At a ceremony hosted at World Travel Market (WTM), Docklands, London, on Wednesday 11th November, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, managing director of responsibletravel.com, organizers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.
Dr. Harold Goodwin, Director, International Centre for Responsible Tourism and Chair of Judges said: “Working our way through this year’s long lists, we were impressed by the willingness of so many organizations to take responsibility and to do what they can to help make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. Despite the economic difficulties being faced by the travel and tourism industry, responsible tourism continues to move ahead and I’m continually impressed as more is achieved by more people. As judges we are all very aware of the great work that is being done by so many and our decisions are often very difficult and sometimes long debated.“
The citation for Ecocamp Patagonia from the judges is as follows:
“Ecocamp Patagonia sits at the cutting edge of environmental practice with the design and creation of their innovative 4 star geodesic dome tented hotel; a 99 per cent portable hotel that can be dismantled and removed without leaving a trace in the richly biodiverse National Park. Their Environmental Management System is comprehensive – incorporating a range of practices from hydroelectric turbines and wind generators, to composting devices and solar panels.”
Justin Francis, founder of The Responsible Tourism Awards and managing director, responsibletravel.com, organizers of the Awards said:
“In this, the sixth year of the Awards, I have been particularly impressed to see that despite this year’s recession, organizations continue to come up with innovative ideas around responsible tourism that ensure local communities and environments benefit from tourism as much as possible. The money may have dried out a little in the past year but the passion, ingenuity and creativity certainly hasn’t.”
Amanda Wills, managing director, Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards said:
“In our third year as headline sponsor, the inspiration from the winners, pioneers in the crucial arena, continues to grow. As we all strive to get our own businesses in order, taking valuable and creative lessons from this year’s roll call of innovators will certainly play a key part. I am delighted to be part of an event that sees our industry walk the walk…and not just talk the talk.”
Launched in 2004, the Awards are run in association with partners World Travel Market, The Daily Telegraph and Geographical Magazine.
For a full list of finalists, see www.responsibletourismawards.com