FINALISTS of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2008 will gather at the Dubai summit in April, where the winners of each category are due to be announced.
All finalists showcase some of the world’s leading examples of sustainable responsible tourism practises.
An international committee of 12 experts led by Costas Christ, chairman of the judges for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and an internationally recognised leader in sustainable tourism, selected 12 finalists from 150 applications from more than 40 countries within the travel industry.
Costas Christ said, “Sustainable tourism practices are ramping up to a new level, as the tourism industry moves beyond basic recycling programmes and washing sheets and towels every other day. There is a more sophisticated effort happening now at greening tourism operations and delivering tangible returns for conservation and community development.
“The 2008 finalists represent the very best examples among a great pool of exceptional award applicants who are part of the global transformation of tourism now underway.”
Winners and finalists will be honoured at the gala dinner of the Global Travel & Tourism Summit on April 21, 2008 in Dubai.
“On behalf of all WTTC members we are proud to announce this year’s finalists and applaud their shared vision for sustainable tourism development. It is also a great honour to work with such a prestigious, independent judging panel,” said president of the council Jean-Claude Baumgarten.
The finalists for each category are:
Destination award: Blackstone Valley, USA; Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme, Indonesia; Town of Bouctouche, Canada.
Conservation award: Ecotourism Australia; Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa; Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka. Investor in people award: Fair Trade in Tourism, South Africa; RARE / La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras; Rainforest Expeditions, Peru.
Global tourism business award: Scandic Hotels, Sweden & global;
Serena Hotels and Lodges, Kenya & global; Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Thailand & global.
WTTC announced Travelport as the new strategic partner for the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
The awards are endorsed by the members of the council and sponsored by leading travel and tourism organisations, including Fairmont Hotels & Resorts, Lindblad Expeditions, NM Rothschild & Sons Ltd, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Adventure in Travel Expo, BEST Education Network, Sustainable Travel International, Rainforest Alliance and World Heritage Alliance. Media sponsors include BBC World, National Geographic Adventure, Telegraph Media Group, TTN Middle East, Travelmole and eTurboNews.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards were set up in 1989 by the Federation of Tour Operators to encourage action from all sectors of the industry to protect the environment.
In 1992, British Airways took over the running of the awards, developing them to encompass all aspects of sustainable tourism, with the explicit aim of leading the industry in this field. The programme has been pioneering and successful in raising awareness of the sustainability agenda in the tourism industry, and promoting and improving best practice.
Over the years, Tourism for Tomorrow has been supported by well known figures in the world of conservation, such as professor David Bellamy and Sir Crispin Tickell.