Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Meet the Finalists: World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016

As many of us recover from a busy Halloween, the travel industry is gathering at the annual World Travel Market in London, a meeting and sales venue that influences where tour operators and media will send clients in the year ahead.

Since there's a global gathering of travel industry represented at WTM, it's also the time when a lot of other organizations present studies, innovations, and awards to garner the attention of the assembled.

Today, Responsible Travel has announced the 13 finalists in the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by Belize, with a strong focus on innovation.

We know you'll be interested in learning a bit about all the of them, and how they rose to these achievements. 

This video from their 2013 ceremony gives you a good sense of what these companies have accomplished in their work.

Innovation has Fueled Responsibility

Included among a particularly innovative list this year, according to their press release, is one of India’s largest hotel chains making the employment of people with disabilities and socially excluded groups a core part of its business model; an tour operator democratizing tourism by pioneering the ‘Buy one, Give one’ concept in travel; one of the world’s most iconic hotels with a successful program to rescue, rehabilitate and re-release adult sea turtles; and a tourism business offering migrant-led city tours to foster greater understanding between locals, tourists and migrant groups.

The 13 finalists will await the awards ceremony Tuesday, November 8th -- the tenth anniversary of World Responsible Tourism Day -- to discover who will be crowned the 2016 overall winner.

Justin Francis, founder of the World Responsible Tourism Awards and CEO of Responsible Travel, praised the progress made in the industry towards responsible travel. “In the early years of the Awards we saw the same people coming back year on year - now every judging day we have things we don’t know about, in sectors of the tourism industry we haven’t seen before, in places we haven’t seen before.

“This year we have seen levels of innovation that have surpassed our expectations, led by some truly entrepreneurial businesses. These are organisations which are using tourism as a counter to contemporary social problems, or translating ideas from other social businesses into the travel sector - they are pushing the boundaries of what responsible business can achieve”.

The full list of World Responsible Tourism Award 2016 finalists:

  • !Xaus Lodge, South Africa
  • Burj Al Arab Aquarium, United Arab Emirates
  • Bushman’s Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Resort, South Africa
  • East African Safari & Touring Company, Tanzania
  • Elevate Destinations, USA
  • Friends International – Childsafe Movement, Cambodia
  • Lemon Tree Hotels, India
  • Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia
  • Sam Veasna Centre, Cambodia
  • Sapa O’Chau, Vietnam
  • Tren Ecuador, Ecuador
  • Viaggi Solidali, Italy
  • World Cetacean Alliance

We hope you'll check out their efforts, their goals and their accomplishments, and consider traveling with them for your next family adventure.

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