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Responsible tourism Awards

Judging the Responsible Tourism Awards

Since the Awards were founded in 2004 we have worked closely with Professor Harold Goodwin and the International Centre for Responsible Tourism to design our judging process – that’s why our Awards are the most rigorous and competitive of their kind in the world.

We also bring together the expertise of our prestigious judges from across the tourism industry, inviting them to share their unique perspectives and considerable experience to assess our nominees. Read more about our judges, or about the process below.


Rather than handpick our nominees, we rely on travellers and the industry to nominate those tourism ventures with exciting stories to share. This makes our Awards unique – we don’t pre-decide the winners, we let you tell us who should be in the running.

Every year we team up with our media partners to invite the public to nominate a tourism organisation, individual or destination in any of our 11 categories, and every year this process yields hundreds of unique and diverse nominees and makes our Awards scheme the most competitive in the world.

Want to make a nomination? Click the link to your right, and tell us who you want to nominate, and why.


Once we have taken nominations from the public, a team of expert researchers at the International Centre for Responsible Tourism process your nominations, conducting preliminary research into their responsible tourism policies and eligibility for the Awards.

Our researchers are not just looking for the basics – they want nominees going above and beyond to create innovative responsible tourism experiences. They will sort, sift and carefully select a longlist of approximately 15 to 20 nominees per category to go forward to the next stage of the process.


Longlisted organisations are invited to complete a comprehensive questionnaire designed in conjunction with the ICRT and our judging panel of experts in the industry. This questionnaire is designed to put our longlist through their paces – requesting detailed information and quantifiable data about their achievements in responsible tourism. It takes time to complete.

The questionnaire focuses on evidence of change made by an organisation, and each one is designed for a specific category and updated yearly based on feedback and changes in the industry. This ensures that competition between our nominees remains as focused as possible.

Judging Day

Our panel of judges meet to debate which organisations, individuals and destinations should be recognised for an Award. In a discussion chaired by Professor Harold Goodwin our experts from across the tourism industry use their considerable experience and knowledge in a round-table debate to choose the most innovative and inspirational nominees as shining examples in Responsible Tourism.


A carefully selected shortlist of organisations are selected ahead of the Awards ceremony. The shortlist is announced to the media and public.

Shortlisted organisations, destinations and travel writers are then invited to our prestigious ceremony at the World Travel Market where we announce the winners as part of World Responsible Tourism Day, and celebrate their stories with an audience of their peers, the media, and global tourism organisations.

Read about our winners
Simon Reeve supports the Responsible Tourism Awards
Bodhi Garret, Andaman Discoveries, Best for conservation of cultural heritage 2008