The Resilience Through Tourism Summit (RTTS) has announced the winners of the world’s first International Peace Through Tourism Awards which have been launched to highlight global tourism’s contribution to prosperity and peace.
The new awards act as a benchmark to celebrate how far countries and communities have come since the Amman Declaration on Peace Through Tourism was confirmed in 2000 at the IIPT’s previous Global Summit.
With Jordan playing host to the RTTS Summit, the Middle East was given the unique first opportunity to showcase the considerable progress of peace through tourism in the region. A total of 28 nominations were received from local businesses, destinations and NGO’S with the following four winners being announced in a special ceremony at the Summit:
• Joint winners – Petra National Trust and Jordan River Foundation
Peace Through Community Livelihood Enhancement Award
Established in 1989, Petra National Trust (PNT) is a registered Jordanian nongovernmental organization and Jordan’s integral body in the conservation, preservation, and sustainable management of national cultural heritage – with a focus on the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Petra. It has successfully coordinated preservation projects and studies on such issues as the Nabataean hydrological systems, biodiversity, the geophysical stability of the Siq, and the unique Nabataean wall painting at Beidha.
Jordan River Foundation (JRF) was established in 1995 by Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah with the overall aim of empowering communities and promoting child safety. Starting with the Bani Hamida Weaving Project, it is now part of the Jordan River Designs Handicrafts Program (JRD); a socio-economic program for women to provide employment opportunities that enhance their livelihoods while developing their knowledge and skills in handicraft production and entrepreneurship.
• Winner – Jordan Trail Association
Peace Through Cultural Diversity Award
Recently chosen by National Geographic Traveller as one of the world’s best tourism destinations, the Jordan Trail Association has introduced the 52 villages it passes through to the benefits of tourism and provided much needed revenue and employment to local residents. This year resulted in 70,000 JD’s being spent directly on local community engagement
• Winner – Ecohotels (Feynan Ecolodge)
Peace Through Respect of Sustainable Development and Ecological Balance Award
Operated with minimal impact on the environment, Feynan Ecolodge offers guests unique and authentic experiences while contributing to the conservation of Dana Reserve and helping the impoverished local community through employment and micro business development. In particular, all staff are from the local community with 50% of revenue benefitting the local residents and all electricity used by the Ecolodge is generated by photovoltaic panels.
Dr Taleb Rifai, chairman of the IIPT Advisory Board and former Secretary General of the UNWTO commented: “We received amazing nominations from such a truly diverse range of institutions across Jordan and beyond. Every single entry demonstrated an exemplary commitment to achieving peace through tourism and the judges had a very difficult job determining the winners – so congratulations to everyone who entered.”
Speaking about the Awards, Ajay Prakash, President IIPT India said, “While discussing Resilience through Tourism, it is important to recognise and applaud businesses and organisations who perceive tourism as a force for good, and who, through this recognition of their work, could serve as role models.”
Fiona Jeffery, Founder & Chairman, Just a Drop commented: “It’s been an honour as a Global Ambassador for Peace Through Tourism to judge these inaugural awards. It’s also truly impressive the standard of exemplary tourism development work emerging from the Middle East and Jordan in particular that these awards have helped highlight and share with the rest of the world.”
The Awards were hosted by Jordan Tourism Board and supported by Abdali group, Cachet Consulting, The Travel corporation and Robin Tauck.