WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021will introduce regional awards this year. Picture: supplied.
WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021will introduce regional awards this year. Picture: supplied.

All you need to know about WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021

By Travel Reporter Time of article published Jun 8, 2021

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The WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021 seeks to recognise and reward businesses and destinations contributing to a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry.

The prestigious platform will introduce regional awards this year.

Winners will be chosen by a group of industry experts led by WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor Harold Goodwin.

The competition features four regions: Africa, India, Latin America and the Rest of World. First and second place entries in each category in each region receive Gold and Silver Awards. The panel will also name one business in each category and region as “one to watch”.

Each region also has an optional “Judges Award” available for businesses whose area of expertise falls between the categories or who have been previous winners.

This year, all the Gold winners will have a chance to win an inaugural WTM World Responsible Tourism Global Award. Each of the six categories will have its own global winner, chosen from the four regional winners.

This year’s categories reflect the relationship between tourism, responsibility and Covid-19, including decarbonising travel and tourism, sustaining employees and communities through the pandemic, destinations building back better post-Covid and growing the local economic benefit.

Businesses can enter or be nominated by partners, peers or customers. The deadline for entries is August 31.

The regional Gold and Silver Awards recipients, and the new global winners, will be announced at WTM Virtual taking place digitally between November 8 and 9. WTM London is returning as a physical event at Excel London from November 1 to 3.

Harold Goodwin, WTM’s responsible tourism advisor, said every year remarkable new examples of responsible businesses and destinations were discovered and recognised through the awards.

"We are launching global awards for each category, selected from the gold winners in each of the regions. Only those that enter can win; you have nothing to lose by applying or encouraging someone else to do so,” he said.

Megan Oberholzer, Reed Exhibitions South Africa Portfolio Director - Travel, Tourism & Creative Industries, said she looked forward to seeing African tourism products and experience claim their well-deserved spot on the global responsible tourism stage, "The role we can play in highlighting the ways in which our continent is building back better for the benefits of communities and conservation”.

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