The World Responsible Tourism Awards at World Travel Market, the leading awards scheme recognising achievement and innovation in responsible tourism globally, has announced the expansion of its programme in partnership with World Travel Market’s worldwide portfolio.
The Awards, celebrating 12 years at WTM London next November, is expanding its partnership with World Travel Market portfolio events across the globe in 2015. The first of the regional programme of Awards is the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM Africa, with the inaugural winners to be announced at the event in Cape Town on 16th April.
Craig Moyes, Director, WTM Portfolio, said: “The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM have been a great success at World Travel Market over the past 12 years. The awards play a key role in World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world.
“The examples of responsible tourism best practice by companies of all sizes are a testament to how serious the industry takes responsible tourism and what can be achieved if these examples are shared. I am delighted that WTM Africa will be hosting The African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa. Tourism is central to the continent’’s economy, which makes it all the more vital that the African travel and tourism industry acts responsibly to preserve and protect its unrivalled natural resources. WTM Africa is the perfect platform to highlight the best practice in the African travel industry.”
Justin Francis, Managing Director of Responsible Travel, which founded and organises the annual at WTM, said: “The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM have always been global in reach, but together with World Travel Market we are excited to be bringing our trademark rigour to the next generation of Responsible Tourism Awards programmes.
“With our new regional range of Awards, we have the chance for local organisers to lead the search for the most inspirational responsible tourism experiences in their destinations. It’s a substantial strengthening of the whole programme from the ground up and, you never know, you may see one or two of the regional winners sharing the limelight at our global Awards in London later this year!”
The inaugural have already generated significant participation across Africa, with the judging process already well underway. Heidi Van Der Watt, organiser, said: “The number of nominations for the African Responsible Tourism Awards far outstripped our expectations. A full 112 nominations from 16 countries, truly covering Africa from north-south and east-west, were submitted. Our heartfelt thanks to partners on the continent who helped us to get the word out and the nominations rolling in.”
As part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM family, the judging process for the African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa is chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and Chair of the main World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel since their inception.
The International Awards programme will continue to expand, with events planned for WTM Latin America in 2016.