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WTM’S WORLD RESPONSIBLE TOURISM DAY HOSTS DEDICATED AWARDS

(Forimmediaterelease.net) Celebrating the travel industry’s best responsible tourism initiatives

For the fourth year running World Travel Market is playing host to the Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored for the first time by Virgin Holidays. The Awards celebrate tourism ventures that make a positive contribution to conservation and the economies of local communities whilst minimising any negative impacts of tourism.

The Awards, the biggest of its kind in the world, are again organised by online travel agent responsibletravel.com, in association with The Times, World Travel Market and Geographical Magazine – the magazine of The Royal Geographical Society.

In 2006 the Awards received an unprecedented response with over 1200 nominations. This year’s Awards will be presented at World Travel Market at 11.00 on Wednesday 14th November on WTM World Responsible Tourism Day.
Commenting on the Awards, Fiona Jeffery, Managing Director World Travel Market said: “We are delighted that the Awards continue to have their home at World Travel Market and, most appropriately, on the first ever WTM World Responsible Tourism Day.
“The day, a global initiative in association with the United Nations World Tourism Organization and supported by the likes of Sir Richard Branson, is the world’s most ambitious international day of industry action to help save the planet and change lives. It is a unique opportunity for governments, the travel industry, local communities and travellers to show that it is practical contributions that count, not just talk. And the Responsible Tourism Awards highlight all that is best in practical contributions.”

Justin Francis, co-founder of the online travel agent responsibletravel.com, organisers of the Awards said: “With the public’s help we’ll seek out tourism ventures providing the greatest benefit to local communities whilst reducing local cultural and environmental impacts. A particular focus will be placed on carbon dioxide reduction initiatives both in destinations and in transportation.”

Amanda Wills, Managing Director of Virgin Holidays comments: “We are delighted to be able to act as headline sponsor of the 2007 Responsible Tourism Awards. Virgin has always been about driving change through successful entrepreneurship and Virgin Holidays are no different. We are passionate about responsible tourism and proud to be associated with awards that provide recognition to those individuals and businesses whose success in pioneering social and environmental responsibility, acts as inspiration to others.
“The importance of sustainability in tourism has never been greater. In the words of Sir Richard Branson: “Our generation has inherited an incredibly beautiful world from our parents and they from their parents, it is in our hands whether our children and their children inherit the same world.” And to prove we aren’t all talk, all profits and dividends that Virgin Group receives from Virgin Holidays, Atlantic and Trains (estimated to be $3bn over the next 10 years) will be ploughed into research and investment to develop sustainable sources of energy.
Nominations should be made online atwww.responsibletourismawards.com or by post to responsibletravel.com, Pavilion House, 6 Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex BN1 1EJ, and include the name and contact details of the nomination (website, e-mail, address and telephone number if possible), plus up to 100 words on why you believe they should win a responsible tourism award. The category of entry should also be specified (see below). Nominations close on Monday 2nd July
Those individuals who nominate a category winner will be entered into a draw to win a 14 day tour of Uganda with i-to-i or a 19 day tour of Nepal with The Adventure Company.
There are 13 categories in which to nominate, with an overall winner chosen from the sector winners.

1. Best in a Marine Environment (including beach)
2. Best in a Mountain Environment – Sponsored by Blacks
3. Best in a Park or Protected Area – Sponsored by Conservation International
4. Best Tour Operator - Sponsored by The Adventure Company
5. Best Small Accommodation/hotel (less than 50 rooms)
6. Best Larger Accommodation/hotel (more than 50 rooms)
7. Best for Poverty Reduction
8. Best for Low Carbon Transport/Technology
9. Best for Conservation of Cultural Heritage
10. Best for Conservation of Endangered Species
11. Best Personal Contribution – Sponsored by the Canadian Tourism Commission
12. Best Volunteering Organisation - Sponsored by Lonely Planet
13. Best Destination – Sponsored by G.A.P Adventures

The judging panel is chaired by Harold Goodwin, WTM World Responsible Tourism Day advisor, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University and Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism. He is joined by:

Justin Francis, Managing Director, responsibletravel.com
Cath Urquhart, Travel Editor, The Times
Fiona Jeffery, Managing Director, World Travel Market
Tricia Barnett, Director, Tourism Concern
Andy Cooper, Director General, Federation of Tour Operators (FTO)
Graeme Gourlay, Publisher, Geographical Magazine
Richard Hammond, Guardian Columnist and Media Consultant
Debbie Hindle, Managing Director, bgb communications
Sue Hurdle, Director, The Travel Foundation
Neel Inamdar, Ecotourism Business Advisor, Conservation International
Ian Reynolds, former Chief Executive of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA)
Keith Richards, Head of Business Development and Consumer Affairs at ABTA

For further information contact Simon Greenbury, Jane Larcombe Communications on 020 8441 3773; 07798 650220; simon@janelarcombecommunications.com

WORLD TRAVEL MARKET ONLINE PICTURE LIBRARY

High resolution World Travel Market pictures can be accessed speedily and efficiently via the World Travel Market Online Picture Library. This service is free of charge.

Log on towww.wtmlondon.com
• Click on Press & PR on left hand side of screen, and use the quick links to then click to enter online picture library. When prompted, please login by keying in your name and company for our records.
• You will find a wide selection of logos, general views and specific pictures with captions, depicting aspects of the event. These will be regularly updated.
• Click on the thumbnail of your choice to see a larger version of the picture
• Click on the download button in the left margin
• Save as a jpg. file
• Open the file after saving to your system.


NOTES TO EDITORS

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading organiser of exhibitions and conferences. Reed brings together over 90,000 suppliers and more than 5.5 million buyers from around the world every year generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held in 38 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, and organised by 33 fully staffed offices.

Reed’s portfolio of over 460 events serves 52 industry sectors, including:
aerospace and defense, building and construction, design, electronics, energy, oil and gas, entertainment, food and hospitality, gifts, healthcare, IT/telecoms, jewellery, manufacturing, marketing and business services, pharmaceuticals, property, publishing, sport and recreation, transport and logistics and travel.

Working closely with professional bodies, trade associations and government departments Reed ensures that each and every event is targeted and relevant to industry needs. As a result, many Reed events are market leaders in their field.

Reed Exhibitions is part of Reed Elsevier, a FTSE 100 company and world-leading publisher and information provider, with revenues in excess of £4.8 billion (US$ 8.4 billion) (2004).

Reed Travel Exhibitions organise 17 events worldwide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, Asia Pacific Incentives & Meetings Expo (AIME), International Golf Travel Market, Top Resa, Mediterranean Travel Fair, ICCA Exhibition, in association with the ICCA Congress, International Luxury Travel Market (ILTM), La Cumbre, City Break, China Incentive, Business Travel & Meetings Exhibition (CIBTM), Latin American & Caribbean Incentive & Meetings Exhibition (LACIME), Gulf Incentive Business Travel & Meetings (GIBTM) and Asia Luxury Travel Market (ALTM).

For further press information, please visit the Reed Travel Exhibitions’ website onwww.reedtravelexhibitions.com

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