Businesses and destinations that are eager to showcase their sustainable credentials, are being urged to enter the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2022.
Launched in 2004, the awards recognise and reward businesses and destinations which are contributing to a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry. Winners are chosen by a group of industry experts, who meet online to enable the judging panel to be internationally diverse.
The judging panels are led by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor.
The 2022 awards are split into four regions, with the winner of each region going forward to compete in the Global Awards – and those global winners will be announced at WTM London 7-9 November 2022.
Entries are now closed for Africa and Latin America, as those regions are being judged first, and the winners will be announced at regional WTM shows in Latin America (5-7 April) and Africa (11-13 April).
However, entries can still be made for India until 30 June 2022 and Rest of the World until 31 August 2022.
The same assessment process is followed across all regions and categories to ensure that each entry is judged on the same basis. The 10 categories for 2022 reflect the relationship between tourism, responsibility and Covid-19:
1. Decarbonising Travel & Tourism
2. Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
3. Destinations Building Back Better Post-Covid
4. Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
5. Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
6. Growing the Local Economic Benefit
7. Access for the Differently-Abled: as Travellers, Employees and Holidaymakers
8. Increasing Tourism’s Contribution to Natural Heritage and Biodiversity
9. Conserving Water and Improving Water Security and Supply for Neighbours
10. Contributing to Cultural Heritage
Businesses can enter on their own behalf or be nominated by partners, peers or customers. Gold and Silver Awards are given to the first and second placed entries in each category in each region.
The judging panel will also name one business in each category and region as “one to watch”.
Each region also has a discretionary “Judges’ Award” available for businesses whose area of expertise falls between the categories or who have been previous winners.
Harold Goodwin – WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor said:
“Since their launch at WTM London, the World Responsible Tourism Awards have grown in stature and prestige.
“Each year, we uncover remarkable case studies of responsible businesses and destinations and the awards mean their efforts are recognised globally – and they inspire others too.
“I would urge all who have been working to improve sustainable and responsible tourism to enter and spread the word about the great efforts that are being made around the world.”
Juliette Losardo, Exhibition Director of WTM London, said:
“We know that thousands of businesses and organisations around the world are forging ahead with important responsible initiatives and it’s vital for WTM as a global brand to showcase these programmes, large or small.
“At COP26 in Glasgow during November 2021, the scale of the problem that we face was made clear – and many pledges were made within the travel and tourism sector to build back better after the pandemic.
“We’re determined to build on that momentum – and the legacy of the past 18 years of the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards – to recognise the great strides forward that are being made and encourage others to follow suit.”