First green world travel awards


LONDON – World Travel Awards European and Green Awards Ceremony takes place in one of the greenest places on earth – AquaCity, the luxurious Slovakian resort in Poprad, which is almost completely self-powered. Using geothermal water and energy from the sun, AquaCity is to host the ceremony on October 16, 2008.

“The challenges of green tourism are the responsibility of every company, organization and individual working in travel and tourism today,” said Graham E. Cook, founder and president of World Travel Awards. “Unless we play our part now, there is no denying that we will all be held to account by future generations. That is why these awards are so crucial to the international travel industry, helping stimulate action that preserves the world, its culture and heritage.”

He said that AquaCity is the perfect venue for the awards. “The resort saves around 27 tons of carbon from entering the atmosphere each day, compared with a traditional resort that burns conventional fossil fuels,” explained Cooke.

“In addition to minimizing the carbon footprint of guests, using renewable energy sources also saves millions of euros in conventional energy costs, reducing holiday prices and offering travelers the unusual combination of affordable, green luxury.”

Cooke said that World Travel Awards, celebrating its 15th birthday this year, had built its global reputation on helping to encourage quality in every dimension of the customer offering, as well as excellent business performance.

“Contrary to what some people still believe, green tourism can increase business efficiency, cut energy costs, increase customer and staff satisfaction plus create that all important feel-good factor for both the business and visitors,” he said.

There are 90 nominations in ten overall green categories, including the World’s Leading Conservation Company, Eco-friendly Airport, Eco-Lodge, Green Destination, Green Hotel, Green Resort, Green Tour Operator, Green Transport Solution Company, Responsible Tourism Scheme and Sustainable Tourism Scheme, but also Europe’s top tourism brands, destinations and resorts.

There are categories, too, for Africa, Asia, Australasia, Central America, Europe, Indian Ocean, Middle East, North America and South America.

In addition to the Green Awards, the European Awards will be unveiled on the same evening, creating a perfect environment for top business networking among some of the industry’s high caliber professionals.

“We wanted to combine the events to underline the crucial importance of quality in every aspect of travel,”, continued Cooke. “Increasingly, responsible tourism is becoming a core part of every category of European travel product. Whether it is energy efficiency, conservation initiatives, waste management, community activities or water conservation, European consumers particularly are beginning to demand greater consideration to green issues as part of an essential travel program. Announcing the winners of the Europe Awards and the Green Awards on the same night was the best way to highlight the massive change in public attitudes.

More than 180 nominations from 50 countries have been received for the Europe Awards which recognize excellence for best airlines, airports, hotels, car hire, casino resorts, cruise lines, destinations, spas and tourist board.

The event is part of World Travel Awards Grand Tour, culminating with the final in December, which this year is being held in Turks & Caicos.