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Responsible Tourism Awards 2024

October 28, 2023
Harold Goodwin
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The 2024 Responsible Tourism Awards are OPEN

This is your chance to be recognised as a leader in Responsible Tourism and to put your company on the world map. Those awarded Gold in the regional awards are automatically entered into the Global Awards presented in London in November.

The Awards are free to enter. Our judging criteria are at the bottom of this page. 

There are regional awards in Africa, India, Latin America and South East Asia and a Rest of the World category for those not covered by the regional awards or who are too late to enter the appropriate regional award. 

The WTM Africa Awards are now closed they will be presented at WTM Africa  CITATIONS

The ICRT India Foundation Awards  are open until June 30th enter

The Latin America, LATA, Awards are open, they close on 10th May  enter

The Rest of the World Awards are open until August 31st enter

The ICRT South East Asia Awards are open until 30th June 2024  enter

The Gold winners in the Regional Awards are automatically entered into the Global Awards 

The 2024 Global Responsible Tourism Awards are sponsored by Sabre

Why enter the Awards

Click here to see the collateral marketing we provided for the 2023 Global Winners 

Glynn O'Leary of Transfrontier Parks Destinations on why it makes business sense to enter the Awards

The 2024 World Responsible Tourism Awards Categories are

  1. Making Travel Inclusive

  2. Championing Cultural Diversity

  3. Nature Positive

  4. What are you doing about Climate Change?

  5. Increasing local sourcing- Creating shared value

  6. Employing and Upskilling Local Communities

1. MAKING TRAVEL INCLUSIVE 

The travel industry is lagging behind other sectors in advancing inclusion. The travel and tourism sector needs to widen its offer. The need for action is more pressing than ever.

Inclusive travel ensures that all travellers feel welcome and included and can have an appropriate experience in a destination. It fosters belonging and empowers individuals to sign up for new experiences.

We are looking for businesses that are avidly working to ensure that inclusion has a stronger place in tourism’s future.

This is an indicative list. We are looking for examples of approaches to making tourism more inclusive.

  • Companies that cater specifically to an underrepresented demographic(s) and consider the traveller’s experience at every stage – so they know what to expect, feel comfortable and where they can prevent conscious or unconscious discrimination
  • Businesses and destinations which offer experiences of particular interest to demographics often excluded or whose interests are ignored
  • Those that have made meaningful changes in their business by amending or tailoring their services to ensure it is available for all
  • Companies with progressive internal practices around diversity and inclusion ensure voices are represented by a broad demographic of people.

 

2. CHAMPIONING CULTURAL DIVERSITY 

Visiting a country goes far beyond visiting the honeypot landmarks. We travel to experience other peoples' places, climates, built heritage, lived culture and the world's diverse nature. By experiencing cultures other than our own, we broaden our understanding and respect for one another.

This is an indicative list. We are looking for examples of destinations and businesses that are actively working to support the preservation and celebration of culture, and to create meaningful connections for visitors.

  • Businesses and destinations that elevate and celebrate the cultural identity of the people and places they visit in a respectful and authentic way
  • Businesses and destinations that ensure the stories shared and experiences that are led are done so by those that are appropriate to share them
  • Businesses and destinations that work with local communities in the creation of cultural storytelling experiences which generate income for local communities.

3. NATURE POSITIVE 

Wildlife and the natural environment are important drivers for travel. The travel and tourism sector depends on nature's beauty to provide its goods and services, yet tourism can have negative impacts on the places we visit.

The tourism sector has a responsibility to contribute to the reversal of biodiversity loss and protect nature for future generations by promoting a regenerative approach to tourism.

We are looking for businesses that are acting as the guardians of biodiversity and taking a regenerative approach to their operation.

This includes but is not limited to

  • Businesses that contribute to rebuilding and replenishing the natural environment and reduce the negative impacts caused by tourism
  • Businesses and protected area managers that ensure that local communities benefit from nature-based tourism and that they, too, can experience the value of it
  • Educate travellers and raise awareness of the importance of protecting the environment.

4. WHAT ARE YOU DOING ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE? 

The results of climate change can manifest in many ways and the tourism industry is exceptionally vulnerable. Each year the impact becomes more evident and, for many, more disastrous. Drought, floods, wildfires, and extreme weather conditions cause devastation for communities and businesses in destinations across the world. They are no longer unusual or isolated incidences.

We are looking for businesses and destinations actively contributing to the decarbonisation of tourism operations and exploring innovative ways to protect against threats to ensure business continuity.

This includes but is not limited to

  • Products, services or business models that have been designed in detail to limit, erase or counter the negative impact of travel and tourism-generated greenhouse gases on the environment.
  • Innovative strategies to future-proof destinations and businesses against the effects of climate change
  • Projects or experiences that engage tourists and/or communities in climate change awareness and look to inspire and influence others to reduce emissions

5. INCREASING LOCAL SOURCING – CREATING SHARED VALUE

As one of the world’s leading sectors of consumption, tourism provides many economic benefits, including employment and business opportunities. Far too often, the money does recirculate with the local economy location or provide any benefit to the local people or environment.

Tourism businesses can grow the local economy by spending on local goods and services by procuring services and products locally.

We are looking for businesses that have local purchasing practices in place and are actively working to create and promote local businesses and sole traders through their own supply chain and encouraging visitors to buy locally produced crafts and souvenirs.

This includes but is not limited to

  • Businesses that have created opportunities for local people to profit from tourism
  • Those that have created and encouraged conscious spending opportunities for tourists
  • Businesses that have implemented robust local supply chain policies that minimise economic leakage and support growth.

6. EMPLOYING AND UPSKILLING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

Tourism creates diverse employment opportunities, and local employment has long been recognised as a very important way of ensuring that local communities benefit from visitors and tourism businesses. However, there are still many challenges; employment inequalities, instability through seasonal variations and lack of growth opportunities, to name a few.

We are looking for tourism businesses that are making a conscious effort to recruit, train and promote local people to provide long-term stable employment and opportunities for local communities.

This includes but is not limited to

  • Businesses that have detailed recruitment and training plans to support career progression that target and prioritise local people.
  • Companies that work with communities to create new business opportunities and, where relevant, ensure that they retain ownership of that product or experience
  • Organisations that have found innovative solutions to the seasonal nature of the tourism sector to provide year-round employment.

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Our Judging Criteria

We are looking for examples that will inspire and challenge others to take more responsibility for managing tourism to make it more sustainable, minimize the negative impacts and maximize the positive. The WTM Awards continue to use the same criteria that were used for the World Responsible Tourism Awards in 2016. We expect leaders in Responsible Tourism to have established practices with the following characteristics:

1. Evidence-based: The panel is looking for evidence of real change, businesses which can convincingly demonstrate positive impacts, or reduced negative impacts, quantified wherever possible.

2. Replicability: The Awards aim to inspire change; we seek to identify examples of best practices that can be replicated across the sector and around the world.

 3. Innovation: The judges are looking for innovative practices that make a real difference, the Awards highlight new good practices, which the judges believe, can, and should, become common practice.

 4. Influence: We look for businesses and organizations that are not only doing good work themselves but are using their influence to ensure their peers and suppliers do the same.

 5. Sustainability and longevity: The judges seek to Award those businesses that understand that taking responsibility for tourism is a long journey, that it encompasses the economic, social, and environmental impacts of their activities, and who have a clear vision for the long- term success of the work, with future targets and plans in place.

 6. Overall commitment to Responsible Tourism: Alongside the category-specific focus, there needs to be a clear overall commitment to positively impacting local communities, economies, cultures, and environments.

 

© 2024 The Responsible Tourism Partnership 
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