, Snowcarbon, TUI Nederland, People and places, ReefCI, Village Ways, The Great Projects, and Mara Naboisho

Best for people with disabilities

Gold winners: Campo and Parque dos Sonhos, and Cavan town & Environs

Silver winner: Native Charming Hotels and Accessible Tourism

Best for poverty reduction

Gold winner: Adventure Alternative

Silver winners: Lewa Wildlife Conservancy, and Mdumbi Backpackers

Best short film for responsible tourism

Gold winner: Travel Oregon’s “John Day River Territory”

Silver winners: GLP Films “Basecamp Foundations- Pioneering Sustainable Tourism in Kenya’s Masai Mara”, and World Wildlife Fund’s ”The Guardian”

Best for wildlife conservation

Gold winner: Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours

Silver winners: Chambai Safari Hotels Pvt, and On Track Safaris

Photo: marganz via Freeimages 

Further reading:

UN ethical tourism efforts praised

Sustainable tourism industry needs third party certification

Green Globe launches sustainable tourism certification

Sustainable tourism is an instrument to ‘protect nature and alleviate poverty’

The Guide to Sustainable Tourism 2014


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