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WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2020 recognize tourism’s efforts to respond to COVID-19

WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2020 dedicated to recognizing tourism’s efforts to respond to COVID-19
Written by Harry S. Johnson

The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2020 are dedicated to acknowledging those in travel and tourism who have taken remarkable steps to address the multiple challenges brought to our industry by the COVID-19 crisis.

Highly Commended and Commended awards will be given out on World Responsible Tourism Day on November 2nd. This will take place during WTM London, at Excel.

The last few weeks have seen an outpouring of innovation and solidarity from the travel industry, and this is what WTM wants to recognize this year.

WTM London, Responsible Tourism Advisor, Emeritus Professor Harold Goodwin, said:

“The Awards this year are about recognizing those in the travel and tourism sector who have made a real effort to address the impacts of COVID-19 and used their resources and facilities to make things at least a little better.

“Please, do not be embarrassed to recommend yourself or your own business, destination or organisation. You are welcome to make more than one recommendation. Remember the judges can only recognize the destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals that are nominated.

“We will also be hosting a webinar on the week commencing 8th June with the CEO and Co-Founder of, Justin Francis, the previous awards winners and myself to discuss and share the 2020 awards in more details.”

Unlike other years, there will be no categories to enter. Instead, any destination, business, organisation or individual can register their initiative using the linked form.

Among the many ways in potential awardees might be helping to address the current challenges are:

  • Addressing the needs of neighbours and employees in the face of Covid-19
  • Finding ways of sustaining business to keep local people employed
  • Using their facilities to help their communities cope with Covid-19
  • Repurposing tourism to support emergency response and resilience
  • Decarbonising travel and tourism – planning and implementing steps for a recovery in the face of the bigger emergency to come
  • Supporting wildlife and habitat in a year when tourism earnings for wildlife and conservation have been very substantially reduced
  • Building or maintaining “meaningful connections” through Responsible Tourism value-led marketing and social media engagement
  • Fundraising for people, wildlife or heritage
  • Developing Domestic Tourism – looking for examples of businesses & destinations which have refocused on attracting a more local market, encouraging staycations or localisation (when safe to do so)

People should not feel their submissions are limited by the list above. It is not exhaustive, plus some initiatives will meet more than one of these challenges.

Anyone can use the form on this page to recommend destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals which are using tourism, or tourism facilities, to address the challenge of Covid-19.

People are welcome to apply on behalf of themselves, the business they work for, or to submit the details of one or more initiatives by anyone else that they think deserves recognition.

Recommendation(s) are open until 3rd August, 2020.

World Travel Market (WTM) Portfolio comprises nine leading travel events across four continents, generating more than $7.5 billion of industry deals. The events are:

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry. Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international media visit ExCeL London every November, generating over £3.71 billion in travel industry contracts.

Next event: Monday 2nd to Wednesday 4th November 2020 – London #IdeasArriveHere