The 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards

The 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards, sponsored by Oman, were announced today at World Travel Market.

This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Responsible Tourism Awards with the Sultanate of Oman Ministry of Tourism, run previously with First Choice (2004-6) and more recently with Virgin Holidays (2007-2012). In the last 10 years, the Awards have come of age. They have been rebranded as the World Responsible Tourism Awards, the headline sponsor’s recognition no longer extends to their name being included in the Awards’ title and 2013 has seen a much more extensive and diverse range of partners and sponsors.

A look back at the first ten years of the Awards Heroes of Responsible Tourism

The 2013 World Responsible Tourism Awards ceremony on video

The categories were substantially changed this year to reflect changes in Responsible Tourism. For the first 10 years the Awards tended to focus on businesses (tour operators, accommodation, transport), environments (marine, mountains, cultures and architecture) and a limited number of issues (carbon pollution, poverty reduction, volunteering and conservation). This year we have maintained the Best Destination category, broadened the poverty reduction category of previous years to Best for the Local Economy, refocused the wildlife conservation category to look at the tourist experience and concentrated on two issues: water conservation and child protection. Also new this year are the campaigning and photography categories – part of our purpose in organising the Awards each year is our intent to raise awareness amongst holidaymakers and travellers. The People’s Choice category was introduced to provide an opportunity for “the people” to engage and they did in substantial numbers. This experiment is likely to become a permanent feature of the Awards.

Below are the headline winners. Full explanations for the Judges’ Verdict available here

Overall Winner

TUI Nederland was commended for its work in child protection, in particular their ‘Say NO to child sex tourism in the Northeast of Brazil’ project and a campaign across Dutch airports to raise awareness of child sexual exploitation issues among travellers.

Harold Goodwin, Chair of Judges said: “TUI Nederland was chosen as the overall winner because of the scale of its achievement in child protection, an area of Responsible Tourism which many businesses are reluctant to address. The judges were impressed by TUI Nederland’s willingness to raise this sensitive issue with their clients and Dutch travellers in general, in order to urge them to take action and to report their suspicions when abroad. The judges felt that TUI Nederland’s overall holistic approach was highly replicable and hope that others will emulate the company’s leadership”.

For those who could not attend WTM, the full 10th anniversary ceremony can be viewed on WTM’s website homepage at: www.wtmlondon.com.

Heroes of Responsible Tourism – 10 years of RT Awards Video

The Awards website with details of the winners

Read about the winners and the reasons for the judges’ decisions read

1. Overall Winner 

 TUI Nederland, the Netherlands – www.tui.nl/sustainabletourism 

2. Best for Responsible Wildlife Experiences

Winner: Nam Nern Night Safari, Lao PDR – set up by Wildlife Conservation Society

Highly Commended:

  1. ReefCI, Belizehttp://reefci.com/
  2. The Great Projects, Africa, Asia, South America & Europe- www.thegreatprojects.com/


3. Best for Water Conservation

Winner: Chepu Adventures EcoLodge, Chiloe island in Patagonia – www.chepu.cl

Highly Commended: Chumbe Island Coral Park, off Zanzibar/Tanzania – www.chumbeisland.com/


4. Best for the Local Economy

Winner: Village Ways, India & Ethiopiawww.villageways.com/

Highly Commended: Basecamp Explorer Kenya, Masai Mara Kenya – http://www.basecampexplorer.com/


5. Best for Responsible Tourism Campaigning –

Winner: people and places, UKwww.travel-peopleandplaces.co.uk/

Highly Commended: Snowcarbon, The Alps – www.snowcarbon.co.uk/


6. Best Destination for Responsible Tourism

Winner: Bonito, Brazilwww.bonito.ms.gov.br/

Highly Commended:

  1. Nature Park & Glacier Region Kaunertal, Tyrolean Alps in Austria – www.gletscherpark.com
  2. Mara Naboisho Conservancy, Masai Mara in Kenya – www.maranaboisho.com/
  3. Valleys Regional Park, Wales – www.thevalleys.org.uk/


7.  Best for Child Protection – sponsored by Visit Norway

Winner: TUI Nederland, the Netherlands – www.tui.nl/sustainabletourism

Highly Commended:

  1. Intrepid Travel, Australia – www.intrepidtravel.com/
  2. Friends International for ChildSafe Network in Cambodia, Lao, Thailand & Indonesia –



8. Best Photography for Responsible Tourism

There were no winners for this category but three photographers were highly commended for their attempt at depicting what responsible tourism stands for.

Highly Commended:  

Chris Willan at chriswillan@me.com

Macy Anonuevo at macy.anonuevo@gmail.com

Tanushree Singh at gou@travelanotherindia.com


9. People’s Choice

 For this category, a panel of judges selected five previous recent winners that represented the diversity of Responsible Tourism. The public was then asked to select their favourite.

Winner: Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve, Chile – www.huilohuilo.com

Awards coverage in the Metro

Travel Trade Gazette pages 50-54

Metro onlne

Metro piece on child protection

Photos of the Awards ceremony



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