Entries are open for the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021, with this year’s ceremony including a series of Global Awards for the first time.
The awards, first launched in 2004, recognise and reward businesses and destinations which are contributing to more sustainable and responsible tourism industry.
Winners are chosen by a group of industry experts, which meet online to allow for an internationally diverse panel.
The panels are all headed up by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor.
The same assessment process is followed across all regions and categories to ensure that each entry is judged on the same basis.
This year’s categories reflect the relationship between tourism, responsibility and COVID-19:
- 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
- Growing the Local Economic Benefit
Businesses can enter on their own behalf or be nominated by partners, peers or customers. As usual, the competition is broken down into four regions – Africa, India, Latin America,
Rest of World – with Gold and Silver Awards given to the first and second placed entries in each category in each region.
The 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.
This year, all the Gold winners will have a chance to win an inaugural WTM World Responsible Tourism Global Award. Each of the six categories will have its own Global winner, chosen from the four regional winners.
Entries can be submitted from 8 April, with 31 August the final closing date. Entries must be submitted online by clicking here.
The regional Gold and Silver Awards recipients, and the new Global winners, will be announced at WTM Virtual, taking place digitally between 8 -9 November this year.
WTM London is returning as a physical event, taking place at Excel London from 1 – 3 November.
Harold Goodwin – WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor said: “Since their launch in 2004, at WTM London, the World Responsible Tourism Awards have grown in prestige. Every year, remarkable new examples of responsible businesses and destinations are ‘discovered’ and recognised through the Awards. In 2021 for the first time, we are launching Global Awards for each category, selected from the Gold winners in each of the regions. Only those that enter can win, you’ve nothing to lose by applying or encouraging someone else to do so.”
Simon Press – Exhibitor Director at WTM London said: “By the time WTM London welcomes the global travel industry back to Excel London this November, we should have a clearer idea about the future of travel in the COVID-19 era. WTM is absolutely committed to helping the industry get back on its feet, but we are also determined that the momentum we’ve helped to build around responsible tourism is maintained.
“If anything, the pandemic reinforces the need for all stakeholders to think about the environmental and social impact of their business.
“The WTM Responsible Tourism World Awards will continue to give businesses doing good work a platform and a profile, while the introduction of Global winners confirms our belief that responsible tourism is now a global as well as a regional imperative.”