This year we are going to recognise those destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals who have used tourism and their tourism assets to tackle the consequences of Covid-19. Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in, for most communities Covid-19 is currently the big issue.
The ambition of the Awards has always been to recognise businesses and destinations which are making tourism better and to spread good practice – to educate, inspire and challenge others to do likewise or do more. These prestigious awards have been presented each year, since 2004, at WTM London in November.
In this year, when the world faces a global pandemic, it seemed inappropriate to continue with the World Responsible Tourism Awards as usual. It is not Business as Usual, and the crisis is likely to continue for some time.
This year the judges have decided to commend businesses and destinations which are taking responsibility and addressing the challenge of Covid-19.
This year there will be Highly Commended and Commended certificates and logos which can be used in print and online. This is an opportunity to provide recognition for those who have taken responsibility and addressed the many challenges of the pandemic. Some destinations and businesses will enhance their reputations tackling the pandemic, others will not.
This year we shall be taking recommendations from anyone keen to tell us about destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals which are using tourism, or tourism facilities, to address the challenge of Covid-19.
This year we are not announcing categories, the judges will categorise those we are commending and the commendations will be published on World Responsible Tourism Day 4th November, with presentations made at WTM London.
Ways in which the tourism sector might be helping to address the challenges include:
- Addressing the needs of neighbours and employees in the face of Covid-19 – finding ways of sustaining business to keep local people employed or using their facilities to help their neighbours cope with Covid-19
- Decarbonising travel and tourism- this remains a real priority for the sector
- Supporting wildlife and habitat in a year when tourism earnings for wildlife and conservation have been very substantially reduced
- Building or maintaining “meaningful connections” through Responsible Tourism value-led marketing and social media engagement
- Fundraising for people, wildlife or heritage
- Developing Domestic Tourism – looking for examples of businesses & destinations which have refocused on attracting a more local market, encouraging staycations or localisation (when safe to do so)
This list is not exhaustive and some initiatives will meet more than one of these challenges.
Remember the judges can only recognise the destinations, businesses and other organisations or individuals that are nominated.
Please make your recommendation(s) by 3rd August 2020. Do not be embarrassed to recommend yourself or your own business, destination or organisation. You are welcome to make more than one recommendation.