World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 announces winners

The winners of the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 were recently announced at the World Travel Market London 2015.

Selected from 37 inspirational finalists, Loola Adventure Resort was crowned the overall winner of the awards at a prestigious ceremony which took place at World Travel Market London’s Global Stage. The company was commended for making use of the Dutch ‘Polder Model’ – a collaborative, consensus-based way of working between employers and employees, making everyone a stakeholder in the business. By setting up local staff as entrepreneurs, running and managing their own businesses within the workings of the resort, LooLa has increased local incomes by 20-50 per cent, has a zero staff turnover through education and development opportunities and gains excellent customer feedback.

Chair of the judging panel, Harold Goodwin remarked: “The judges singled out Loola for its innovative business model which creates shared value from tourism with the local community. Each year we look for organisations which will surprise and inspire change, and Loola’s approach, which gives local staff the opportunity to run and own their own businesses within the resort, is not only exemplary but successful; a win-win way of working which leads to increased local incomes and better guest experiences.”

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Commenting on the awards was managing director, Responsible Travel (the organiser of the awards), Justin Francis: “The aim of the Awards is to inspire the tourists and the tourism industry by what is possible to achieve through responsible tourism. In our 12th year we have added one more inspiring winner and more remarkable stories which will shape how the industry and tourists think about the future of tourism.”

Meanwhile, awards judge and senior exhibition director, WTM London, Simon Press added: “The standard of entries to this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London have been of a phenomenally high standard. Loola Adventure is a truly inspiring example of responsible tourism at its finest, demonstrating that all stakeholders can benefit from well-planned and well-run tourism projects.”

Here is a list of the winners at World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015:

Overall Winner:

LooLa Adventure Resort, Bintan, Indonesia

  1. Best Animal Welfare Initiative supported by the Born Free Foundation

Gold Winners: Campaign Against Canned Hunting & Hetta Huskies

Silver Winners: Lotus Travel & the Donkey Sanctuary

  1. Best for Beach Tourism sponsored by Visit Jersey

Gold Winners: LooLa Adventure Resort and Soneva Fushi

Silver Winners: andBeyond and Turtle Bay Beach Club

  1. Best Cultural Heritage Attraction sponsored by Wightlink

Gold Winner: Loop Head Peninsula, Ireland

Silver winners: Cnoc Suain and Bushmans Kloof

  1. Best Destination for Responsible Tourism sponsored by Visit Norway

Gold Winner: Gansbaai, South Africa

Silver winners: Aruba and Cyprus

  1. Best Accommodation for Disability Access sponsored by Enable Holidays

Gold Winners: Endeavour Safaris and Scandic Hotels

Silver Winner: RuralSuite Hotel Apartamentos****

  1. Best for Engaging People & Culture sponsored by Audley Travel

Gold Winner: Urban Adventures

Silver Winners: Felin Talgarth Mill, Connemara Wild Escapes

  1. Best Hotel for Local Sourcing sponsored by Colorado Tourism Office

Gold Winner: Atlas Kasbah Ecolodge

Silver winners: Shangri La’s Villingili Resort & Spa and Matava, Fiji

  1. Best Innovation for Carbon Reduction sponsored by Visit Gozo

Gold Winner: TUI UK & Ireland

Silver Winners: Airport Authority Hong Kong and North Sailing

  1. Best for Poverty Reduction sponsored by the Tobago House of Assembly

Gold Winner: Agri Tourism Development Company Pvt Ltd

Silver Winners: Grootbos Private Nature Reserve, OneSeed Expeditions and Uakari Floating Lodge

  1. Best Responsible Tourism Blog sponsored by Fair Trade Tourism

Gold Winner: Uncornered Market

Silver Winner: Travel for Wildlife

  1. Best Sea or River Cruise

Gold Winner: Ullswater Steamers

  1. Best for Wildlife Conservation sponsored by the Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council

Gold Winner: Honko Mangrove Conservation & Education

Silver Winners: Coral Cay Conservation, North Island Seychelles and Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge

People’s Choice in Responsible Tourism in association with National Geographic Traveller (UK) Magazine, sponsored by the Catalan Tourist Board.

Winner: World Animal Protection