The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 were founded in 2004 by Responsibletravel.com to uncover and commend excellence in responsible tourism around the world. The awards form part of World Travel Market London (WTM), the leading global event for the travel industry, and the winners will be announced today to kick off World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD).
The 36th edition of WTM, which is being held at at ExCel London, began on 2 November and will close tomorrow when WTM will be hosting two speed networking sessions (one will be for buyers and the other for bloggers), plus Holidays Matter, the Family Holiday Association’s annual conference.
What is responsible tourism?
The 2002 Cape Town declaration agreed that responsible tourism:
- Minimises negative economic, environmental and social impacts;
- Generates greater economic benefits for local people and enhances the wellbeing of host communities; improves working conditions and access to the industry;
- Involves local people in decisions that affect their lives and life chances;
- Makes positive contributions to the conservation of natural and cultural heritage embracing diversity;
- Provides more enjoyable experiences for tourists through more meaningful connections with local people, and a greater understanding of local cultural, social and environmental issues;
- Provides access for physically challenged people; and
- Is culturally sensitive, encourages respect between tourists and hosts, and builds local pride and confidence.
(Become a champion by applying to use the WTM Responsible Tourism banner).
On their website, WTM with support from the World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) wants the industry to work together to:
- Help drive change by educating more responsible behaviour with the travel and tourism industry and travelling public;
- Explore the issues of how countries and destinations are made more sustainable including case studies of best practices;
- Educate the marketplace and debate key environmental related issues to push the agenda and be a catalyst for change; and
- Harness the influence of World Travel Market as an international business forum to encourage the industry to drive the responsible tourism agenda forward.
Follow @RTAwards on Twitter for live-tweeting during the ceremony to find out who the winners are.