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Responsible Travel has today announced that The Blue Yonder is one of the 75 organisations longlisted for the 2016 World Responsible Tourism at WTM London sponsored by the Belize Tourism Board. Organisations in the running, cover a diverse range of issues in responsible tourism from campaigning and innovation to poverty reduction and the inclusion of marginalised people, from hotels with exemplary employment initiatives to wildlife and habitat conservation.
Representing a huge diversity of work in 30 countries worldwide, the longlist includes; a hotel in Dubai rescuing, rehabilitating and re-releasing turtles and educating guests and local children about conservation; an association of hotels and restaurants in Kerala working together to ensure food isn’t wasted and that no-one in their community goes hungry; a tour operator in India making heritage sites, street food markets and festivals accessible to all through sensory tours and tailored assistance; a campaign to stop child abuse in tourism in Cambodia; and a hotel offering employment, training and empowerment to refugees in Austria.
The Blue Yonder has been longlisted in the category Best for Responsible Tourism Campaign, sponosred by Exodus Travels.
“We know it’s a long way to go for the short list and winners, but we are honoured to be in the long list of 75 organisations from all around the world. When we were honoured in 2006 for ‘best in Poverty reduction there were lesser number of companies working in Responsible Tourism. So this is exciting and we look forward to the announcements in November 2016. A to Z of responsible tourism was a campaign well received by the tourism trade, academia and travellers as a tool for demystifying responsible travel. We are also happy to note that “Operation Sulaimani”, a Food with Dignity initiative run by District Administration of Kozhikode in partnership with Hotels and Restaurants Association of Kozhikode is also in the long list under the category of “Best for Poverty Reduction and Inclusion. Congratulations to all volunteers of #CompassionateKozhikode who made this possible” , said Gopinath PARAYIL – founder of The Blue Yonder
Justin Francis, managing director of Responsible Travel and founder of the Awards says
“This is an exciting time of year – it’s when we first get our real glimpse into diversity of the stellar work being done in responsible tourism worldwide. There are a few things which have really got me excited this year and one is seeing representatives from destinations such as Dubai, places we don’t usually associate with responsible tourism, included in the longlist for the first time. For me this is a clear indication that the wider tourism industry is really recognising the importance and benefits of operating in a responsible way”.
Commenting on the standard of the entries, Chair of the Awards judging panel, Professor Harold Goodwin, says “We have an extremely strong field across all the categories and our judging panel will have some difficult decisions to make later this year. Each of the 75 longlisted organisations will now be invited to complete an in-depth review, and provide us with evidence and references to support the impact their work is having.” He adds “It is going to be harder than ever to win this year”.
Simon Press, Awards Judge and Senior Exhibition Director at World Travel Market in London, where the 2016 winners will be announced in a special ceremony as part of World Responsible Tourism Day is looking forward to celebrating the eventual winners “The 2016 Longlist is a real indication of the calibre of winners we will have this year. I’m looking forward to celebrating 10 years of World Responsible Tourism Day in November by sharing the stories of some of the most innovative, inspirational and effective responsible tourism initiatives we’ve ever seen”.
The full longlist is available here.
The 2016 list of finalists will be released in August, with the winners announced in a special ceremony at WTM London during World Responsible Tourism Day on 8th November 2016.
For more information on the World Responsible Tourism Awards visit here. Now in their 13th year, the World Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate the most inspiring stories in responsible tourism.
The Awards are organised by Responsible Travel and ICRT (International Centre for Responsible Tourism). The Awards ceremony is hosted by World Travel Market, the leading global event for the travel industry, during World Responsible Tourism Day, the world’s largest event for responsible tourism which this year takes place on Tuesday 8th November.
This year, the Awards feature 5 categories covering a variety of topics, which reflect the hottest issues currently debated in the world or responsible and sustainable tourism.
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