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Judges selected for 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

Judges selected for 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

The World Travel & Tourism Council has announced the judges for its prestigious 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

These 12 independent experts on sustainable tourism will select three finalists for each of the four Award categories: Destination Stewardship Award, Community Benefit Award, Conservation Award and the Global Tourism Business Award.

The Awards are among the most coveted in the tourism industry, each year recognising the most innovative businesses and destinations in sustainable tourism best practices.

The selection of finalists and winners includes a rigorous three-step judging process culminating in an on-site expert field evaluation of all finalists to document best practices in action.

These are the only global sustainable tourism awards to conduct a thorough field evaluation of all finalists.

Led by Costas Christ, one of the world’s top sustainable tourism experts, who also serves as chairman of judges, the judging panel will select a shortlist of 12 finalists by January 21st 2013, following which the second stage of the process, the on-site field evaluation of each finalist, will begin.

The 12 judges on the Finalist Selection Committee for 2013 are:

  • Clara Ines Sanchez Arciniegas, vice minister for sustainable tourism development, Ministry of Commerce, industry and tourism, Colombia.
  • Gail Henry, sustainable tourism product specialist, Caribbean Tourism Organisation, Barbados.
  • Graham Miller, head of School of Hospitality & Tourism Management, University of Surrey, UK.
  • Jalsa Urubshurow, chief executive, Nomadic Expeditions and Three Camel Lodge, Mongolia.
  • Judy Kepher-Gona, executive director, Base Camp Foundation, Kenya.
  • Karma Tshering, chief of Nature Recreation & Ecotourism, Department of Forests and Park Services, Bhutan.
  • Mahen Sanghrajka, chief executive and founder, Big Five Tours & Expeditions, USA/Kenya.
  • Mandip Singh Soin FRGS, founder, Ibex Expeditions, India.
  • Marilú Hernández, president, Fundación Haciendas del Mundo Maya, Mexico.
  • Pegi Vail, professor and sustainable tourism documentary film maker, Colombia University, USA.
  • Tony Charters, principal, Tony Charters & Associates, Australia.
  • Tony Williams, director, hospitality operations, Qatar Foundation, Dubai.

WTTC president, David Scowsill, said: “We are delighted to have such high calibre judges to select our finalists who will provide an important perspective based on their diverse cultural backgrounds and professional expertise in the tourism industry.

“We eagerly await the announcement of this year’s winners at the WTTC Global Summit in Abu Dhabi on April 9th 2013.”

Following the on-site evaluations, the finalists will move into the last stage of the judging process; a separate Winner Selection Committee meets after a detailed review of the finalist judges’ recommendations, the Award applications, and the on-site evaluation report, selecting one winner in each Award category.

The winners will be announced during the Awards Ceremony held at WTTC’s Global Summit on the evening of April 9th in Abu Dhabi, UAE.

All winners and finalists will receive worldwide media exposure. 

Christ said: “One of the signature aspects of these high profile Awards is the selection of a truly international team of expert judges, reflecting diverse stakeholders in the global tourism industry including the private sector, academic institutions, non-profit organisations and government.

“With each year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards continue to raise the bar on sustainable tourism best practices, helping to usher in a global transformation of the tourism industry, based upon the principles of environmental friendly operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage and direct and tangible benefits to the social and economic wellbeing of local people in tourism destinations around the world.”

WTTC also takes this opportunity to invite further entries to this year’s Awards. Applications must be submitted within one of the four Award categories by November 26th 2012.

Submit your application on the website or alternatively contact Anja Eckervogt, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Manager, [email protected].