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Tourism industry must drive sustainability agenda says WTTC

September 1st, 2014 | | Accommodation

Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 2.55.24 pmThe World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) has just launched its 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards program and is calling for applications from travel and tourism companies worldwide that are setting the sustainability benchmark in their field.

According to David Scowsill, WTTC CEO and president, the global travel and tourism industry needs to put sustainability at the forefront of everything it does, and businesses need to lead by example. Scowsill is calling on leading sustainable tourism businesses to play their part in ensuring that the industry’s ethics are raised to the highest order.

“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,” Scowsill said.

“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,” he said.

“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.”

Tony Charters, of Brisbane-based sustainable tourism consultancy Tony Charters and Associates, who is a member of the WTTC, and has been one of the judges of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards for the past ten years, says Australian tourism businesses should be encouraged to nominate for these awards.

“Australian operators should seriously consider nominating for Tourism for Tomorrow. Australia has been at the forefront of sustainable tourism, and many Australian operators have a great story to tell. There have been a number of finalists and winners from Australia over the years, but there are many good operations who have never nominated,” Charters told The Byte.

“The exposure offered to finalists and winners of this prestigious international award well and truly justifies the effort of nominating,” he said.

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Image: Discovery Ecotours

There are six Award categories:

 

  • Community – which recognises organisations committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage;

 

  • Destination – which recognises destinations which show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices;

 

  • Environment – which recognises organisations achieving environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations;

 

  • Innovation – which recognises innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice;

 

  • People – which recognises organisations dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future; and

 

  • Sustainable Business – recognises large tourism businesses which successfully integrate sustainable tourism best practices into their planning and operations.

 

More details on the application process can be found at http://wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/​ Applications can submitted online. The closing date is 14 November 2014.

Finalists and winners will be announced at a gala Awards ceremony which will take place as part of the WTTC Global Summit in Madrid, Spain on 15-16 April 2015.

 Written by Kris Madden