Responsible Tourism Awards

15 Mar 2012 | by Susana


Hi everybody,

I have to say that I am very happy & nervous because it is my first post with you, it was difficult to choose as there are so many subjects we could talk about, but it would be a good start to post an article about “Common sense and Good Manners”…. then I am sure you would say “uff, not again”…but if I say that, there is a new trend in the hospitality industry that considers responsible tourism as treating others the way they wish to be treated ….. What would you think??

I do not know if you are going to like my subject but I hope you do and please feel free to comment my post !




The Responsible Tourism Awards was founded in 2004 to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. The awards rest on a simple principle – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organized in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people, working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity.

But more than that, we want their examples to inspire others. That’s why we have the most rigorous judging process around, and work with the best partners in the industry to help us get the word out – to ensure that their stories provide an example to the industry.

The Responsible Tourism Awards are organized by the founder, with support from media partners Metro Newspaper, Geographical Magazine (the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society), and the World Travel Market, where the awards are given out. The judging process is designed and organized in partnership with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University, and Virgin Holidays have supported the awards as a headline sponsor since 2007.

Since they were founded in 2004, the Awards have attracted over 10,000 nominations from members of the public, leading to 201 unique organizations awarded from 51 countries around the world.

What are the Responsible Tourism Awards for?

The awards serve to inspire others and to ensure that their stories provide an example to the industry.


How do the awards work?
Rather than handpick our nominees, we rely on travelers and the industry to nominate those tourism ventures with exciting stories to share. This makes our awards unique – we don’t pre-decide the winners, we let you tell us who should be in the running. Every year, we team up with our media partners to invite the public to make their nominations, and every year this process yields hundreds of unique nominees.

All it takes for someone to be considered for an Award is one nomination in any of our 13 categories. It isn’t a popularity contest; one nomination is enough to be entered.
Once all the nominations are received the judging process begins – several stages designed with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism to put our nominees through their paces. At each stage, the list gets shorter, until our expert panel of judges is ready to combine their knowledge to debate the winners on our annual Judging Day.

What does it mean to be a winner?

Finalists of the awards are invited to a prestigious ceremony hosted as part of World Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market in London, where the winners are announced to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. We work with a variety of media partners to share the stories of our winners with the public – including The Metro, and Geographical magazine.

Awards Categories

The Responsible Tourism Awards are divided into 13 categories, each one focusing on a unique area of responsible tourism. For every category, we are looking for organizations conserving cultural heritage, preserving local environments, and contributing to the sustainable livelihoods of local people. In addition to this, each category has a unique theme – whether it’s a marine dive resort on a hideaway island, an adventure tour organised with the local community, or a luxury accommodation with a sustainable heart.

New Zealand in 2009

Award Categories:

  • Best accommodation for local communities
  • Best accommodation for the environment
  • Best cruise or ferry operator
  • Best contribution to conserving cultural heritage
  • Best tour operator for local experiences
  • Best low carbon initiative
  • Best destination
  • Best in a marine environment
  • Best in a mountain environment
  • Best for poverty reduction
  • Best in responsible tourism writing
  • Best volunteering organisation
  • Best for conservation of wildlife and habitats

Since 2004, they have awarded over 200 organizations, individuals and destinations from 51 countries around the world making outstanding contributions to local livelihoods, cultural heritage and the environment. Among the winners and those highly commended are remarkable people with deep connections to the places they visit. They offer fantastic holidays that conserve cultural traditions, create sustainable livelihoods, and connect travelers with the pace and rhythm of local ways of life.

Each of the winners has a unique story to tell, and we are committed to sharing those stories with the world!

Asia wins in 2010 Best Environment

Visit the following Responsible Tourism Awards links for more details:

A 2 min. video from The Fauzi Azar Inn (winner 2011): 

As you can imagine, RTA was the future but now is the present, we have to think not only of ourselves …




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