Holidaymakers called on to vote for the heroes of Responsible Tourism

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The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014, sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Tourism have now launched - a chance for holidaymakers and the travel industry to honour the heroes and share the stories of the most exciting and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world.

Nominations for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 are now open

The winners we uncover are the heroes and the trendmakers of the industry - those holiday providers with the vision, compassion and originality to shake things up

The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014, sponsored by the Oman Ministry of Tourism have now launched - a chance for holidaymakers and the travel industry to honour the heroes and share the stories of the most exciting and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world.

Organised by responsibletravel.com, the 11 year old Awards search for and celebrate the responsible tourism heroes providing the most memorable holiday experiences while giving back to local communities and the environment.

Holidaymakers and the industry can suggest an Award winner by nominating them at http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com/nominations

Justin Francis, Awards founder, and Managing Director of responsibletravel.com commented; “The winners we uncover are the heroes and the trendmakers of the industry - those holiday providers with the vision, compassion and originality to shake things up. With the new categories we have a chance to celebrate some new outliers, discover fresh ideas, and add some diverse new holiday experiences to our wish-lists too.”

New year, new heroes

This year the Awards have expanded their roster of categories to 12, reflecting some of the key contemporary issues in responsible tourism - including Best animal welfare initiative and Best for people with disabilities.

Voters will also notice new categories for Best city hotel and Best for beach tourism, as well as a new creative category - Best responsible short film - seeking nominations for those films and documentaries that inspire us to take more responsible holidays.

Speaking about the new categories, Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judges, commented; “Animal welfare is an important issue - for UK travelers in particular - and it will be interesting to see what initiatives are nominated. With the rise of YouTube and other video sharing platforms, we are seeing lots of new films. We’ll be looking for pieces which convey the experience of responsible tourism, where you can see the difference.”

Offering a hint of what Judges are expecting with the new people with disabilities category, Goodwin said; “I have seen and heard about activity centres in Brazil and South Africa where people with disabilities can take on the same challenges as their friends and family - expect to be surprised and inspired, as I was.”

The full list of categories includes:

  • Best animal welfare initiative, sponsored by Born Free Foundation
  • Best aviation programme for carbon reduction
  • Best for beach tourism, sponsored by Jersey
  • Best city hotel
  • Best cultural heritage attraction, sponsored by Wightlink
  • Best destination, sponsored by Visit Norway
  • Best for engaging people & culture, sponsored by New York State Division of Tourism
  • People’s Choice for responsible tourism, sponsored by Slovenia Tourist Board
  • Best for people with disabilities, sponsored by Enable Holidays
  • Best for poverty reduction, sponsored by Tobago House of Assembly
  • Best short film for responsible tourism, sponsored by Fair Trade Tourism
  • Best for wildlife conservation, sponsored by Discover Dominica

People have their say

In addition to nominating in 11 categories, holidaymakers can also have a more direct influence on the Award winners this year with the People’s Choice for Responsible Tourism category. Launched last year to allow the public to choose their favourite from among a selection of previous winners, the category celebrated overwhelming success, with the winner receiving over 2,000 votes.

Voting for the People’s Choice will begin in August.

Get involved
Nominations are taken for tourism organisations, businesses, initiatives and destinations around the world. Visit http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com/nominations to make your nomination.

You can also follow @RTAwards on Twitter or like the World Responsible Tourism Awards Facebook Page for the latest updates and stories from our international winners.

Notes to editors

About the Awards
More information about the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 at http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com

Now celebrating their 11th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry by uncovering and sharing the stories of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences. Organised by responsibletravel.com, we work with the World Travel Market, The International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and media partners Metro UK, Travel Trade Gazette UK, Travel trade Gazette Mena, Travel Trade Gazette Nordic, and Selling Long Haul to celebrate and inspire change in the industry.

Headline Sponsor: Oman Ministry of Tourism
Having been a sponsor of the Awards since 2010, the Oman Ministry of Tourism became Headline Sponsor in 2013, our 10th anniversary year.

The Sultanate of Oman’s Ministry of Tourism is committed to developing a range of quality tourism products that not only promote cultural integrity and environmental protection but that also lead to a diverse and sustainable tourism industry both at home in the Sultanate and overseas.

Judging Panel
The Judging Panel for the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 is chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University

About responsibletravel.com
responsibletravel.com is the world's leading online travel agent for responsible holidays and a pioneer of responsible tourism. Started in 2001 with backing from Dame Anita Roddick of The Body Shop the site's mantra is 'travel like a local'. It sells holidays that are about more than just a brief stay somewhere - instead it is travel that offers a real connection with the people, the landscape, the culture, the food and the environment. The holidays also support communities and conservation.

In addition responsibletravel.com:

  • founded and organises The World Responsible Tourism Awards, celebrating 11 years at World Travel Market this year.
  • campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
  • is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest 2 minute travel guides

CEO Justin Francis has been included in Courvoisiers The Future 500, Thames and Hudsons 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University.

The company is based in Brighton's North Laine district, England.

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Sarah Bareham
Responsible Travel
+44 1273 829269
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Alexander Lyons
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