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WTM London 2021

September 28, 2021
Kerry K-C
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The Responsible Tourism Programme is more diverse this year as we prepare for 2022, when we shall be reflecting on and assessing the progress made over the twenty years since the Cape Town Declaration in 2002. Next year Responsible Tourism will be at the heart of the WTM, London.

This year we have parts of the Responsible Tourism programme – many of the elements are new or significantly changed since last year.

  1. The traditional panel discussions are focused this year on solutions, decarbonising our industry, contributing to conservation and the recovery of nature and destination resilience.
  2. The presentation of the first WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards and the regional awards from India and the Rest of the World
  3. New this year, a panel on Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism in the Travel Forward and Travel Tech programmes, the beginning a new strand in the Responsible Tourism
  4. The Platform for Change and a series of interviews with Tourism Leaders, available on-demand at WTM and on the Platform for Change, which will be at the heart of the WTM's shows through 2022 and culminate in debate at WTM, London in November 2022. As President Biden has pointed out, this is the critical decade and the Platform for Change presents tried and tested solutions many identified through the Responsible Tourism Awards since their launch in 2004
  5. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism. We have three on-demand panels discussing what solutions are available for aviation, the accommodation sector and our operators, ground handlers and transport providers
  6. Why Storytelling Matters in Tourism, a panel discussion available on demand
  7. We are launching the 2022 WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards categories, which will open for applications and nominations on December 1st


  1. On November 1st we have three-panel discussions this year

15:30-16:15 Monday 1st November  WTM Website
Decarbonising the Travel and Tourism Sector
An expert industry panel will discuss the most efficient ways in which aviation, cruising, accommodation and ground transport can reduce their emissions and meet the global targets to avoid damaging our planet.
Moderator: Tanya Beckett BBC World News „
Dr Susanne Etti,  Environmental Impact Specialist, Intrepid Travel
Harold Goodwin WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor
Dr. Ing. Paul Peeters, Professor Sustainable Tourism Transport at the Centre for Sustainability, Tourism & Transport (CSTT), Breda University of Applied Sciences, The Netherlands „
Claire Whitely, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance 

16:15-17:00 Monday 1st November  WTM Website
How can the travel and tourism industry contribute more to conservation and nature recovery?
The relationship between travel and tourism and nature is changing, and not just because of the pandemic. Increasing domestic interest in nature-based opportunities is connecting with a growing wave of ‘rewilding’ and nature recovery projects in many places that go well beyond national parks and reserves, linking truly innovative conservation success stories to innovation in the tourism sector. How widespread is this, and where is the potential to inject more of a focus on nature in more traditional destinations? Moreover, as the world wakes up to the urgency of the interconnected climate and biodiversity crises and attention turns to the response of the business community, how much more can and should the travel and tourism sector be doing?
Moderator: Dr Matt Walpole, Global Strategist, WWF-International,
Jarrod Kyte, Product and Sales Director, Steppes Travel,
Michael Lutzeyer, Owner, Grootbos Private Nature Reserve,
Justin Francis, Co-founder and CEO, Responsible Travel
Farah Mukhida, Executive Director, Anguilla National Trust

17:00-17:30 Monday 1st November  WTM Website
'Buiding Back Better' for Destination Resilience
This year we are looking at a few of the new initiatives which have emerged from destinations determined to tackle overtourism and to make tourism better for residents and visitors.
Moderator: Harold Goodwin WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor„
Malcolm Bell, CEO and Marketing Director, Visit Cornwall CIC
Jaume Mata, Head of Sustainable Tourism, Visit Valencia
Sílvia Villaró, Head of Sustainability Tourism Department of Barcelona City Council & Check Barcelona
Rupesh Kumar, RT Mission, Kerala

2. The 2021 WTM Responsible Tourism Awards  17:30 – 18:00 Monday 1st November
Presentation of the India, Rest of the World and Global Awards

New this year are the Global WTM Responsible Tourism Awards being presented on the Global Stage and online on November 1st at 17:30.
This year we have restructured the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards programme to enable us to present Global Awards. This year there are six categories and people have entered in four regions: Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of the World. Judging panels have selected the best from each region, and from those, the Global Winners were selected.

On November 1st we are presenting the ones to watch, Silver and Gold winners from the India and Rest of the World regions and for the first time for the Global Responsible Tourism Awards in all six categories. The Africa and Latin America Awards will roll on and regional judging panels will select the regional Ones to Watch, Silver and Gold winners and they will be presented at WTM LAT and WTM Africa next year.

