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World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 at WTM London kick off 20th year of ethical tourism

WTM  Mar 29, 2016

Tourism businesses, organizations and initiatives around the world are now being invited to submit an entry into the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 at WTM London, as the world celebrates 20 years of responsible tourism action.

The global search for the world’s most enduring and inspirational examples of responsible tourism in action kicks off today with entries being accepted into five categories spanning issues across the tourism industry.

The announcement of the 2016 winners, at World Travel Market London, will this year be part of the celebrations marking 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest event for responsible tourism action globally. Furthermore, this year marks 20 years of the global responsible tourism movement, with the South African government publishing a tourism white paper in 1996 putting responsibility at the centre of its strategy.

New categories for 2016 include the ‘Best responsible tourism campaign’ which aims to celebrate the most successful marketing or advocacy campaigns in encouraging and promoting a more responsible style of travel.

Justin Francis, founder of the Awards and managing director of organisers Responsible Travel comments “I am truly excited by what we will discover through the World Responsible Tourism Awards this year.

The organisations, initiatives and businesses we uncover each year have the power to shape the future of tourism, to be catalysts for change in an industry which will have a huge impact on global climate and development.

”I want to encourage any tourism business or organisation around the world, big or small, to submit an entry. We want to hear your story”.

The importance of the Awards in assessing how far responsible tourism has developed, and how much it been achieved in the last 10 years is not lost on chair of the judging panel, Professor Harold Goodwin of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. “Through the Awards winners every year we see the standard of what is being achieved by people taking responsibility for tourism getting higher and higher” he says “And every year we see more and more countries represented in our entries.

“Tourism, if sold, enjoyed and organised responsibly is of global importance, something that has been recognised in the new Sustainable Development Goals, and our winners this year will set the standard to which all tourism businesses should aspire”.

Awards Judge Simon Press, senior exhibition director for World Travel Market London, hosts of World Responsible Tourism Day says “The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London are a central pillar of the success of World Responsible Tourism Day.

“The awards winners and shortlisted companies act as a benchmark and inspiration for what the global travel and tourism industry can achieve in responsible tourism practice.”

To submit an entry into the 2016 World Responsible Tourism Awards go to

The 2016 categories:

Best accommodation for responsible employment

Best contribution to wildlife conservation – sponsored by Florida Keys and Key West Tourist Development Council

Best innovation by a tour operator

Best for poverty reduction and inclusion – sponsored by the Tobago House of Assembly

Best responsible tourism campaign

WTM London’s World Responsible Tourism Day takes place on Tuesday 8 November.

Now in their 13th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.

The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel and ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism). The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, during World Responsible Tourism Day, the world’s largest event for responsible tourism which this year takes place on Wednesday 4th November.

This year, the Awards feature 5 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism. For the first year tourism businesses and organisations around the world can submit themselves for consideration. Submissions are welcome between 15th March and 1st May 2016.
At Responsible Travel we help travellers live their dreams through authentic and life-enriching adventures, ensuring local people and wildlife benefit and being a catalyst for change in the industry.

Responsible Travel is now the world’s largest platform for ethical tour providers (with a rigorous system (link to relevant page on the site) in place to ensure each company fits the guidelines to be represented in the site). The company is growing by 40% each year with its profits dependent on an ‘Honesty Box’ where tour providers voluntarily declaring their commission.

'At £100M, I think we might have the biggest honesty box in the world. By showing our partners trust, we’ve foraged fantastic relationships.’ Justin Francis CEO

- Our holiday collection includes tours from almost 400 small, specialist and ethical tour operators

- Our collective operates in 190+ countries

- In 15 years, we’ve helped over 100,000 people live their travel dreams

World Travel Market London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend three-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Around 50,000 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL - London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM London, now in its 37th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2016 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

World Travel Market London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s WTM portfolio, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.

eTN is a media partner for WTM.

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016 at WTM London kick off 20th year of ethical tourism

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