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WTM Responsible Tourism Awards

May 2, 2017
Harold Goodwin
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The Leaders in Responsible Tourism Awards were presented at WTM London on World Responsible Tourism Day November 8th 2017

2017 was an interim year focused, in the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, on the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. 

The Judges's Reasons and the links to the winners and highly commended here:

  • Best for Accommodation: Grootbos, South Africa
  • Best for Carbon Reduction: Chobe Game Lodge Botswana 
  • Best for Communication: City of Ljubljana Slovenia 
  • Best Community Initiative: Sapa O’Chau Travel Social Enterprise Vietnam 
  • Best for Poverty Reduction: Village Ways, India 
  • Best Tour Operator: Transfrontier Parks Destination (TFPD) South Africa

Highly Commended

  • Crystal Creek Meadows, Australia
  • Green Business, Scotland
  • Kumarakom, Kerala, India
  • Ol Pejeta, Kenya
  • Marine Dynamics, South Africa
  • TUI Cruises, Germany

The judges have now determined the 2017 Finalists. 

This year's global Responsible Tourism Awards, to be presented on World Responsible Tourism Day, Wednesday, November 8th at WTM in London are focused on tourism's contribution to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals, the SDG's. The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards continue the work of the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

As ResponsibleTravel.com say one the  WTM Responsible Tourism Awards legacy site "We are pleased that WTM have chosen to continue with a global Awards, with Harold Goodwin continuing to chair the panel of judges and to oversee the process of the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards, and the others in the family in Africa........."


The Responsible Tourism Awards focus on the contributions made by tourism businesses and organisations and by destinations - we want to recognise those who are making a difference. The change makers, those leading the way to make tourism more sustainable by taking responsibility for driving down the negative impacts of tourism and increasing the positive impacts.

We know from the various Responsible Tourism Awards programmes with which we are involved that there any many businesses and organisations which can report on the outcomes and impacts of their taking responsibility for achieving sustainability - this year we want to recognise them in order to inspire and challenge others to replicate and to do more. We are going to put more effort this year into inspiring and educating by showcasing what is already being achieved in transparent reporting by leaders, by large and small businesses.  At WTM London last November there were presentations by large corporations (TUI and IHG) and much smaller companies (Exodus and Transfrontier Parks Destinations) which showed what information can be published to demonstrate what can be achieved and shared with consumers. Watch the video. 

There is no established system for Responsible Tourism reporting different approaches are being developed and new ones will emerge. This diversity is an inevitable and desirable consequence of the fundamental principle of Responsible Tourism: that issues, their salience and importance, vary from place to place. First determine what matters locally, what issues you can address and then alone or with others address them. We want to encourage more tourism businesses and destinations to publish details of their outcomes and impacts.

The WTM Responsible Tourism Awards 2017

Many submissions reported against a wide range of SDGs way beyond those which specifically mention tourism (SDGs 8, 12 &14). The Awards this year focus on the SDGs but they will be announced in the following categories,

  1. Best for Accommodations,
  2. Best for Carbon Reduction,
  3. Best for Communication,
  4. Best Community Initiative,
  5. Best for Poverty Reduction and
  6. Best Tour Operator.

The 12 finalists now need to wait until the Awards ceremony at World Travel Market London on November 8th to discover who this year’s chosen leaders are.

The 2017 finalists are:

  • Chobe Game Lodge
  • Crystal Creek Meadows 
  • Grootbos
  • Green Tourism Business Scheme
  • Kumarakom
  • Ol Pejeta
  • Marine Dynamics
  • Sapa o Chau
  • Ljubljana
  • Transfrontier Parks Destinations
  • TUI Cruise
  • Village Ways 

We shall, as usual, be publishing the judges’ reasons at the same time as the Awards are presented at WTM London on November 8th.

This year there will be an opportunity to hear more about the ways some of the finalists are reporting against the SDGs in panel sessions in South Gallery 7 & 8 from 14:00 -17:00.


For questions and media contact  WTMRTA@rtp.tfxweb.com

WTM Press Release

Blogs on the SGS and the Awards




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