Finalists vie for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Emirates’ Al Maha Desert Resort & Spa

More than 160 entrants from 45 countries were received for this year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and these have now been whittled down to 12 finalists with the winners due to be announced at the Global Travel & Tourism Summit taking place in Beijing from May 25 to 27.

Held under the stewardship of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) since 2003, the prestigious awards recognise best practice in sustainable tourism in four different categories – destination stewardship, conservation, community benefit and global tourism business.

The finalists have been selected by an international team of independent judges in each of the four award categories for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism practices, including the protection of natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people and environmentally-friendly operations.

The finalists in the destination stewardship category are: Botswana Tourism Board, Botswana; Ministry of Tourism, Montenegro and Mount Huangshan Scenic Site, China.

Up for the conservation award are: Emirates Hotels & Resorts, UAE; Inkaterra Perú SAC, Peru and Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania.

The community benefit award is being contested by: Namibia’s Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector / NACSO, Namibia; Tourindia, India and Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd, New Zealand. And the global tourism business award is between: Accor, France & Global; Banyan Tree Holdings, Singapore & Global  and Wilderness Safaris, South Africa & Global.  

Impala in Botswana

Costas Christ, chairman of judges said: “The travel and tourism industry is at a critical crossroads, not because of the global economic recession but rather as more travel companies and destinations understand that a paradigm shift is underway, where addressing social and environmental issues is an important part of business success.

“Sustainable practices have become a new measure of quality service and the excellent award entries we received this year in all categories support this. Our 2010 Tourism for Tomorrow finalists represent that new reality in action, where good stewardship is now good business.”