The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has unveiled the 18 finalists for its 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. The Awards are one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry, recognising sustainable tourism best practices in businesses and destinations worldwide.
Award applications were received this year from 56 countries, representing all continents. Finalists in six categories were selected, ranging from local destinations to global hotel groups, international airlines, luxury tour operators and small eco-lodges.
The Finalists of the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are:
Business Award finalists, who represent large tourism businesses with at least 500 full time employees operating in one or more countries, which successfully integrate sustainable tourism best practices into their planning and operations:
– Asilia Africa
– Cathay Pacific
– TUI Travel
Community Award finalists, whose companies and organisations are committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage:
– Abercrombie & Kent
– Arviat Community Ecotourism
– Basecamp Explorer Kenya
Destination Award finalists, who show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations:
– Burren & Cliffs of Moher Geopark
– Temes S.A. – Costa Navarino
Environment Award finalists, whose organisations and companies achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations:
– Great Plains Conservation
– Skyrail Rainforest Cableway
– Jetwing Vil Uyana
Innovation Award finalists, who provided innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice:
– Chepu Adventures Ecolodge
– Lapland Vuollerim Welcomes You
People Award finalists, who are dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future.
– SA College for Tourism
– Central College Nottingham/ITTOG
In their tenth year under WTTC stewardship, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, have been changed to reflect the broadening scope of WTTC’s sustainability agenda. There are now six award categories, with the addition of two entirely new awards to recognize the areas of human resources and innovation.
Despite the addition of new categories and additional finalists there is no change to the judging process which has made the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards the gold-standard of sustainable tourism awards: an Independent Chairman of Judges, a rigorous three-step judging process involving up to 22 independent expert judges from all around the world, and on-site evaluations of all award finalists.
Finalists were selected by an international panel of independent judges chaired by Costas Christ, an internationally recognised expert on sustainable tourism. In the first stage of a comprehensive three step judging process, judges carefully evaluated and selected award entries that best demonstrate the protection of natural and cultural heritage, delivering social and economic benefits to local people, and engaging in environmentally friendly operations, as well as other established sustainable tourism criteria.
Unique among global sustainable tourism awards, the second phase of judging includes an on-site evaluation of each finalist carried out by international sustainable tourism experts who make in-depth first hand assessments of the organisations and businesses in practice.
David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said: “For ten years, WTTC has led the sustainability debate within the Travel & Tourism through our Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. To mark the tenth anniversary this year, we have changed the Awards to reflect the broadening scope of WTTC’s sustainability agenda. There are now six award categories, with the addition of two entirely new awards to recognize the areas of human resources and innovation. I would like to congratulate all 18 of our finalists who are flying the flag for the best in sustainable practices globally. The Awards ceremony at the WTTC Global Summit in Hainan, China, on 24 April will be an event to remember.”
Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges said: “Each year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognize sustainable tourism best practices in action, helping to transform the Travel & Tourism industry based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and direct benefits to the social and economic well-being of local people in travel destinations around the world. This year’s Finalists continue to demonstrate that when carefully managed, tourism can be a powerful force for improving livelihoods and protecting our planet for future generations.”
Winners and finalists will be recognised during a Gala evening at WTTC’s annual Global Summit, to be held in Hainan, China, on 24 April 2014.