“Recognizing, supporting and promoting the good initiatives that are perpetuated in our market in a sustainable and intelligent way is what we want with the delivery of this award”, said Simon Mayle, Director of the event
The awards ceremony was held for the winners of the 1st edition of the Responsible Tourism Award promoted by WTM Latin America. At the ceremony, the Gold and Silver Winners were announced in four categories: Best contribution to the preservation of wildlife; Best attraction of cultural heritage; Best in poverty reduction and inclusion and Best destination for responsible tourism.
In total, there were 53 projects entered, among which 13 were selected as finalists and four as the award winners. “Recognizing, supporting and promoting the good initiatives that are perpetuated in our market in a sustainable and intelligent way is what we want with the delivery of this award,” said Simon Mayle, director of WTM Latin America, at the opening of the ceremony.
The finalist projects were evaluated in six aspects: achievements, influence, innovation, impact on the local community, management and sustainability of the venture, and customer experience. “We took into account the fact that the initiatives were viable, original and replicable,” explained Gustavo Pinto, coordinator of the Responsible Tourism Award for Latin America.
The initiative of Awake Travel, from Colombia, was the Gold Winner in the category “Best in wildlife preservation”. The company’s objective is to “inspire and train people to protect nature”, by carrying out a follow-up work and development of tourism businesses that are destined to the conservation of ecosystems and that have socio-economic concerns.
In the category “Best attraction of cultural heritage”, the Gold Winner was the Brazilian company Brasil Food Safaris. The initiative promotes the appreciation of regional cultures through food heritage, putting groups of travelers in contact with people or communities who follow traditional practices or use ingredients that may be at risk of disappearing.
Expediciones Sierra Norte, from Mexico, was Gold Winner in the category “Best in poverty reduction and inclusion”. The initiative distributes the profits from tourism activities carried out in communities with several service providers, instead of a single entity. In this way, it allows tourism to be a source of income, even as a complementary activity.
Finally, in the category “Best destination for responsible tourism”, the Costa Rican Tourism Institute – ICT, of Costa Rica, was the winner. The ICT has certificates of tourism sustainability and social programs to promote the development of the activity in the country in a sustainable way, in addition to several programs that have been underway for decades.
The other nine finalists selected to apply for the award will receive the Silver Winner seal, as a way of recognizing the commitment and relevance of the projects for the sector. “The fact that they have become finalists is already an important recognition. Our role is to continue encouraging these initiatives so that they are increasingly structured and legitimized in the market in which they operate. Congratulations to all the winners! ”, Concludes Thaís Del Ben, Marketing Manager of WTM Latin America.
For those who have not been able to see it, the awards ceremony will be available on the WTM Global Hub.