The 2021 WTM Responsible Tourism Categories

  1. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism,
  2. Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic,
  3. Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID,
  4. Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?,
  5. Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  6. Growing the Local Economic Benefit.


Judges' Reasons: Global Awards  India Awards   Rest of the World

The WTM RT Awards on the WTM Global Hub

You can attend the 2021 WTM India, Rest of the World and Global Responsible Tourism Awards in the Global Stage Theatre or attend virtually. Those being recognised, Gold, Silver and Ones to Watch, at WTM London on November 1st are

Accor Australia Indigenous Programme
Accor Global
Akelada Hotel, Leaving No One Behind, Thailand
Aymanam, Kerala, INDIA
Barcelona, CheckBarcelona
Better Places & FairAway, Netherlands & Germany
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba: Beyond Carbon Neutrality
Cinnamon Hotels & Resorts, Maldives, Divestream
Community Homestay Network, Nepal
Crescent Rating, SINGAPORE
Diamond Resorts Europe
E-volunteering Cambodia
Exodus, Community Kickstart Project, UK
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore
Geotourist & Historic Environment Scotland

German National Tourist Board, 'Feel Good' campaign, GERMANY
Govardhan Village, Maharashtra, INDIA
Hydrao: Smart Shower Heads
Insight Vacations, Make Travel Matter
Invis Multimedia, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
Laamaseelu Masveriya, Six Senses
Lakesong, Kumarakom, Kerala
Madhya Pradesh Tourism Board, Rural Tourism Programme, INDIA
Marine Dynamics, South Africa
MEJDI Travel Civil Rights and Red/Blue Tours,USA
Much Better Adventures, UK
No Footprints, Mumbai, INDIA
Park Royal Collection, Marina Bay, Singapore
R.O.S.E Kanda, Bageshwar, Uttarakhand, INDIA
Safe Tourism Destinations for Women, Madhya Pradesh, INDIA
Sarawak Tourism Board, Virtual Rainforest World Music Festival and Borneo Jazz Festival
SEAFUEL Atlantic Area
Sita Travel, INDIA
Six Senses, Laamu, Maldives, INDIAN OCEAN
Tiger Trails Jungle Lodges, Chichghat Conservancy, Maharastra, INDIA
TUI Care Foundation, Global Corona Relief Fund
Uttarakhand Tourism Development Board, INDIA
V&A Waterfront, Cape Town, South Africa. AFRICA
Village Ways, Mumbai, Maharashtra, INDIA
Wanderful Anti-Oppression Toolkit
Women With Wheels Delhi, Jaipur, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Bangalore and Indore, INDIA

3. New this year:  10:30 Tuesday November 2nd,  Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism

Responsible Technology for Travel & Tourism
The tourism industry - travel, hospitality and attractions - has developed a bewildering range of tech solutions. New technology alone will not achieve the change we need to see in our industry, we need to generate behavioural change amongst our staff and our clients. For this panel, we have chosen experienced experts who can look behind the brochures and the sales pitch to share what they have learnt about what works, what doesn't and why?

Moderator: Harold Goodwin WTM Responsible Tourism Advisor„
Andrea Nicholas Green Tourism 
Chris Warren, My Green Butler 
Keith Bradley Managing Partner, Globally 
On the WTM Website 

4. New this year: Conversations with Tourism Leaders about progress in Responsible Tourism and the Platform for Change

Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director, easyJet
In conversation with Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director, at easyJet about the promise of hydrogen. video

Martin Brackenbury, previously President IFTO and UNWTO
The conversation ranged over previous experiences of avian flu, MERS & SARS and how the travel and tourism industry learns to live with Covid  video

John Coplin, FRAE, RB211 aero-engine Chief Designer, then Director of Technology and Design at Rolls Royce
John speaks with passion about why tourism matters and argues that the engineers need to be funded to make the transition to hydrogen, it needs to happen faster across the world in the next ten years. video

Shannon Guihan,  Chief TreadRight & Sustainability Officer for The Travel Corporation
Shannon interviews Harold Goodwin about the Platform for Change video

Inge Huijbrechts, Global Sustainability & Security Senior Executive, Radisson Hotels Group
We talked about the impact of Covid on hotels, what it has meant for sustainability and what needs to be done to encourage all accommodation owners and operators to adopt sustainability - progress needs to be faster. video

