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World Travel & Tourism Council urges tourism industry to drive the sustainability agenda

World Travel & Tourism Council urges tourism industry to drive the sustainability agenda
September 2, 2014

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) believes that the tourism industry needs to put sustainability at the forefront of everything it does, pursuing the highest ethical standards as a catalyst to inspire others.

Launching its 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards program, WTTC Chief Executive and President David Scowsill called on leading sustainable tourism businesses to play their part in ensuring that the industry’s ethics are raised to the highest order.

Seeking Award applications from tourism business and organisation who are setting the sustainability benchmark in their field, Scowsill explains that the purpose of the Awards is to be an inspiration to others and to educate governments and tourism businesses about how to improve the sustainability of the industry.

Introducing the 2015 Awards, Scowsill (pictured below) states “we were one of the first industries to take our responsibilities seriously with regard to sustainability. 

“We know that we have a responsibility for the millions of travellers each year and for the careful preservation of resources and protection of the planet. 

“We also know that we have a responsibility to provide millions of quality jobs to people, who are seeking fulfilment and quality of life through employment. 

“It is important that we learn best practice from each other and that we ensure governments are aware of our achievements.

“Tourism can be a threat to communities when it is not carefully planned and managed (so) it is essential that our standards of ethics and sustainability are of the highest order. 

“The WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards showcase the leaders of sustainable practices today. These inspiring individuals, businesses and organisations follow a path, which other companies need to emulate and follow”.

Fiona Jeffery OBE, former Chairman of World Travel Market (WTM) and Chairman and founder of the international water aid charity Just a Drop, is the new Chair of the Awards. Jeffrey ays the Awards recognise best practice worldwide, stating “we want to hear from outstanding applicants, who are maximising social and economic benefits for local people, reducing negative impacts to the environment and supporting the protection of cultural and natural heritage in destinations, wherever they operate.”

In 2015, the Awards involve a three-step application process overseen by newly appointed lead judge, Professor Graham Miller - Chair in Sustainability in business at the University of Surrey in the UK and is head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management.

Professor Miller says that it is vital that the judging mechanism is rigorous, adding “independent sustainable tourism experts conduct on-site inspections of all finalists. 

"The judges are international specialists in their field from all corners of the world and come from different backgrounds; hotels, tour operators and governments. 

"The rigour and transparency of the judging process ensures that the Awards truly are the global best practice benchmark.”

In its 11th year under WTTC stewardship, the Awards have six award categories:

• Community Award - recognises organisations committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage
• Destination Award - recognises destinations which show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices
• Environment Award - recognises organisations achieving environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations
• Innovation Award - recognises innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice
• People Award - recognises organisations dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future
• Sustainable Business Award - recognises large tourism businesses which successfully integrate sustainable tourism best practices into their planning and operations

Entries are now open and can be submitted up to the closing date on 14th November 2014.

Finalists and winners receive complimentary flights and accommodation and will be recognised during a gala Awards ceremony which will take place as part of the WTTC Global Summit in Madrid, Spain on 15th and 16th April 2015. 

The Global Summit will allow finalists and winners the opportunity to meet the tourism industry’s top chief executives, leading journalists, renowned experts and government officials attending the event. 

In 2014, the award winners were Community Award Winner - Arviat Community Ecotourism, Canada; Destination Award Winner - Temes - Costa Navarino Greece; Environment Award Winner - Jetwing Vil Uyana, Sri Lanka; Sustainable Business Award Winner - Asilia Africa, Tanzania; People Award Winner - Lao National Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Laos and Innovation Award Winner - Ecosphere, India.

More details on the Awards and the application process can be found at

Award applicants can submit an application online via

The Skyrail Rainforest Cableway in Far North Queensland was finalist in the Environment Award category at the 2014 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.



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