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2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards winners

Project against the sexual exploitation of children in Brazil wins World Responsible Tourism Awards 2013

TUI Nederland (part of TUI Travel PLC), a market leader in the Dutch tourism sector has won the 10th World Responsible Tourism Awards at World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry today.

TUI Nederland was commended for its work in child protection, in particular their 'Say NO to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil' project and a campaign across Dutch airports to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation issues among travellers.

Click the image below to read our official Awards newspaper, read more about all our winners further down, or watch the ceremony at the bottom of the page.



Harold Goodwin, Chair of Judges said: "TUI Nederland was chosen as the overall winner because of the scale of its achievement in child protection, an area of Responsible Tourism which many businesses are reluctant to address. The judges were impressed by TUI Nederland's willingness to raise this sensitive issue with their clients and Dutch travellers in general, in order to urge them to take action and to report their suspicions when abroad. The judges felt that TUI Nederland's overall holistic approach was highly replicable and hope that others will emulate the company's leadership".

Overall winner 2013 - TUI Nederland

The 10th annual World Responsible Tourism Awards ceremony was hosted at World Travel Market (WTM) as part of WTM World Responsible Tourism Day. The Awards were presented by Justin Francis, Managing Director of responsibletravel.com, organiser and founder of the Awards, and His Excellency Ahmed bin Nasser bin Hamad al Mahrzi, Sultanate of Oman Tourism Minister, headline sponsor of the Awards.
Awards headline sponsor
"Since 2010, the Oman Ministry of Tourism has sponsored a number of Awards; this year the Sultanate is delighted to cement its commitment to responsible tourism development, as the 2013 proud headline sponsor. The Sultanate of Oman leads the way in the Gulf Region and Middle East for the development of responsible tourism, and tries at every stage to remain a model example for others in the region to follow" the Minister said.

In addition to the overall winner, seven winners' awards were presented in a range of categories: In addition, 10 organisations were rewarded as Highly Commanded, as well as three individuals for the category Best Photography for Responsible Tourism. All winners and highly commended organisations are detailed below.

Justin Francis, Managing Director of responsibletravel.com, founder and organiser of the Awards explains: "In the year we celebrate our 10th anniversary and re-named as World Responsible Tourism Awards, it was amazing to be joined by previous winners via video from around the world announcing all our winners. I was especially delighted to see even more inspired and inspiring female leaders in responsible tourism this year".

Awards judge Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director at World Travel Market added: "Congratulations to TUI Nederland and all the category winners. Being involved in the judging process for the first time I found it really inspiring to see so many travel companies acting in such a responsible manner."

(Photos, logos and background info for journalists can be found on our media resources page.)

World Responsible Tourism Awards winners 2013



Overall Winner:
TUI Nederland, the Netherlands


Sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism

Judges' reasons for winning: "TUI Nederland developed policies and trained staff to identify child abuse, whether amongst the families for whom they provide holidays or abuse perpetrated by travellers in the destination. They have been working to protect children from abuse since 2002 when they signed the Child Protection Code with ECPAT Nederland. They have worked to embed child protection into their routine business operations and have extended this commitment through their network of supplier and partners. Realising that child sex tourism is silently growing in the Northeast of Brazil, TUI Nederland and its numerous partners launched a campaign to say "a collective 'NO' to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil". TUI Nederland has contributed over €100,000 since 2008 to fighting child exploitation in the region; 80 adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age have been trained as 'Youth Mobilizers', for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, reaching over 2,000 people. Their vocational training programme has 104 graduates of whom 39 were employed throughout 2012".

TUI Nederland also won our Best for Child Protection category.

Winner:

Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences:
Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR


Sponsored by Namibia Tourism

Best Wildlife Responsible Tourism Judges' reasons for winning: "Nam Nern Night Safari has been designed to support the conservation of tigers and their prey, as well as other wildlife, by placing a monetary value on tigers and other wildlife for local people. Each reported sighting of wildlife by a tourist results in a financial reward for the villagers, and this includes people who might otherwise poach. Since 2010 there have been 370 visitors in 142 groups, and the revenues have been shared by 1000+ families in the 14 surrounding villages. The village development fund generated $2,860 this year, roughly $200 per village. It has been used by villages to improve their well-being through small projects. Although the numbers are small, the initiative has been very successful in increasing the number of wildlife sightings per boats - they have doubled. The judges felt that this approach should be replicable and would contribute to creating a more positive relationship between local communities, wildlife and tourism".

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best for Water Conservation:
Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia


Sponsored by New York State Division of Tourism

Best for Water Conservation Judges' reasons for winning: "One of Chepu Adventures EcoLodge's owners is an engineer and the eco-lodge uses only rain water in the bathrooms and kitchen, harvested from the roofs of the lodge and stored in a well and large water tanks. Chepu uses solar water heaters to provide hot water for showers and the kitchen; its electricity is provided by wind and solar energy. There is also a sophisticated shower control. The judges were particularly impressed by the way in which Chepu engages the visitor enabling them to monitor their own water consumption by providing them with computer-fed feedback on the amount of water they are using. If customers keep within their 'eco-limit' they can choose to have a tree planted in Patagonia or a reduction on their bill".

