Joe McClain - Nov 18, 2013
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The World Responsible Tourism Awards celebrate the most responsible tourist companies in the industry. The Awards inspire positive changes in the way tourist companies are dealing with the natural environment of their destinations. They encourage the tourism companies to preserve the natural environment and to bring benefits to the local people.

The Awards are celebrated every year since 2004. This year the winners were announced at the World Travel Market.

Overall winner:

The overall winner of the Awards and also winner of the Award Best for Child Protection was the company TUI Nederland. They are appreciated for their activity in child protection and their campaign against child sex tourism across the airports in Netherlands and also in the northeast of Brazil. TUI Nederland makes efforts to raise the tourists’ awareness on the question of child sexual exploitation. The travelers are urged to take action against child sexual exploitation and to report any suspicious activities they encounter abroad.

Best for the Local Economy:

Village Ways, a tourist company with branches in India and Ethiopia, was the winner of the Best for Local Economy Award. The company has a business strategy that encourages the creation of the additional livelihoods in marginal rural areas and discourages migration of the locals due to poverty. The tourists that travel through the programs of Village Ways have the opportunity to visit different villages guided by locals. They can interact with the local people and participate in village activities. Village Ways helps the rural households fighting poverty and raising significant income from the tourism activities.

Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences:

Nam Nern Night Safari in Lao is a tourist company that helps protect wildlife, especially the tigers and their pray. The villagers are rewarded for each tourist who can see a tiger in its natural environment.

Best Destination for Responsible Tourism:

Bonito, in Brazil, received this Award as the Best Destination for Responsible Tourism. Bonito started to be a tourist destination in Brazil in 1990, when it was popularized on Brazilian television for its natural beauty. The number of visitors in Bonito is controlled by the public authorities through a voucher system. This way the authorities ensure the long term sustainability of the natural environment in this tourist destination.

Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning:

People and Places organization from UK had an impressive campaign for responsible volunteering and also for child protection.

Best for Water Conservation:

Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, from the Chiloe Island in Patagonia developed strategies for using rain water and solar water heating tanks. They also engage the tourists to monitor their water consumption using computer feedback.

People's Choice:

Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve from Chile is focused on sustainability through their programs for forest and endangered species conservation. They also involve the local people in migrating from living off logging to make a living from tourist activities.

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