2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards

2013 winners


TUI Nederland, the Netherlands

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.
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.

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".

Overall Winner


sponsored by the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism

Winner: TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
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:
  • TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
Read more about our winner on the overall winners page.

Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences


sponsored by Namibia Tourism

Winner: Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR
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:
  • Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR - set up by Wildlife Conservation Society
Highly Commended:
  • ReefCI, Belize
  • The Great Projects, Africa, Asia, South America & Europe.

Read more about our winner on the wildlife page.

Best for Water Conservation


sponsored by New York State Division of Tourism

Winner: Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia
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:
  • Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia
Highly Commended:
  • Chumbe Island Coral park, off Zanzibar/Tanzania
Read more about our winner on the environment page.

Best for the Local Economy


sponsored by Johannesburg Tourism

Winner: Village Ways, India & Ethiopia
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:
  • Village Ways, India & Ethiopia
Highly Commended:
  • Basecamp Explorer Kenya, Masai Mara Kenya
Read more about our winner on the economy page.

Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning


sponsored by the Caribbean Tourism Association

Winner: people and places, UK
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:
  • people and places, UK
Highly Commended:
  • Snowcarbon, The Alps
Read more about our winner on the campaigning page.

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism


sponsored by Jersey Tourism

Winner: Bonito, Brazil
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:
  • Bonito, Brazil
Highly Commended:
  • Nature Park & Glacier Region Kaunertal, Tyrolean Alps in Austria
  • Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Masai Mara in Kenya
  • Valleys Regional Park, Wales
Read more about our winner on the destination page.

Best for Child Protection


sponsored by Visit Norway

Winner: TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
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:
  • TUI Nederland, the Netherlands
Highly Commended:
  • Intrepid Travel, Australia
  • Friends International for ChildSafe Network in Cambodia, Lao, Thailand & Indonesia
Read more about our winner on the social page.

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.

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".

Highly Commended:
  • Chris Willan
  • Macy Anonuevo
  • Tanushree Singh
Read more about this on our creative page.

People's Choice


sponsored by Destination British Columbia

Winner: Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile
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.

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:
  • Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile
Runners up for this category:
  • Battlesteads Hotel & Restaurant, UK
  • Reality Tours & Travel, India
  • 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking, Nepal
  • Whale Watch Kaikoura, New Zealand
Read more about our winner on the peoples choice page.

Watch the ceremony


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


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