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Winners of the 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Posted by News Editor at 08:08 on Thursday 07 April 2016

The winners of the 2016 World Travel and Tourism Council's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have been announced.

The Awards, which were held yesterday in Dallas, Texas, USA as part of the WTTC Global Summit, shine a light on sustainable tourism businesses and destinations around the world. 

The winners of the five categories were:

  • Community Award: Expediciones Sierra Norte, Mexico: Working for over 20 years, the community-based ecotourism project Expediciones Sierra Norte has now established more than 100 km of routes through forests, following ancient trails and paths that historically connected remote communities. The routes have bought employment and economic prosperity to local communities. 
    Finalists: Sapa O'Chau, Vietnam and Yayasan Ekowisata Indonesia, Indonesia
  • Destination Award: Parkstad Limburg, Netherlands: WTTC says here is "Proof that destinations in decline can regenerate themselves". The neighbouring regions of Hill Country and Parkstad in the Netherlands’ Limburg province have worked together to develop Parkstad - a former coal mining district - as a wet weather tourism destination. The idea is that by providing a complement to Hill Country's summer charms, they can provide a sustainable year-round tourism. 15 years after the scheme began in a region with no income from tourism, Parkstad's turnover in 2015 was €368 million (about £297million), and now provides 5,800 full time jobs. 
    Finalists: Swiss Parks Network, Switzerland and V&A Waterfront, South Africa
  • Environment Award: The Botswana Rhino Conservation Project, Botswana: Working with the Botswana government, Wilderness Safaris has helped reintroduce both black and white rhinos back into the Okavango. During 2014 and 2015, it facilitated an international black rhino translocation, airlifting them to a remote gravel airstrip deep inside the Delta. Viable breeding populations have been re-established in the region, widening the geographic distribution of the species at a time when poaching is threatening its survival elsewhere in southern Africa.
    Finalists: Alcatraz Cruises, US and Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic (LEX-NG) Fund, USA & worldwide
  • Innovation Award: Carmacal Carbon Calculator by ANVR, The Netherlands Travel Trade Association, Netherlands: WTTC says "Until now, a significant problem with most carbon calculators was that they focussed on only a limited part of the tourism package - typically either aviation or accommodation. However, thanks to Carmacal, the first B2B carbon calculator for tourism enterprises, it is now possible to measure all aspects of a holiday with one tool. Carmacal is the only carbon calculator to be able to provide climate footprints at the level of airline/aircraft combinations per route, while also estimating the carbon footprint for 500,000 accommodation options around the world. It means that tour operators can now assess the carbon impact of the packages they offer more thoroughly than ever before, and look for ways to make them more efficient. Something that will add value to thousands of businesses across the world."
    Finalists: North Sailing, Iceland and ‘Measuring Tourism’s Impact’ by PwC, Travel Foundation & TUI Group, United Kingdom
  • People Award: Youth Career Initiative, United Kingdom & worldwide: Working with eleven partner hotel companies, the Youth Career Initiative (YCI) has developed a six-month education and training programme targeted at unemployed youth with limited socio-economic opportunities in 15 countries around the world. It also works with survivors of human trafficking, collaborating with the US Department of State to enable the reintegration of rehabilitated survivors through their participation in its programmes. Over 3,000 young people have graduated from YCI across its 15 countries, including 60 trafficking survivors. WTTC says: "With considerable growth planned, the programme has already become a beacon to show how tourism can provide work skills that transform young and disadvantaged lives."
    Finalists: Jus' Sail, Saint Lucia and Kinyei International, Cambodia 

Graham Miller, Head of Judges, Tourism for Tomorrow AwardsGraham Miller, Head of Judges, Tourism for Tomorrow AwardsThe awards judges, led by Graham Miller, Head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey (right), include international experts from the private sector, academic institutions, non-profit organisations, and governments (including our very own Richard Hammond!) - see all the judgesThe three-stage judging process is rigorous and includes thorough on-site evaluations of all finalists. This year it involved 36 judges and over 60 days of work in the field.

Fiona Jeffrey, Chair of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, said: “This year’s Awards has yet again been an example of extraordinary business leadership in sustainable tourism. I would like to thank our team of international judges lead by Professor Graham Miller, who are so crucial to the rigor and credibility of the Awards.

"The 2016 finalists were of the highest caliber, whilst praising the winners I would also emphasize that all the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards finalists are pioneers in their field.

"By sharing best practice across tourism businesses, private sector and governments we can ensure that tourism continues to grow responsibly and ethically.”

The 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners and finalists. Photo: World Travel and Tourism CouncilThe 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners and finalists. Photo: World Travel and Tourism CouncilWinners Photo: World Travel & Tourism Council reproduced with thanks under a Creative Commons licence

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