Clare Jenkinson, Head of Sustainability at ABTA
Trust, Covid as a catalyst for change and developments amongst travel agents and tour operators video

Chris Lyle, International Aviation Policy Consultant
Chris argues that responsibility for overseeing the essential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions should pass from ICAO to UNFCCC.  Aviation is not progressing rapidly enough to  Net Zero. video

Eric Ricaute, Founder & CEO, Greenview
Eric talks about the pressure from the banks and investors to ensure that new hotels and reports are sustainable, the wave of change and hints at a new tool soon to be launched to measure Net Zero. video

John Sage, President at Accessible Travel Solutions
John describes the processes that tourism businesses and destinations need to use to become more inclusive and cater for people with disabilities and we talk about why it matters. video

Becca Samson, Sustainability & CSR Lead at Booking.com
We talk about the continuing growth in consumer demand for sustainable tourism and about what Booking.com is doing on its platform to enable consumers to find sustainable product and purchase it. video

James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel
We talk about what Intrepid is doing, its willingness to share the sustainability tools it has developed and the importance of sustainability going mainstream in our sector. video

Garry Wilson, CEO, easyJet holidays
Garry talks about his ambition at easyJet to create mainstream Responsible Tousim holidays and his enthusiasm for hydrogen.  video

5. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism - available on the WTM website on demand

Fossil fuel is why aviation is travel and tourism's Achilles heel. Is hydrogen the answer? The panellists discuss how aviation can transition quickly to zero-carbon flying, and debate issues such as carbon offsetting and sustainable aviation fuel – and the more radical alternative: hydrogen.
Jane Ashton, Sustainability Director at easyJet;
John Strickland, Director at JLS Consulting;
Keith Bushell, UK Environmental Affairs Stakeholder Manager at Airbus;
Adam Freeman, Group Head of Environmental Strategy, MAG.

Reducing carbon emissions in the accommodation sector showcases the best practices in reducing emissions in designing and building new hotels and retrofitting existing properties – and ask: are zero-emissions hotels possible?
Eric Ricaurte, of Greenview, Singapore;
HC Vinayaka from ITC Hotels, India; and
Claire Whitely, Sustainable Hospitality Alliance.

Reducing carbon emissions: tour operators, ground handlers and transport providers, panellists talk about how they have taken carbon out of their operations.
Sam Bruce, Much Better Adventures;
Dr Susanne Etti, Intrepid Travel;
Arnaud Masson, Sightseeing Business Line.

6. Why Story Telling Matters in Tourism

As tourism demand strengthens across the globe and destinations compete for the attention of travellers seeking experiences that inform, educate and transform - storytelling in tourism has moved beyond an art form to become an important technique to convey and interpret experiences to engage the traveller with the experience. Whilst storytelling can be used in any tourism environment, there is an increasing opportunity for community tourism to expand the scope of storytelling. Indigenous communities – are fast embracing storytelling as a tool to allow travellers to deep-dive into the culture and heritage – connecting with the language, dialect, traditions, customs, gastronomy and art. Why does storytelling matter in tourism?  How have communities increased their competitiveness and brand identity through storytelling? How can you improve storytelling, enhance the visitor experience, empower communities and increase earnings for them?  video
Carol Hay CEO, McKenzie Gayle
Elisa Spampinato Travel Writer & Community Storyteller, and Founder at Traveller Storyteller
JoAnna Haugen Writer, Speaker, Solutions Advocate, and Founder of Rooted
Dawn Lemonius Author, Trainer at Tourism Product Development,  Jamaica
Jamie Sweeting, President Planettera

7. The 2022 WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards categories, which will open for applications and nominations on December 1st

Twenty years on from the Cape Town Declaration on Responsible Tourism in Destinations WTM, London in November 2022 is an opportunity to showcase the destinations and businesses which have taken responsibility and made tourism better.

The 2022 Awards will open for nominations and entries on December 1st. Unusually there will be ten categories in 2022

  1. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism,
  2. Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic,
  3. Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID,
  4. Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  5. Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  6. Growing the Local Economic Benefit
  7. Access for the differently-abled as travellers, employees and holidaymakers.
  8. Increasing tourism's contribution to natural heritage and biodiversity
  9. Conserving water and improving water security and supply for neighbours
  10. Contributing  to cultural heritage


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