Park Güell
Tourism Award

Sustainable Endorsements
For Eco-Friendly Travel Planning

There are many travel agencies, tour companies and hotels in the world. Sometimes a traveller may want to plan their own sustainable journey, to select an environment-friendly accommodation, but isn’t sure of the best way to find it. 

It is for cases such as this, that one would like to refer to travel agencies and hotels that have received or been nominated for Responsible Tourism Awards in the world tourism industry. The World Travel Market (WTM) is the world’s largest international tourism trade fair with a 40-year history. The event is held every November in London. The award ceremony for the Responsible Tourism Awards is held during the event. Winners are announced in front of 600 key influencers and audience members.

The WTM Responsible Tourism Award recognises travel industry companies and organizations which fulfill their corporate responsibilities to reduce the negative impacts on the planet and work to rather make a positive impact. WTM appreciates responsible tourism initiatives that set a model for the travel industry as a whole and which can be utilised by other companies as well.  The purpose of this award is to introduce the best practices which are excellent examples of responsible tourism and to show travelers and industry stakeholders that they can accomplish the same, as well or even more so to encourage those involved in the industry to do good for the environment.

In other words, the travel agencies, tour companies, hotels, and destinations selected in the Responsible Tourism Awards are an indicator that they are particularly environmentally friendly in their practices. In other words, if one wants to take an eco-friendly trip, if one goes to such a place, these places will be supported by the travellers booking decisions and the traveller is able to make an eco-friendly trip.

6 categories of awards

The awards are granted in six different categories. Award recipients in each category will receive either a Gold Award or a  Silver Award.

1. Wildlife and Nature Conservation

Travel-related companies that are innovative examples to the travel industry and which have made a significant difference to important local conservation. The judges do take into consideration the size of the business.

2. Best for Reducing Carbon & Other Greenhouse Gases

This section covers advanced cases which have developed practical measures to reduce carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the travel industry (airlines, cruises, car rentals, accommodation, etc.). Judges are looking for solutions to carbon and greenhouse gas reduction, ways that other companies can reproduce, and the scale of emission reductions for the costs involved.

3. Best for Benefitting Local People

To provide local communities with social, economic, or environmental benefits, and to benefit local communities through locally-produced products, training or in cooperation with local peoples. Focus is on companies that benefit the local community by creating a collaborative local goods or service supply.

4. Best for Transparent Reporting

This applies to business and certification schemes where the impact of initiatives taken to reduce negative impacts and increase positive impacts is well communicated to guests, travelers and stakeholders.

5. Best for Reducing Plastic Waste

Covers innovative examples of initiatives taken by tourism and community groups or destination organisations which have significantly reduced the amount of plastic waste and / or reduced the amount of plastics pollution across the destination.

6. Best for Coping with Success, dealing with Overtourism

Recognition of destinations that successfully manage their success as tourist destinations will be awarded to cases that ensure a competitive, high quality experience and that the quality of life of the local population is maintained. Evaluation of sites which have enhanced the traveler’s experience by reducing the negative impact of over tourism on sites and local communities through the intervention and management of the organisation.

2019 Winners

And the winners of the 2019 WTM World Responsible Tourism Gold and Silver Awards are:

Wildlife and nature conservation

Gold: Six Senses Laamu-Maldives

Silver: Batu Batu-Tengah Island, Malaysia

Reduction of carbon and other greenhouse gases

Gold: Feynan Eco Lodge – Jordan

Silver: Les Villages Nature – Paris, France

Silver: Soneva – Maldives and Thailand

Benefitting local people

Gold: The Goat Villages – Uttarakhand, India

Silver: Nikoi Island – Indonesia

Transparent reports

Gold: TUI – UK and Ireland

Silver: & Beyond – Luxury Safari in Africa, Asia and South America

Reduction of plastic waste

Gold: Iberostar – Global Hotels and Resorts

Silver: Kilkee – County Clare, Ireland

Silver: Soneva – Maldives and Thailand

Coping with success, dealing with overtourism

Gold: Park Güell – Barcelona, ​​Spain

These winners are from all over the world and have been selected as eco-friendly companies and organizations from the six categories. It would be a nice excursion to experience some of these places! This annual award list can be used as a reference when planning an eco-friendly trip and looking for recognised sustainable accommodation.

Each winner will be introduced in future articles, so stay tuned!

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