overall winner: The New Forest
The judges were unanimous in their praise for The New Forest.
This is a destination which has worked over the last 15 years with visitors, the industry, the community - including commoners and small holders - to look after the environment (the VICE model: Visitor, Industry, Community, Environment) and to benefit all interests as well as providing a model for other destinations to follow.
This includes the exciting contribution of the New Forest Breakfast to sustainable development, only possible because there are now sufficient local suppliers to meet the demand for local produce from locals and visitors.
Best Tour Operator sponsored by The Adventure Company
Winner: Gecko's Adventures, Australia
Chosen for maximising the positive economic and social impacts of their tours, through use of locally owned accommodation and employment of local tour leaders who share with travellers their passion for their country’s history, heritage, culture and natural beauty.
Imaginative Traveller, UK
KE Adventure Travel, UK
Tribes Travel, UK
Best Large Hotel / Accommodation (more than 50 rooms) sponsored by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
Winner: Apex Hotels Ltd, UK
For their efforts in urban regeneration, converting office blocks on brown field sites into hotels and ensuring that they are as environmentally friendly as possible.
Evason Phuket & Six Senses Spa, Thailand
Radisson SAS Hotel, Edinburgh
Best Small Hotel / Accommodation (less than 50 rooms) sponsored by Tourism Queensland
Winner: Finca Esperanza Verde Ecolodge, Nicaragua
For using tourism to generate local, economic development in a rural area of Nicaragua by improving infrastructure as well as creating employment and enterprise opportunities and demonstrating what a positive difference tourism can make in a local community.
Papillote Wilderness Retreat, Dominica
Lamai Homestay & Guesthouse, Thailand
Best Low Carbon Transport & Technology sponsored by Virgin Trains
Winner: Eurostar, UK
For developing the comprehensive ‘Tread lightly’ programme to reduce Eurostar’s negative environmental impacts across the whole business, on the rails and at the terminals; using biodegradable and recyclable disposables; recycling water; reducing energy consumption and setting a whole business example which airlines could follow.
NatureAir, Costa Rica
Best in a Mountain Environment sponsored by Blacks
Winner: Explorandes, Peru
For developing homestay accommodation with real volume and livelihood activities, kayaking, textiles and culture, through a partnership with a group of thirty families at Llachon on the shore of Lake Titicaca.
Peregrine Adventures, UK
Shakti Uttaranchal Tours Pvt Ltd, India
Best in a Marine Environment sponsored by Tourism Tasmania
Winner: blue o two
For developing a new business approach to diving in the Red Sea, in a highly competitive price-driven market demonstrating that responsible diving is possible for a mainstream business and establishing a way of doing business which is causing their competitors to become more responsible.
Blue Ventures, UK
Best for Poverty Reduction sponsored by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Check Out for Children
Winner: Borana, Kenya
For making a sustainable contribution to the alleviation of poverty through generating employment, improving school facilities, funding a mobile clinic which reaches thousands of people and for innovative initiatives like “Hide and Sheep” which adds value to local products for the benefit of the economically poor.
Guludo Beach Lodge, Mozambique
Best in a Park or Protected Area sponsored by Conservation International
Winner: La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras
For working with four different indigenous communities to create a series of experiences and products which are complementary to each other, avoiding the danger of competition between villages and creating 150 jobs in and around the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve in Central America.
Chalalan Ecolodge, Bolivia
Best for Conservation of an Endangered Species sponsored by Sri Lanka Tourism
Winner: Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa
For conserving 1750 acres of the Cape's threatened fynbos by using 5 hectares for tourism development and for working to engage local communities through football, employment and micro-enterprise opportunities.
Earth, Sea & Sky/Ionian Eco Villagers/Nature World Travel, Greece
Best for Conservation of Cultural Heritage sponsored by Jamaica Tourist Board
Winner: Andaman Discoveries, Thailand
For putting people first - recognising that the best custodians of cultural heritage are the people. They have worked with communities to empower them and to create a sense of place, identifying what villagers see as important, and using this information to develop tourist activities and make productive relationships with the industry.
Go Native America, USA
Intrepid Travel, Australia
Best Volunteering Organisation sponsored by Lonely Planet
Winner: Azafady, UK / Madagascar
For demonstrating real achievements meeting the locally defined needs of communities in Madagascar and for producing detailed reports on impacts and being transparent about where the volunteers’ money goes.
Camps International, UK
people and places, UK
Best Destination sponsored by G.A.P Adventures
Winner: The New Forest
For demonstrating how the economic, social and environmental objectives of Responsible Tourism can be achieved with the full participation of all the stakeholders at the destination level. The New Forest has set an example which others are seeking to emulate and surpass.
Arugam Bay, Sri Lanka
Person who has made the greatest contribution to responsible tourism sponsored by Canadian Tourism Commission
Winner: Anthony Climpson, The New Forest
For twenty years, long before green became fashionable, Anthony Climpson was developing an integrated approach to managing tourism in the landscape, successfully engaging local communities, local government and tourism businesses in conserving the New Forest.
Dr Cheryl Mvula, Wildlife Conservation and Responsible Tourism Consultant
Charlotte Shigwedha, Managing Director, Mondesa Township Tours, Namibia