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Responsible tourism Awards

About the World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM

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 13th 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 13 years we've given Awards to 376 incredible people and organisations, after a rigorous Judging process Chaired by Professor Harold Goodwin. Media partners have included the Metro, Times, Telegraph, National Geographic Traveller (UK) Magazine and TTG.

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.

Launched in Africa and Ireland in 2015, our local Awards schemes - part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family and run by local partners around the world - continue to grow and gain momentum. You can find out more about these events at the bottom of this page.

What are our Awards for?

Responsible Travel wants to help people live their dreams through authentic and life-enriching adventures, to ensure local people and wildlife benefits and to be a catalyst for change in the tourism industry. Our Awards are a key part of this dream to inspire positive change.

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 5 categories.

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

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.

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

Our regional Awards schemes

Part of the World Responsible Tourism Awards family, our regional Awards schemes are run by local partners around the world, to find the heroes of responsible tourism specialising in particular countries or regions worldwide. These Awards may identify tourism organisations and businesses which will then compete in the World event later in the year. You can find out more about these local Awards events at the websites below:
Read about our winners