Africa Travel Week

Stand out through the Global Responsible Tourism Awards

Travellers and holidaymakers are looking for responsible businesses and destinations – stand out through the Global Responsible Tourism Awards.’s latest global research suggests that we have reached a “potential watershed moment for industry and consumers”. WTM’s Global Responsible Tourism Awards are now open for nominations and applications. It is time to apply or to nominate businesses and destinations which you think should apply. One way to stand out from the crowd is to win and use the Responsible Tourism Awards logo. Only those that apply can win. 

Research shows that travellers and holidaymakers want to travel sustainably and look for businesses and destinations that take responsibility for providing them with those opportunities. 48% say they find it harder to make sustainable choices while on vacation than in their everyday life. We need to make it easier for them. now annually surveys travellers and holidaymakers in the world’s major source markets. This year’s report found that 83% of global travellers think sustainable travel is vital. Almost half (49%) still believe that in 2021, there aren’t enough sustainable travel options available.  68% confirm they are more likely to consider choosing an accommodation knowing that it was eco-friendly, with Chinese (93%), Brazilian (83%) and Spanish (80%) travellers the most likely. This is now a global trend. suggests that we have reached a “pivotal moment in travel. Awareness of the impact of our trips is at an all-time high.” And it is not just about the environment. “84% believe increasing cultural understanding and preservation of cultural heritage is crucial. 76% want to ensure the economic impact of the industry is spread equally in all levels of society. 73% want to have authentic experiences that are representative of the local culture when they travel. As points out, “despite 76% of travelers pledging to seek out accommodation that has reputable third-party sustainability accreditation, barriers still remain with 49% of travelers believing there simply still aren’t enough sustainable travel options available in 2021.” There is plenty of detail about why travellers think this on page seven of’s 2021 sustainability report. Their report also reveals that increasing numbers of travellers and holidaymakers expect businesses to make more effort to inform them about sustainability practices and opportunities.

We know that repeats and recommendations are important in travel marketing.’s research points to the importance of avoiding negative reactions. 53% report that they get annoyed if somewhere they are staying stops them from being sustainable, by for example, not

Four years ago,’s research revealed that for many, sustainable travel is also synonymous with a more authentic, local experience. 38% perceive the buying of locally-made products and supporting local artisans as sustainable travel, while 36% would choose an eco-friendly accommodation because it provides a more locally-relevant experience. Our customers aspire to purchase more sustainable forms of travel and they link sustainability with authentic local experiences.’s annual surveys reveal that the trend is strong and growing year on year.

Take the opportunity to enter the WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards – communicate your responsibility. Iain Harris from Coffeebeans Routes explains why his company enters the Responsible Tourism Awards: 

Entries and nominations for the  WTM Global Responsible Tourism Awards are now open, and this time they’re global. They’re free to enter, and the deadline is August 31st 2021.


  • Decarbonising Travel & Tourism,
  • Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic,
  • Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID,
  • Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  • Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment and
  • Growing the Local Economic Benefit.

In 2021, for the first time, we are launching Global Awards for each category – selected from the Gold winners in each of the regions: India, Africa, Latin America and the rest of the world.

Harold Goodwin

Harold Goodwin is WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, he puts together the flagship Responsible Tourism programme at WTM London which attracts 2000 participants each year and the programmes run at WTM Africa, WTM Latin America and Arabian Travel Market. Harold has worked on 4 continents with local communities, their governments and the inbound and outbound tourism industry. He is Managing Director of the Responsible Tourism Partnership and chairs the panels of judges for the World Responsible Tourism Awards and the other Awards in the family, Africa, India and Ireland. Harold works with industry, local communities, governments, and conservationists and undertakes consultancy and evaluations for companies, NGOs, governments, and international organisations. He is also a Director of the Institute of Place Management at Manchester Metropolitan University, where he is an Emeritus Professor, and Founder Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism promotes the principles of the Cape Town Declaration which he drafted.