The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) just unveiled the twelve finalists for its 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards . The awards are one of the highest accolades in the global travel and tourism industry and recognize sustainable tourism achievements among businesses and destinations across the full spectrum of the industry.
As sustainable tourism practices increasingly gain momentum around the world, organizations and destinations are raising the bar on best practices to new heights. Finalists of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards from five continents, including Africa, Europe, Asia, North America, and South America, were selected for their outstanding achievements in 4 categories representing over 50 countries.
This year’s finalists of the 2012 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are:
DESTINATION STEWARDSHIP (sponsored by Tauck & Partners)
Entrants have successfully managed a sustainable tourism program at the destination level, incorporating social, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits, as well as multi-stakeholder engagement. Finalists are:
– Destination Røros, Norway
– Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia
– Tanabe City, Japan
GLOBAL TOURISM BUSINESS
Representing international companies with at least 500 employees, entrants’ achievements marry corporate success with sustainable principles and practices. Finalists are:
– Banyan Tree Hotels & Resorts, Singapore
– REI Adventures, USA
– Wilderness, South Africa
Entrants have made a direct and tangible contribution to the preservation of nature, including the protection of wildlife, expanding and restoring natural habitat, and supporting biodiversity conservation. Finalists are:
– Cheli & Peacock, Kenya
– Inkaterra Peru, Peru
– NamibRand Safaris: Wolwedans Collection, Namibia
Entrants directly benefit local people, supporting community development and enhancing cultural heritage. Finalists are:
– Saunders Hotel Group, USA
– Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Cambodia
– The Thailand Community Tourism Based Institute, Thailand
Finalists were selected by an international panel of independent judges led by Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, and an internationally-recognized expert on sustainable tourism. In the first stage of a comprehensive three-step judging process, judges selected award entries that best demonstrate the protection of natural and cultural heritage, delivering social and economic benefits to local people, and engaging in environmentally-friendly operations, as well as other factors.
Unique among such tourism awards, the second phase of judging includes an on-site evaluation of each finalist to make in-depth assessments and gain a well-rounded picture of the organizations and businesses in practice.
David Scowsill, President and CEO of WTTC said: “Travel and tourism can have positive benefits for the planet and for local people by fostering the preservation of our natural, cultural, and historical heritage and by supporting community empowerment and revitalization. Fortunately, more and more companies and destinations, are leading the way forward in demonstrating such practices.
For many years, our Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have helped showcase these projects, initiatives, and operations that the tourism industry is already undertaking. Congratulations to our twelve finalists that are carrying the flag for sustainable practices in our own and other industries.”
Costas Christ said: “One day, there will be no need for awards to recognize those travel and tourism companies that are environmentally friendly, protect biodiversity, and contribute to the social and economic wellbeing of local people. All travel and tourism businesses will operate that way in a new, and greener, global economy. Until then, it’s a great pleasure – and a true inspiration – to congratulate this year’s Tourism or Tomorrow Awards finalists, who are helping to lead the way forward in an evolution of this industry, where care for people, planet, and profit, are all part of the new business bottom line.”
The Winner Selection Committee is drawn from media, government, nonprofit organizations, and the private sector. In addition to Costas Christ, the 2012 Winner Selection Committee judges are Hon. Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism, South Africa; HE Sergio Díaz-Granados, Minister of Trade & Tourism, Colombia; Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market & Just A Drop; and Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler.
Winners and finalists will be recognized at WTTC’s annual Global Summit, held this year in Sendai/Tokyo, Japan from April 16-19. Delegates at the summit will find out the winners in each award category as part of the event’s official opening ceremony and welcome dinner on April 17 in Tokyo.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organized in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation’s Conservation Foundation.