Monday, 11 November 2013 11:00 AM
The World Responsible Tourism Awards aims to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. The Awards rest on a simple principle – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.
Here are the winners from the 10th World Responsible Tourism Awards 2013, which took place at World Travel Market last week .
Overall winner: TUI Nederland
TUI Nederland was commended for its work in child protection, in particular their 'Say NO to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil' project and a campaign across Dutch airports to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation issues among travellers.The judges were impressed by TUI Nederland's willingness to raise this sensitive issue with their clients and Dutch travellers in general, in order to urge them to take action and to report their suspicions when abroad.
Best for the Local Economy: Village Ways, India & Ethiopia
In order to discourage out-migration and to create additional livelihoods in marginal rural areas, Village Ways has developed a business strategy based on Village Tourism Enterprises. Guests travel "like a local" and have the opportunity to interact with villagers; and if they wish, to participate in village activities such as singing and dancing.
Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences: Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR
Nam Nern Night Safari has been designed to support the conservation of tigers and their prey, as well as other wildlife, by placing a monetary value on tigers and other wildlife for local people. Each reported sighting of wildlife by a tourist results in a financial reward for the villagers, and this includes people who might otherwise poach.
Best Destination for Responsible Tourism: Bonito, Brazil
Bonito was launched as a tourism destination when its natural beauty was revealed on Brazilian television in 1990; in 2012 it received 190,000 tourists. The private sector businesses and the public authorities realised that tourism development in Bonito needed to be managed so they developed a voucher system to control visitor numbers. The judges were impressed by the voucher system and keen to recognise its contribution to ensuring the sustainability of the destination.
Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning: people and places, UK
people and places were highly commended in 2007 in the Best Volunteering category and they won this same category in 2009. The judges were impressed by their campaign for responsible volunteering; they have also been active in campaigning for child protection whilst running their small business.
Best for Water Conservation: Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia
As well as using rain water and solar water heating tanks for hot water, the judges were particularly impressed by the way in which Chepu engages the visitor enabling them to monitor their own water consumption by providing them with computer-fed feedback on the amount of water they are using. If customers keep within their 'eco-limit' they can choose to have a tree planted in Patagonia or a reduction on their bill.
Best for Child Protection: TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
Realising that child sex tourism is silently growing in the Northeast of Brazil, TUI Nederland and its numerous partners launched a campaign to say "a collective 'NO' to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil". TUI Nederland has contributed over €100,000 since 2008 to fighting child exploitation in the region; 80 adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age have been trained as 'Youth Mobilizers', for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, reaching over 2,000 people. Their vocational training programme has 104 graduates of whom 39 were employed throughout 2012.
People's Choice: Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile
Huilo Huilo addresses all three pillars of sustainability. It works to conserve the forest and endangered species; it has worked with local people to ensure that those who used to make their living from logging and timber are now able to live off tourism and this biological reserve has been a catalyst to creating opportunities for local people to create their own businesses, fostering local cultural and artistic heritage.
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