Today was the judging for the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards which will be announced at World Travel Market on World Responsible Tourism Day on November 11th and in the Saturday Telegraph. Chairing the judging is a privilege, coming to a consensus amongst a knowledgeable and responsible group of individuals determined to make the best possible decisions.
There was the usual robust debate about each of the categories. It is an exhaustive process. There were 1,662 nominations for 580 individual organisations for 13 categories. Competition is stiff particularly so this year in the low carbon and technology, marine and poverty reduction categories. Masters and PhD students from the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University work through the nominations apply their knowledge and do some web searching. From this the long list is created and the questionnaires are sent out. The judges then meet in pairs and come to an agreement about a short list for each category which they bring to the judging day and the debate begins, By the end of the day we had 13 category winners, a global winner and a score of highly commendeds.
It is not easy to survive the scrutiny of the judges and this year the competition in most categories has been much tougher. The Responsible Tourism agenda moves on there are always new approaches and new standards are set every year. You�ll have to wait until WTM World Responsible Tourism Day for the results � there is plenty to celebrate this year.