LONDON, UK – The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) today announced the 12 finalists for the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Under WTTC’s stewardship since 2003, the prestigious awards recognize best practices in sustainable tourism in four different categories – Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit, and Global Tourism Business. A record number of entries were received this year from over 40 countries and six continents.
The 12 finalists were selected by an international team of independent judges in each of the four award categories for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism practices, including the protection of natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people, and environmentally-friendly operations.
The 2009 finalists are:
Destination Stewardship Award
Grupo PUNTACANA, Dominica Republic – www.puntacana.com
Heritage Watch, Cambodia – www.heritagewatch.org
South West Tourism, UK – www.swtourism.org.uk
Ionian Eco Villagers, Greece – www.relaxingholidays.com
Lane Cove River Tourist Park, Australia – www.lcrtp.com.au
NatureAir, Costa Rica – www.natureair.com
Community Benefit Award
Community Action Treks, Nepal – www.catreks.com
Ol Donyo Wuas, Kenya – www.oldonyowuas.com
Zakoura Foundation for Micro Credits, Morocco – www.zakourafondation.org
Global Tourism Business Award
GAP Adventures, Canada & Global – www.gapadventures.com
Marriott International Inc, USA & Global – www.marriott.com
Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador – www.metropolitan-touring.com
Costas Christ, chairman of judges said: “We have reached a global tipping point in the travel industry, as more businesses and countries realize that sustainable tourism is not only about protecting the environment and safeguarding cultural diversity, but that it is also an important economic opportunity. The Tomorrow Awards judging process goes beyond just what a company says it is doing in sustainable tourism. Our next phase of judging involves an on-site expert evaluation of each finalist to assess what they are doing in practice, leading up to the selection of one winner in each category.”
“The outstanding quality of this year’s entries reflects the growing interest in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards,” said WTTC president and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten. “They demonstrate the travel and tourism industry’s long-term commitment to responsible tourism management, protecting the natural, social, and cultural environment.”
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are endorsed by WTTC members and other organizations. They are organized in association with two Strategic Partners – Travelport and The Leading Travel Companies Conservation Foundation – with additional sponsors Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Rothschild, Inc. Media partners include BBC World, Breaking Travel News, e-Turbo News, FVW, greentravelguides.tv, Grupo RBS, Mercados & Eventos, National Geographic Adventure, Newsweek, Simon & Baker Travel Review, Telegraph Media Group, Travel Daily News, TravelMole, Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly UK, TTN Middle East, USA Today, and 4hoteliers. Contributors are Adventure in Travel Expo, BEST Education Network, the Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Travel International, the World Heritage Alliance, Reed Travel Exhibitions, and World Travel Market.
For more information about the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and the finalists, please call Susann Kruegel, WTTC’s Manager, e-Strategy and Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, on +44 (0) 20 7481 8007 or contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also check out the website: www.tourismfortomorrow.com .