WTTC shortlists candidates for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The World Travel & Tourism Council has announced the 12 finalists for the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. Under the WTTC’s stewardship since 2003, the Awards recognise best practices in sustainable tourism, and cover four categories - Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit and Global Tourism Business.The 12 finalists were selected by an international team of independent judges in each of the four award categories for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism practices, including the protection of natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people,  and environmentally-friendly operations. A record number of entries were received this year from over 40 countries and six continents.
The 2009 Finalists are:
Destination Stewardship Award

Grupo PUNTACANA, Dominica Republic - www.puntacana.com

Heritage Watch, Cambodia - www.heritagewatch.org

South West Tourism, UK - www.swtourism.org.uk
Conservation Award

Ionian Eco Villagers, Greece - www.relaxingholidays.com

Lane Cove River Tourist Park, Australia - www.lcrtp.com.au

NatureAir, Costa Rica - www.natureair.com
Community Benefit Award

Community Action Treks, Nepal - www.catreks.com

Ol Donyo Wuas, Kenya - www.oldonyowuas.com

Zakoura Foundation for Micro Credits, Morocco - www.zakourafondation.org

Global Tourism Business Award

GAP Adventures, Canada & Global - www.gapadventures.com

Marriott International Inc, USA & Global - www.marriott.com

Metropolitan Touring, Ecuador - www.metropolitan-touring.com
“The outstanding quality of this year’s entries reflects the growing interest in the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards,” said WTTC President and CEO Jean-Claude Baumgarten. “They demonstrate the Travel & Tourism industry’s long-term commitment to responsible tourism management, protecting the natural, social and cultural environment.”

Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, said: “We have reached a global tipping point in the travel industry, as more businesses and countries realise that sustainable tourism is not only about protecting the environment and safeguarding cultural diversity, but that it is also an important economic opportunity. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards judging process goes beyond just what a company says it is doing in sustainable tourism. Our next phase of judging involves an on-site expert evaluation of each finalist to assess what they are doing in practice, leading up to the selection of one winner in each category.”
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised in association with Travelport and The Leading Travel Companies Conservation Foundation - with additional sponsors Fairmont Hotels & Resorts and Rothschild Inc. Media partners include BBC World, Breaking Travel News, National Geographic Adventure, Newsweek and Telegraph Media Group.