World Responsible Tourism Awards and World Travel Market Announce Regional Awards Programme

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The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM, the leading awards scheme recognising achievement and innovation in responsible tourism globally has announced the expansion of its programme in partnership with World Travel Market’s worldwide portfolio.

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The examples of responsible tourism best practice by companies of all sizes are a testament to how serious the industry takes responsible tourism and what can be achieved if these examples are shared.

The Awards, celebrating 12 years at WTM London - the world’s largest event for responsible tourism - this November, is expanding its partnership with World Travel Market portfolio events across the globe in 2015. The first of the regional programme of Awards is the African Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM Africa, with the inaugural winners to be announced at the event in Cape Town on 16th April.

WTM Portfolio, Director, Craig Moyes, said: “The World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM have been a great success at World Travel Market over the past 12 years. The awards play a key role in World Responsible Tourism Day – the largest day of responsible tourism action in the world.

“The examples of responsible tourism best practice by companies of all sizes are a testament to how serious the industry takes responsible tourism and what can be achieved if these examples are shared. I’m delighted that WTM Africa will be hosting The African Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM Africa.

Tourism is central to the continent’s economy, which makes it all the more vital that the African travel and tourism industry acts responsibly to preserve and protect its unrivalled natural resources. WTM Africa is the perfect platform to highlight the best practice in the African travel industry.”

Justin Francis, Managing Director of Responsible Travel which founded and organises the annual World Responsible Tourism Awards says “The World Responsible Tourism Awards have always been global in reach, but together with World Travel Market we're excited to be bringing our trademark rigour to the next generation of Responsible Tourism Awards programmes.

With our new regional range of Awards, we have the chance for local organisers to lead the search for the most inspirational responsible tourism experiences in their destinations. It’s a substantial strengthening of the whole programme from the ground up and you never know, you may see one or two of the regional winners sharing the limelight at our global Awards in London later this year!"

The inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards have already generated significant participation across Africa, with the judging process already well underway. Heidi Van Der Watt, organiser, comments “The number of nominations for the African Responsible Tourism Awards far outstripped our expectations. A full 112 nominations from 16 countries, truly covering Africa from north-south and east-west were submitted. Our heartfelt thanks to partners on the continent who helped us to get the word out and the nominations rolling in.”

As part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM family, the judging process for the African Responsible Tourism Awards is Chaired by Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism at Manchester Metropolitan University, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism, and Chair of the main World Responsible Tourism Awards judging panel since their inception.

Going forward the International Awards programme will continue to expand with events planned for WTM Latin America in 2016.

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Notes to editors

About the World Responsible Tourism Awards

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

Now in their 12th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM 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 publically voted is the People’s Choice Award. Submissions are welcome between 2nd March – 3rd 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 2014 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 (UK)

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Sarah Bareham
@r_travel
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