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Responsible tourism Awards

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015

World Responsible Tourism Awards 2016

2016 video

Watch our 2016 ceremony introductory video, featuring our finalists.

Thank you!

Many thanks to our headline sponsor, Belize Tourism Board, and to all our other category sponsors and partners, and, of course, all our finalists, without whom the Awards could not exist. Thank you.

2016 joint winners announced as Lemon Tree Hotel and Tren Ecuador

Founded in 2004, the Awards allow you the chance to celebrate the heroes and share the stories of the most exciting and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world.

This year the judges wanted to recognise two very different category winners:

Lemon Tree Hotels are recognised for creating a socially inclusive work environment, employing people with disabilities and those from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Currently 25% of its staff 'opportunity deprived Indians' and they hope to increase this to 49% in the next 5 years. The judges are delighted to see a large major successful corporate with progressive employment practices at the heart of the business.

Tren Ecuador has reversed the traditional approach of heritage and luxury train travel. They instead have created shared value with 23 station-cafes, 14 artisanal squares, 13 local museums, 2 lodges, 9 folklore and historical recreation groups and several community-based tourism operations - all included as part of a tourist's journey. The result is a family of associated enterprises which creates 5000 livelihoods for people in local communities along the tracks.

Lemon Tree Hotels and Tren Ecuador

The World Responsible Tourism Awards ceremony was hosted at World Travel Market on World Responsible Tourism Day (8 November 2016). The Awards were presented by Justin Francis, CEO of Responsible Travel, organiser and founder of the Awards, and Karen Bevans, Director of the Belize Tourism Board, headline sponsor of the Awards.

All our 2016 Awards winners

Read about each of our winners on their category page, linked below.

Best accommodation for responsible employment
Sponsored by Belize Tourism Board
  • Gold winner: Lemon Tree Hotels
  • Silver winner: Bushmans Kloof Wilderness Resort & Wellness Retreat
Best contribution to wildlife conservation
Sponsored by Florida Keys & Key West Tourist Development Council
  • Gold winner: Sam Veasna Center
  • Silver winners: Misool Eco Resort, Burj Al Arab Aquarium, and
    East African Safari & Touring Company
Florida Keys & Key West
Best innovation by a tour operator
Sponsored by Belize Tourism Board
  • Gold winner: Elevate Destinations
  • Silver winner: Viaggi Solidali
Best for poverty reduction and inclusion
Sponsored by Tobago House of Assembly
  • Gold winner: Tren Ecuador
  • Silver winners: Sapa O’Chau, and !Xaus Lodge
Best responsible tourism campaign
Sponsored by Exodus Travels
  • Gold winner: Friends International, Childsafe campaign
  • Silver winner: World Cetacean Alliance

Read more about our 2016 winners and the judges' reasons for awarding them.

Justin Francis quote
Professor Harold Goodwin