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best for the Local Economy:
Village Ways, India & Ethiopia


Sponsored by Johannesburg Tourism

Best for the Local Economy Judges' reasons for winning: "Village Ways was recognised in 2009 as the Best Tour Operator for Cultural Engagement. This time the judges were impressed by their innovative and distinctive business model. In order to discourage out-migration and to create additional livelihoods in marginal rural areas, Village Ways has developed a business strategy based on Village Tourism Enterprises: tourists walk from village to village accompanied by local guides, eating locally grown and prepared meals and enjoying local traditional singing, music and dancing. Guests travel "like a local" and have the opportunity to interact with villagers; and if they wish, to participate in village activities. Village Ways has brought significant income to rural households struggling against poverty".

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning:
people and places, UK


Sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Association

Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning Judges' reasons for winning: "people and places were highly commended in 2007 in the Best Volunteering category and they won this same category in 2009. The judges were impressed by their campaign for responsible volunteering; they have also been active in campaigning for child protection whilst running their small business. Their campaign has been funded entirely through their business. Making extensive use of the social media the two directors have given their time freely to fight for change. Over the last few years, practice in volunteering has improved, although there is still much to be done - people and places have been at the heart of that movement to raise awareness and demand action, working with many partners in the UK and abroad".

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism:
Bonito, Brazil


Sponsored by Jersey Tourism

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism Judges' reasons for winning: "Bonito was launched as a tourism destination when its natural beauty was revealed on Brazilian television in 1990; in 2012 it received 190,000 tourists. Bonito is famous for its crystal clear waters, caves, mountain and forests with diverse wildlife to be found in a national park and ten private reserves. As tourists began to arrive several concerns emerged: there was fear that unregulated tourism could impact on the environment. The private sector businesses and the public authorities realised that tourism development in Bonito needed to be managed so they developed a voucher system to control visitor numbers. The judges were impressed by the voucher system and keen to recognise its contribution to ensuring the sustainability of the destination."

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best for Child Protection:
TUI Nederland, the Netherlands


Sponsored by Visit Norway

Best for Child Protection Judges' reasons for winning: "TUI Nederland developed policies and trained staff to identify child abuse, whether amongst the families for whom they provide holidays or abuse perpetrated by travellers in the destination. They have been working to protect children from abuse since 2002 when they signed the Child Protection Code with ECPAT Nederland. They have worked to embed child protection into their routine business operations and have extended this commitment through their network of supplier and partners. Realising that child sex tourism is silently growing in the Northeast of Brazil, TUI Nederland and its numerous partners launched a campaign to say "a collective 'NO' to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil". TUI Nederland has contributed over €100,000 since 2008 to fighting child exploitation in the region; 80 adolescents from 14 to 17 years of age have been trained as 'Youth Mobilizers', for the prevention of sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, reaching over 2,000 people. Their vocational training programme has 104 graduates of whom 39 were employed throughout 2012".

TUI Nederland was also our Overall Winner.

Winner: Highly Commended:

Best Photography for Responsible Tourism:


Sponsored by Lithuania State Department of Tourism

There were no winners for this category but three photographers were highly commended for their attempt at depicting what responsible tourism stands for.

Best Photography for Responsible Tourism The judges said: "Communicating Responsible Tourism is one of the purposes of the Awards. We knew that to capture the idea of Responsible Tourism in a photograph was difficult, many of us have tried. Part of our purpose was to have a range of photographs which could be used to promote Responsible Tourism. We received 215 photographs and shortlisted 10. There was a long debate about the merits of the shortlisted pictures which demonstrated convincingly that people see very different things in photographs, and in responsible tourism. None of the pictures were thought by a substantial majority of the judges to communicate Responsible Tourism more than the others. There was therefore no overall winner but there are three great Highly Commendeds".

Click on an image for a larger version.

Learning from a local Indian potter by Tanushree Sing
Philippines beach cleaning on Earth Day by Macy Anonuevo
Women trained in traditional lace making by Chris Willan

Highly Commended:

People's Choice:
Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile


Sponsored by Destination British Columbia

For this category, a panel of judges selected five previous recent winners that represented the diversity of Responsible Tourism. The public was then asked to select their favourite.

Peoples Choice for Responsible Tourism Judges' comments: "Huilo Huilo addresses all three pillars of sustainability. It works to conserve the forest and endangered species; it has worked with local people to ensure that those who used to make their living from logging and timber are now able to live off tourism and this biological reserve has been a catalyst to creating opportunities for local people to create their own businesses, fostering local cultural and artistic heritage. Huilo Huilo won the Best for Conservation of Wildlife and Habitats category in 2012. Huilo Huilo received a total of 2,187 votes".

Winner: Runners up for this category:

Watch the ceremony


With reactions from all the winners and insights from the judges on why they won.



More information

Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2013 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2012 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2011 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2009 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2008 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2007 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2006 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2005 Winners of the Responsible Tourism Awards 2004
Claude Graves, Nihiwatu, overall winner 2010
Read about our winners