Responsible Travel has shed light on the 13 finalists for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards which will take place at WTM London 2016.
The World Responsible Tourism Awards, now in their 13th year, were founded in 2004 to recognise the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.
Enthusing on the standard of the finalists, Chair of Judges, Professor Harold Goodwin remarked: “This year we have an incredibly strong field of contenders. Over the past few months each of these organisations has been subject to intense scrutiny by a panel of judges combining some of the leading minds in responsible tourism, conservation and development in the country. They have come through the most rigorous and competitive judging processes for an Awards scheme of this kind and have emerged as international leaders in their respective fields.”
Also commenting on the finalists was founder, World Responsible Tourism Awards, Justin Frances, who is also the CEO of 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,” Frances added.
The full list of 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 Lodge, Indonesia
Sam Veasna Centre, Cambodia
Sapa O’Chau, Vietnam
Tren Ecuador, Ecuador
Viaggi Solidali, Italy
World Cetacean Alliance
Winners of the World Responsible Tourism Awards will be revealed on November 8 at a dedicated ceremony taking place at the World Travel Market London 2016. More than 500 tourism professionals, tourism ministers and media representatives are expected to attend.
This year’s edition of the awards is sponsored by Belize Tourism Board. Director of Tourism, Belize Tourism Board, Karen Bevans enthused: “We are extremely proud to be backing these 13 incredible organisations. It’s incredibly inspiring to see the calibre and variety of sustainable and responsible tourism outfits across the world. As we move forward with the next stage of our sustainable tourism plan here in Belize, we hope that their stories will in turn inspire businesses in our country, as well as in other parts of the world, to invest in, and achieve more through sustainable tourism.”