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Responsible tourism Awards

About the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM

2015 winners announced!

Our 2015 winners were announced at WTM on 4th November 2015. Read about all our 2015 winners.

The World Responsible Tourism Awards

Founded in 2004 by Responsible Travel, our Awards are a global search and celebration of the most inspiring and enduring responsible tourism experiences in the world. Now in their 12th year, our vision for the Awards, which are open to any organisation anywhere in the world, is to surprise and inspire tourists and the tourism industry by what it is possible to achieve with Responsible Tourism, and to shine a light on the best of the best.

Over the past 10 years we've received more than 14,500 nominations from the public, and after a rigorous Judging process Chaired by Professor Harold Goodwin, given Awards to 394 incredible people and organisations. Media partners have included the Metro, Times & Telegraph.

The winners of our Awards are announced each year at a ceremony at World Travel Market, London and form part of the world's biggest day for responsible tourism action.

Following requests from destinations around the world for support in creating their own local Awards schemes, and by extending our partnership with Reed Travel Exhibitions to their regional events, this year we have launched the inaugural African Responsible Tourism Awards, run with local partners and presented at World Travel Market Africa in Cape Town.

2015 has also seen the launch of the Irish Responsible Tourism Awards with our local partners ICRT Ireland.

What are our Awards for?

Our Awards rest on a simple principle - that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people. We want to celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism - the individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity.

But more than that, we want their examples to inspire others. That’s why we’ve got the most rigorous judging process around, and work with the best partners in the industry to help us get the word out – to ensure that their stories provide an example to the industry.

In 2013 we celebrated our 10th anniversary with a special video celebrating some of the "Heroes of Responsible Tourism".

How do our Awards work?

Rather than pick the entrants ourselves, we rely on travellers and the industry to submit and suggest tourism ventures with exciting stories to share. Responsible Tourism organisations and holiday providers are encouraged to submit themselves to the Awards in any of our 12 categories, while the public can suggest the Awards to those organisations they think are making a real difference.

All it takes for someone to be considered for an Award is one submission in any of our categories.

Want to have your say in who should win an Award? Our People 's Choice category allows you to vote for your favourite from among a selection of our previous Award winners. The candidate with the most votes, wins!

Once all the submissions are received the judging process really begins – several stages designed with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism to put our candidates through their paces. At each stage the list gets shorter, until our expert panel of judges are ready to combine their knowledge to debate the winners on our annual Judging Day. Read more about the Judging process

What does it mean to be a winner?

Finalists of the Awards are invited to a prestigious ceremony hosted as part of World Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market in London - the world's largest event for responsible tourism - where the winners are announced to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. We work with a variety of media partners to share the stories of our winners with the public. Previous partners have included Metro, Times, and the Telegraph.

Read about all of our winners or some testimonials from those who have won in the past.

Our regional Awards schemes

In 2015 we've teamed up with local partners around the world to introduce two new regional Responsible Tourism Awards schemes into our World Responsible Tourism Awards family:
Read about our winners