Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tourism for Tomorrow 2011 Awards

The World Travel & Tourism Council just announced the names of the 2011 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards at a special ceremony at the Aria Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada last night. In what may be the industry’s most stringent application process, the awards seek to honor those who actually embody the principles of sustainable tourism in their company vision as well as their day-to-day operations.

According to Costas Christ, chairman of the judges, eight years ago, the applicants were often companies who ‘wanted’ to be sustainable, but failed to follow through on many key points. Today’s applicants conversely, made the selection process difficult since all the dozen finalists are actually exemplary examples of living the sustainable ideal.

The four winners represent three continents (Africa, Australia and Europe) while the original applicants came from over 60 separate nations.

The Conservation Award was won by Singita Pamushana of Zimbabwe for its part in rehabilitating and ongoing protection of 122,000 acres of wildlife habitat. In addition, they have provided potable water and nutritional outreach programs to more than 10,000 neighboring villagers.

Guludo Beach Lodge in Mozambique won the Community Benefit Award for making a major impact on the community development and enhancement of cultural heritage in their location. Working through their non-profit charity, the Nema Foundation, they are helping to eradicate malaria, clean drinking water, and assisting with agricultural production.

Alpine Pearls, headquartered in Austria won the Destination Stewardship Award by easing heavy traffic congestion in the Alpine communities of Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovenia and France. Alpine Pearls has introduced solar powered electric vehicles, low carbon public transport and free use of bicycles for tourists who leave their cars behind.

Intrepid Travel of Australia won the Global Tourism Business Award in the large company category. Intrepid Travel helps 100,000 travelers explore 130 different countries each year. Intrepid Travel subscribes to fair trade sourcing and monitoring/reducing their carbon emissions at 30 global offices. Though their non-profit Intrepid Foundation they support health care, education, human rights, child welfare, and sustainable development in the destinations Intrepid Travel visits.

See the full slide show here:

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