GUANGZHOU, China – On this World Tourism Day 2011, September 27, 2010, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is inviting tourism businesses and destinations worldwide to apply for the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Applicants may enter in one of four categories: Global Tourism Business, Conservation, Community Benefit, and Destination Stewardship, showcasing best practice in sustainable tourism. Applications may be submitted online on www.tourismfortomorrow.com/Apply/
The launch of the Tourism for Tomorrow call for entries on World Tourism Day is significant since a panel of leading tourism and biodiversity experts are meeting in China to explore synergies between tourism, biodiversity, and sustainable development along the theme “Tourism and Biodiversity,” in support of the United Nations International Year of Biodiversity. This event highlights the importance of sustainable tourism, which is reflected in all four WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards categories.
“With the celebration of World Tourism Day, we are also recognizing the increasingly important role that travel and tourism plays in helping to support and protect cultural and natural heritage around the world, while also delivering tangible social and economic benefits to local communities. WTTC’s foremost awards, which include an international panel of expert judges and a rigorous on-site evaluation process, recognize and celebrate these advances in sustainable best practices,” said Costas Christ, chairman of the judges for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Due to a three-step stringent judging process, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have achieved growing levels of respect among key audiences – the industry, governments, and the international media. Winners and finalists will be publicly recognized during a special ceremony at the 11th Global Travel Tourism Summit, held from May 17-19, 2011 in Las Vegas, USA, in the presence of government and industry leaders. Furthermore, they will receive widespread international media exposure thanks to WTTC’s extensive media partnerships. They will also be invited to submit case studies to be featured on WTTC’s Best Practice Gateway, the world’s first online library for best practice in sustainability in travel and tourism ( www.wttc.org
“For seven years, WTTC has had stewardship over the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The level of best practice showcased by winners and finalists during these years has been outstanding and truly inspiring and in keeping with the mission of WTTC to promote long-term prosperity and growth while balancing economic, cultures, and our environment,” said Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president and CEO of WTTC.
The awards are handed out in four categories. The Global Tourism Business category is open to any large company from any sector of travel and tourism with at least 500 full-time employees and operating in more than one country. In the Conservation category, tourism businesses must demonstrate that their development has made a tangible contribution to the conservation of nature, including the protection of wildlife, expanding and restoring natural habitat, and supporting biodiversity. For the Community Benefit category, tourism initiatives must demonstrate direct benefits to local people, support for community development, and enhancement for cultural heritage in the area. Candidates in the Destination Stewardship category may represent a variety of tourism organizations that show success in maintaining a program of sustainable tourism management at the destination level, incorporating social, cultural, environmental, and economic benefits, as well as multi-stakeholder engagement.
Last year’s winners included Botswana Tourism Board in the Destination Stewardship category; Emirates Hotels Resorts, UAE, in the Conservation category; Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd., New Zealand, in the Community Benefit category; and Accor, France Global in the Global Tourism Business category.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organized in association with Travelport and the Travel Corporation’s Conservation Foundation.