Responsible Travel founded the Responsible Tourism Awards in 2004 (we renamed them the World Responsible Tourism Awards later). At the time there was only one failing award scheme of its type and we wanted to shine a spotlight on the remarkable achievements in responsible tourism in order to inspire others by example.
We ran and presented these Awards at The World Travel Market in London for 13 years between 2004 and 2016 to celebrate the very best innovations and practice in responsible tourism globally. We found and awarded new ideas, which we've since seen copied globally, and they acted as a benchmark for new stages of development in the responsible tourism movement. We saw awareness of the sector grow quickly throughout this period.
Over the years a number of people approached us to ask if they could create local versions of our Awards. We agreed and the Irish, South African and Indian Responsible Tourism Awards were created using our judging criteria. In addition, we were delighted to see around a dozen other Award schemes of this type start. We see this as a success, as all of them help showcase good examples of responsible tourism and build awareness of the great things that can and are being achieved.
Having watched the number of awards schemes grow and flourish, our hopes and plans have been fulfilled. We now see other priorities for us, ways to pioneer creative projects to deliver change through our business; our activism
and Trip for a Trip scheme
; and we won't be running the Awards in 2017 or in the foreseeable future. We've archived all the stories of previous Responsible Tourism Award winners - some of the heroes of our industry - on these pages and we hope they'll inspire you too.