The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the twelve finalists for its 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The Awards are one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry, recognising sustainable tourism best practices in businesses and destinations worldwide.
Award applications were received this year from 46 countries, representing all continents. Finalists in four categories were selected, ranging from entire countries, to global hotel groups, international airlines, luxury tour operators and small eco-lodges. The Finalists of the 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are: Global Tourism Business nominees, who represent international companies with at least 500 employees, and 8 tourism enterprises in one or more countries, where achievements combine corporate success with sustainable tourism principles and practices. The nominated companies are Abercrombie & Kent, USA, Air New Zealand, New Zealand and ITC Hotels, India. The other category is the Conservation Award nominees, who have made a direct and tangible contribution to the preservation of nature, including the protection of wildlife, expanding and restoring natural habitat, and supporting biodiversity conservation.
The nominated companies are &Beyond, South Africa, The Bushcamp Company, Zambia and Emirates Wolgan Valley Resort and Spa, Australia.
The other category, Community Benefit Award nominees, whose companies and organisations directly benefit local people, supporting community development and enhancing cultural heritage. Nominated companies are Loola Adventure Resort, Indonesia, Siraj Center, Palestine and Ten Knots Development Corporation/El Nido Resorts, Philippines.
The other one, Destination Stewardship nominees, who have successfully implemented a sustainable tourism programme at the destination level, incorporating social, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits as well as multi-stakeholder engagement. Nominees are Peaks of the Balkans – Municipality of Peja, Kosovo, Sentosa Development Corporation, Singapore and Tourism Council of Bhutan, Bhutan WTTC says the finalists were selected by an international panel of independent judges chaired by Costas Christ, an internationally recognised expert on sustainable tourism. In the first stage of a comprehensive three step judging process, judges carefully evaluated and selected award entries that best demonstrate the protection of natural and cultural heritage, delivering social and economic benefits to local people, and engaging in environmentally friendly operations, as well as other established sustainable tourism criteria.
Unique among global sustainable tourism awards, the second phase of judging includes an on-site evaluation of each finalist carried out by international sustainable tourism experts who make in-depth first hand assessments of the organisations and businesses in practice.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC says Tourism for Tomorrow is built on the triple bottom line: People, Planet, Profit. The awards finalists reflect financially successful businesses, which balance growing demand with shrinking natural resources, and reflect the contributions of employees and destination communities.
“For many years, our Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have helped showcase exactly those examples. Congratulations to our twelve finalists that are carrying the flag for sustainable practices.” Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges adds that sustainable tourism best practices are no longer the realm of a handful of small companies and a few innovative destinations.
“Today we are well beyond questioning, whether sustainable tourism works. From major cities to large scale hospitality corporations, sustainable tourism may be the most significant transformation in the history of modern travel, embracing the fundamental principles of tourism that directly benefits the lives of local people and helps to safeguard cultural and natural heritage for future generations. This year’s 12 finalists are helping to lead the way forward,” Christ says.
Winners and finalists will be recognised during a Gala evening at WTTC’s annual Global Summit, to be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, on 9-10 April 2013. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised in association with Travel Corporation’s TreadRight Foundation and Travelport.