This year’s WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards are designed to recognise those who have addressed COVID-19. We talk you through the process.
This year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards have been adapted to recognise businesses, individuals, destinations and organisations which have taken responsibility to address the challenge of COVID-19. Find out more about the Awards and nominate online by the end of July.
Only those nominated can be recognised by the judges, you can nominate yourself and others, and you can nominate as many as you wish.
WHY THESE AWARDS MATTER
To give you a better idea of why these Awards matter, I spoke to Glynn O’Leary, CEO: Transfrontier Parks Destinations, Richard Vigne, CEO: Ol Pejeta Conservancy as well as Justin Francis, CEO: Responsible Travel.
Glynn O’Leary: “Our business model is really about starting with the basics and working with people. A key component to what we do is creating rural employment. It’s really important that we create jobs and that the majority of them are filled by the local community. Rural tourism is always a challenging part of the tourism industry. For that reason, the exposure we get through the awards is fantastic. Now people are talking more about deep tourism, wilderness and learning about different cultures. These are things we have been doing for the past 15 years. Through the awards we are able to spread our message. The marketing aspect is valuable, but the awareness it creates is much more important.”
Richard Vigne: “We started out as wildlife conservationists. We weren’t in the business of tourism to begin with, but it was a way to fund our conservation aspirations. That remains the case today. We run our tourism in a way that is completely compatible with the maintenance of conservation space. The awards send a signal to the industry that it is possible to run a responsible business that supports people and wildlife at the same time as making profit. We use it as a marketing tool, but also find it is something that is being sought after in the marketplace.”