Africa has dominated the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards winners, with Botswana and Kenya taking top honours in two of the five categories.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards celebrates inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from all over the globe. Awards are presented in five categories, which reflect the WTTC’s aim of ‘balancing the interests of people, planet, and profits’.
In keeping with the United Nation’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, and with the WTTC’s firm commitment to a greener, more sustainable sector, the 2017’s Awards winners are notable for their forward thinking and eco-positive approach. The Winners are also all contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) laid out in the UN’s 2030 Agenda.
This year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony took place on 27 April, during the 17th WTTC Global Summit, held in Bangkok, Thailand.
The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards winners are:
WINNER – Ol Peteja Conservancy, Kenya
FINALIST – Cinnamon Wild Yala, Sri Lanka
FINALIST – G Adventures, Canada
WINNER – Chobe, Makgadikdgadi, and Okvango delta Ramsar site, Botswana
FINALIST – City of Bydgoszcz, Poland
FINALIST – Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland
WINNER – Misool, Indonesia
FINALIST – Biosphere Expeditions, UK
FINALIST – Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil
WINNER – Mapping Ocean Wealth Initiative, The Nature Conservancy, USA
FINALIST – NATIVE Hotels and Accessible Tourism, Spain
FINALIST – Soel Yachts, The Netherlands
WINNER – The J Willard and Alice S Marriot Foundation’s China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI), China
FINALIST – Desert & Delta Safaris, Botswana
FINALIST – STREETS International, Vietnam
The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts. Academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives all join forces to whittle down the finalists to just five Winners. Becoming a Tourism for Tomorrow judge is not a task to be taken lightly – the stringent, three-stage judging process includes a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative.
David Scowsill, President & CEO, WTTC, said: “I am delighted by the high standard of all our finalists. Those taking away the Awards this year represent the very best in sustainable tourism, and we hope that their example will both educate their peers and lead the sector forward. The Travel & Tourism sector is growing fast, and we have to ensure that this growth does not see short-term gains prioritised over the longer-term health of local environments and communities. This year’s Award Winners demonstrate not only that tourism can be sustainable, but that it can bring tangible improvements to both the environmental and cultural surroundings in which it operates. We will see the Travel & Tourism sector driving forward to ensure a more sustainable world.”
Fiona Jeffrey, OBE, Chair, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, said: “This year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Winners continue to push the sustainability agenda and walk the talk in terms of developing a better, more responsible, and accountable sector, better tourism experiences and a protected planet. None of this is achieved through a short-term initiative. These companies have all proven that sustainable development sits at the heart of their DNA and they live and breathe these values with outstanding economic, environmental and social results. They are great role models we can all learn from and apply to businesses all over the world.”
Jeff Rutledge, CEO, AIG Travel, the headline sponsors of the Awards, said: “The 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are an inspiration to us all. By actively empowering the communities in which they are based through their conservation and educational initiatives, our Winners and finalists are proving that sustainability really does make practical sense for the Travel and Tourism industry”
For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and all the winners, visit www.wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards
Watch the Tourism For Tomorrow Awards – A Winners Journey Video