Cruise and climate change top the agenda for World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM

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Tourism businesses and organisations around the world are now being invited to submit themselves for consideration in the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM this November.

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One of the primary purposes of the Awards is to identify good practice and to challenge and inspire others to follow.

The prestigious awards scheme, co-founded and organised by Responsible Travel, is part of World Travel Market’s World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world – which takes place on Wednesday, 4 November and celebrates the most inspiring and innovative examples of responsible tourism in practice globally.

Tourism businesses, organisations, initiatives and destinations across the industry are now being invited to submit themselves for consideration in the 2015 awards at http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com/submissions by Monday 6th April 2015.

Commenting on the variety of organisations expected to submit themselves for consideration, Responsible Travel managing director Justin Francis says “The principles of responsible tourism can apply to any business, mainstream or niche – it’s what makes the awards so exciting.

“We want to play an active role in creating and encouraging a more caring tourism industry and the winners of these awards, big or small, will set examples the rest of the tourism industry can and should follow.

“I’m very excited about being able to discover and share their stories this year.”

The 2015 Awards reflect some of the key trends in responsible tourism with a new category ‘Best Innovation for Carbon Reduction’ searching out some of the most successful, replicable examples of innovation in carbon reduction in the tourism industry in light of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris later this year. 2015 will also see the return of a category for cruise lines, with submissions invited for the ‘Best Sea or River Cruise’.

Chair of Judges, Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism explains why the cruise category is so important this year. “The cruise industry is one of the largest sectors of the tourism market, but also one of the most irresponsible, and progress towards more responsible cruising has generally been slow.

“One of the primary purposes of the Awards is to identify good practice and to challenge and inspire others to follow.

“After the success of the panel on freshwater cruising at WTM in November 2014 where three businesses were able to report in detail on their impressive Responsible Tourism practices, we are keen to see how far the cruise industry has come and what can be learnt from this year’s Awards.”

New categories from 2014, focussing on accessible tourism and animal welfare once again make an appearance in the 2015 awards. These were key topics during World Responsible Tourism Day, at WTM London 2014 and their inclusion for a second year reflects how important these topics continue to be within the wider tourism industry.

Awards judge and World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press says: “I am delighted World Travel Market will host the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM for the twelfth year. The Awards will play a key role in World Responsible Tourism Day on Wednesday 4 November, which is the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world.

“The awards winners and shortlisted companies act as a benchmark and inspiration for what the global travel and tourism industry can achieve in responsible tourism practice.”

The full list of categories for 2015 is as follows:

  •     Best Animal Welfare Initiative – supported by the Born Free Foundation
  •     Best for Beach Tourism – sponsored by Jersey Tourism
  •     Best Cultural Heritage Attraction – sponsored by Wightlink
  •     Best Destination for Responsible Tourism – sponsored by Visit Norway
  •     Best Accommodation for Disability Access
  •     Best for Engaging People and Culture
  •     Best Hotel for Local Sourcing
  •     Best Innovation for Carbon Reduction
  •     Best for Poverty Reduction
  •     Best Responsible Tourism Blog – sponsored by Fair Trade Tourism
  •     Best Sea or River Cruise
  •     Best for Wildlife Conservation
  •     People’s Choice in Responsible Tourism

Submissions are now being welcomed from tourism businesses, organisations, initiatives and destinations across the world. Visit http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com/submissions to submit your entry. Announcement of the finalists and public voting in the People’s Choice Award will commence in May 2015.

You can also follow @RTAwards or #WRTA2015 on Twitter or like the World Responsible Tourism Awards Facebook Page for the latest updates and stories from our international winners.

For sponsorship opportunities contact Trudi Pearce – trudi(at)responsibletravel(dot)com or 01273 829270.

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Notes to editors

About the World Responsible Tourism Awards

For more information on the World Responsible Tourism Awards visit http://www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com

Now in their 12th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.

The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel and ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism). The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, during World Responsible Tourism Day, the world’s largest event for responsible tourism which this year takes place on Wednesday 4th November.

This year, the Awards feature 13 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism. For the first year tourism businesses and organisations around the world can submit themselves for consideration. The only Award that will remain publicly voted is the People’s Choice Award.

Submissions are welcome between 2nd March – 6th April 2015. The People’s Choice will be open for voting between May – early June.

Follow Awards news and updates on Twitter: @RTAwards or #WRTA2015 and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/responsibletourismawards where you can also find stories from our previous international winners.

About Responsible Travel:

Responsible Travel is the world’s leading market place for small and tailor-made tour operators, all screened for their commitment to responsible tourism.

Responsible Travel connects these operators with people looking for real & authentic holidays. Starting with just 2 tour operators in 2001 we’ve become the leading place to find tours from over 400 small & specialist tour companies in 197 countries. As tourism grows globally the opportunity for authentic experiences diminishes, and the impacts of tourism on places & local people (not always positive) grows. We’ve found the secret to authentic travel is treating local people & places responsibly.    

In addition, Responsible Travel:

  • campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.
  • is publishing an expanding collection of open, honest 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.

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

About World Travel Market

World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL - London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2015 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

World Travel Market is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s WTM portfolio, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa. http://www.wtmworld.com

Contact:
Sarah Bareham
awards(at)responsibletravel(dot)com
01273 829269

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Sarah Bareham
@r_travel
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