Leading figures in the environmental and conservation world are calling upon UK tourists and tourism organisations to nominate sensitive tourism projects that they have visited on holiday in the UK and abroad.
Tourism and environmental experts such as Sir Crispin Tickell, Professor David Bellamy, Martin Brackenbury, President of the International Federation of Tour Operators and Nigel Winser, Deputy Director of the Royal Geographical Society, are inviting nominations for this year’s British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards, the most prestigious international sustainable tourism accolade.
Professor David Bellamy, chairman of the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow global judging panel said: “Holidaymakers make the best ambassadors of what we have come to know as ‘eco-travel’. They see, first-hand, the impact that tourism makes throughout the world, whether it’s on the beaches of Lanzarote, on the coral reefs of the Maldives or in the Himalayas. We need them to tell us where people are trying to combat the sometimes harmful effect of tourism, so that their children and grandchildren can enjoy the same delights years from now.”
The annual awards aim to raise the awareness of the world’s role models for sustainable tourism. There are categories which fit a whole range of organisations such as hotels, resorts, cruise ships, theme parks, camps, tour companies, national parks, old and new buildings and wildlife attractions.
The judges are looking for projects which benefit the local community, protect the natural and cultural heritage, control energy and water use, educate local people and visitors and also contribute towards a better life for future generations.
Past winners include The Wetland Centre in Barnes, Strattons Hotel in Norfolk, Taybet Zaman Village Hotel and Resort in Jordan, Skyrail in Australia, Karimabad and Baltit Project Development in Pakistan, the Aspen Skiing Company in Colorado, USA, Coral Cay Conservation in Belize, a Himalayan conservation project in Nepal, a community project in Hawaii, Vale do Lima in Portugal and Chumbe Island Coral Park in Zanzibar.
Eleanor Carter, project manager of previous winner, Chumbe Island Coral Park, said: “When we received the British Airways Global Tourism for Tomorrow Award, at first we had no idea of the impact it would have on our project. It took only one month for our bookings to more than double, as people from around the world heard about Chumbe Island through magazines, newspapers, radio and TV. Winning the award has taken the Chumbe Eco-lodge from being a small, struggling conservation, education and eco-tourism initiative to becoming a globally recognised example of tourism of the future.”
David Bellamy continues: “If you know of, or have visited somewhere in the world which you think is using tourism to contribute to its local environment, and could be used as a role model to other tourism organisations, please let the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards know the details.”