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WTTC announces the winners of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards at the 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit

WTTC announces the winners of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards at the 9th Global Travel & Tourism Summit ( London, UK, and Florianópolis, Brazil - For the first time ever, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards were an integral part of the annual Global Travel&Tourism Summit, held this year in Florianópolis, capital of the Brazilian state of Santa Catarina. The Awards Programme, which has been under the stewardship of the World Travel&Tourism Council (WTTC) for the past five years, recognise and promote best practice in sustainable tourism development all over the world.

“This year's Tourism for Tomorrow Award winners represent a more diverse group of businesses, organisations and destinations that are helping to take sustainable tourism to new levels of innovation," Costas Christ, Chairman of the Judging Panel, told the assembled delegates at the Summit.

“For the first time, we have the airline sector represented, as well as micro-lending financial credit organisation, one of the world's largest hotel groups, and a major Caribbean tourism destination," Christ added. “We are now seeing sustainable tourism principles and practices represented across much more diverse sectors of the global Travel&Tourism industry."The 2009 winners, presented with their awards in Florianópolis, are:

Destination Stewardship Award - Grupo PUNTACANA, Dominican Republic
Conservation Award - NatureAir, Costa Rica
Community Benefit Award - Zakoura Foundation for Micro-Credits, Morocco
Global Tourism Business Award - Marriott International Inc, USA&Global

Winner of the Conservation Award, NatureAir's CEO Alex Khajavi, expressed his pride and excitement at being the first ever airline recipient of a Tourism for Tomorrow Award.

“The economic crisis is a wake-up call," he told delegates at the Summit. “We have to change the way that we do things … NatureAir is the only company of its kind. We hoped that we would have more competitors in this field but this is sadly not yet the case."Ed Fuller, President&Managing Director of Marriott International Lodging, which won the Global Tourism Business Award, said: “This award means a lot to me personally but it will also mean a great deal to the Marriott Corporation."

Marriott won the award because of its long-term commitment to the natural world and to the people living around its hotels as well as, more specifically, to its US$2 million scheme to protect a large tract of the Amazon rainforest."Our organisation has for many years been focused on trying to do the right thing, and the rainforest project has just heightened our goals and the opportunities to serve local communities," Fuller said.

The judging process, chaired by Costas Christ, a world expert in sustainable tourism, included a team of international judges and involved a stringent, three-step selection procedure, including an on-site verification of all finalists. The winners were then selected from among the finalists by the Winner Selection Committee, comprising:- Costas Christ, Chairman of Judges, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
- Graham Boynton, Group Travel Editor, The Telegraph Media Group
- Fiona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market&'Just A Drop'
- Jeanine Pires, President EMBRATUR The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are endorsed by WTTC Members and other organisations. They are organised in association with two Strategic Partners, Travelport and The Leading Travel Companies' Conservation Foundation, with Fairmont Hotels&Resorts and Rothschild Inc as additional sponsors. Media partners include BBC World, Breaking Travel News, Editora Globo, eTurboNews, FVW,, Grupo RBS, Mercados&Eventos, National Geographic Adventure, Newsweek, Rede CBN, Rede Globo, Simon&Baker Travel Review, Telegraph Media Group, The Economic Times of India, Travel Daily News, Travelmole, Travel Weekly, Travel Weekly UK, Travesias, TTG Asia, TTN Middle East, USA Today and 4hoteliers. Contributors include Adventure in Travel Expo, BEST Education Network, the Rainforest Alliance, Sustainable Travel International, the World Heritage Alliance, Reed Travel Exhibitions and World Travel Market.

Thomas Steinmetz Email: Telefon: 1-808-536-1100

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