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WTTC Applauds World Leaders In Sustainable Tourism 2008 Tourism For Tomorrow Winners Announced

WTTC Applauds World Leaders In Sustainable Tourism  2008 Tourism For Tomorrow Winners Announced ( World Travel&Tourism Council - T4T Winners 2008

Dubai, UAE - 22 April 2007 - The World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) last night announced the winners of the 2008 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards at the Gala Dinner for the 8th Global Travel&Tourism Summit. The Awards, in association with Travelport, recognise and promote best practices in sustainable tourism development all over the world. The winners are:

Destination Award - Blackstone Valley, USA
Conservation Award - Ecotourism Australia
Investor in People Award - RARE / La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras
Global Tourism Business Award - Six Senses Resorts&Spas, Thailand&Global

The judging process, chaired by Costas Christ, a world expert in sustainable tourism, included a team of 11 international judges who selected 3 finalists in each award category, followed by an on-site inspection visit of all finalists. The winners were then selected from among the finalists by a panel of four judges including:
Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
Graham Boynton, Group Travel Editor, The Telegraph Media Group
Francis Farrell, Vice President&Publisher, National Geographic Adventure
Fiona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market&'Just A Drop'

During the official ceremony, Costas Christ said, " Twenty years ago sustainable tourism was just an idea, now it is entering the Travel&Tourism mainstream as more companies embrace new innovations demonstrating environmentally-friendly operations, a commitment to safeguarding the cultural and natural heritage of our planet, and addressing poverty alleviation through enlightened business practices. The winners of the 2008 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are helping to lead the way forward at a transformative moment in the history of modern travel."

Jeff Clarke, President&CEO of Travelport and Member of WTTC's Executive Committee applauds the winners saying “With growing climate concerns, delivering sustainable travel has emerged as an important responsibility for our industry. As travellers' awareness of their impact on the environment increases, we face a formidable challenge in providing environmentally-conscious services and at the same time, promoting the importance of tourism to economic development, cultural understanding and peace among nations. The recipients of the 2008 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have made tremendous strides toward addressing this challenge by developing products and services that aim to mitigate the impacts of carbon footprints while promoting sustainable travel. Their innovation has demonstrated a commitment not only to preserving our planet but also to facilitating mass travel globally."

The Awards are endorsed by the Members of the Council and sponsored by leading Travel&Tourism organisations, including strategic partner Travelport, Fairmont Hotels&Resorts, Lindblad Expeditions, NM Rothschild&Sons Ltd. Contributors are Adventure in Travel Expo, BEST Education Network, Reed Travel Exhibitions, Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Travel International, and World Heritage Alliance. Media sponsors include BBC World, Breaking Travel News, eTurboNews, Indian Express Group, National Geographic Adventure, Newsweek, Telegraph Media Group, Travelchannel, Travelmole, TTG Asia, TTN Middle East and USA Today.

For more information about the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards please contact Susann Kruegel, Project&Events Co-ordinator on +44 (0) 20 7481 8007 or href=""> or visit

Think 'tourism destination' and the image that comes to mind is not likely to be a place known for its polluted rivers, abandoned businesses, high unemployment and disenfranchised local communities. Yet, that is exactly what the Blackstone River Valley was when local community members launched the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council (BVTC) in 1985. Their goal was to revitalize the nine communities along the Blackstone River Valley in Rhode Island that formed the birthplace of the American Industrial Revolution and then ultimately became a victim of it when the Blackstone became the first polluted river in the Western Hemisphere and its industrial economy collapsed. Working with a wide range of multi-stakeholders, BVTC has shown that tourism can play a key role in helping to revitalize a downtrodden economy and bring back a river once declared “dead" to the benefit of local people, business, and nature. Through a destination stewardship approach to tourism development, including the preservation of the area's natural, cultural and historical heritage, BVTC has succeeded in uniting a community and awakening it to its new economic potential. With innovative projects like the Sustainable Tourism Development and Planning Laboratory, the Council continues to grow and enhance its many offerings, while sharing the lessons it has learned with other tourism destinations.

Ecotourism Australia was formed in 1991 as a not-for-profit organisation whose primary membership is private sector tourism businesses. For nearly two decades, it has helped to build a broad-based conservation through tourism approach throughout Australia. With educational outreach, workshops, conferences and public-private partnerships, Ecotourism Australia has helped to make conservation an important part of Australia's national tourism development efforts, resulting in Travel&Tourism businesses building nature conservation planning and outcomes into their business models. Its ground-breaking ECO Certification Programme is among the world's most innovative and successful certification schemes, with a 'triple bottom line' approach for the ecotourism industry, assuring that they are engaged in best practices in ecological sustainability, natural area management and the provision of high quality ecotourism experiences. Ecotourism Australia is currently developing a Climate Change module to help facilitate a positive change in tourism practices in response to global warming. In April 2008, they announced Australia's first fully carbon neutral ecolodge among their members, opening the window for others in the tourism community to see how it can be done.

Within one of the largest remaining tracts of rainforest in Central America, home to expansive wetlands and indigenous groups, lies a remote region of Honduras known as “La Moskitia", or the Mosquito Coast. Modern-day travellers now visit this unique region as guests of La Ruta Moskitia - an alliance of five indigenous communities and RARE, an international conservation organisation who worked with local villagers to launch this community-based tourism project to address poverty alleviation and biodiversity conservation in the Rio Plátano Biosphere Reserve - a two million acre UNESCO World Heritage Site that is located in the heart of La Moskitia. Through capacity building, training, and self-empowerment, La Ruta Moskitia has created 150 rural community jobs and supports more that 750 immediate family members. Eighty-two percent of all income generated from the Alliance stays directly with the indigenous communities involved, who manage their own funds for both community development and investment in tourism product infrastructure. The Alliance offers multi-day tours that feature bird watching, jungle trekking, and authentic cultural exchange as determined by the local communities themselves. Guests travel in dugout canoes, and stay in comfortable community-owned ecolodges and palm-thatched cabañas.

Six Senses Resorts&Spas is a resort and spa management and development company that operates luxury properties primarily in the Maldives, Oman, Thailand, and Vietnam. They currently have ten resorts, with five more scheduled to open in 2008 in other countries, in addition to 20 Six Senses Spas. Employees, more than 1000, are known as 'hosts' within the company, and sustainability is integrated into all aspects of the business model, reflecting the company's core mission: To create innovative and enriching experiences in a sustainable environment. Six Senses' sustainability programme - known as Social and Environment Conscience - is comprehensive and systematic, including protection of the environment and supporting the well-being of communities. Their focus is on four key areas: Holistic Environmental Management Programme, Social and Environmental Responsibility Fund, Environmental Awareness and Capacity Development, and Corporate Partnership Programme. All of this is carried out while providing guests with an outstanding luxury vacation experience in some of the world's most spectacular settings.


Destination Award
Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme, Indonesia
Town of Bouctouche, Canada
Conservation Award
Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa
Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka
Investor in People Award
Fair Trade in Tourism South Africa
Rainforest Expeditions - Posadas Amazonas, Peru
Global Tourism Business Award
Scandic Hotels, Sweden&Global
Serena Hotels and Lodges, Kenya&Global

WTTC is the forum for business leaders in the Travel&Tourism industry. With Chairmen and Chief Executives of one hundred of the world's leading Travel&Tourism companies as its Members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to Travel&Tourism.
WTTC works to raise awareness of Travel&Tourism as one of the world's largest industries, employing approximately 238 million people and generating nearly 10% of world GDP.

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