I'm excited to be part of the Judging Advisory Panel for the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards 2014 programme, and would like to share updates on the opportunities that are available for tourism businesses and other organizations based in South or South East Asia to be part of the programme.
Responsible Tourism Initiative: About the Awards
Wild Asia's Responsible Tourism Awards is an annual tourism award program specifically focused on sustainable tourism best practices. It aims to recognize those who are making a positive difference in their destinations and communities through responsible business and sustainable management practices. Each year some of the most exciting and influential examples of responsible tourism in South and South East Asia are selected, providing the industry with inspirational case studies of models that stand out from the crowd.
This year, the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards focus on people – through categories on social, economic, and cultural benefits, each dedicated to important principles in responsible tourism.
The categories are: Best in Community Engagement and Development (recognizing exceptional commitment to supporting the local community and economy), Best in Cultural Preservation (recognizing engagement and efforts by tourism businesses in preserving, enhancing and promoting local cultures and heritage), Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator (recognizing those that excels in all of the above categories by taking into consideration all the key principles of responsible tourism), Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Initiative (recognizing grassroots initiatives by NGOs, associations and other organizations championing responsible tourism within their destination).
>> Learn more about the "Most Inspiring" categories and the benefits of the Awards from Amy McLoughlin, Responsible Tourism Awards Manager at Wild Asia
Meet Last Year's Winners
In 2013, a diverse mix of tourism businesses from across the region participated in the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards, and these sustainability leaders (winners and runner-ups) have been selected, each showcasing how the tourism industry can be a force for good.
From Lisu Lodge (Thailand)'s community-based efforts to empower the Lisu hill tribe to create a sustainable local economy, to Soneva Resorts (The Maldives)'s innovative sustainable business practices and lifestyle choices; from ViaVia Tours (Indonesia)'s educational, social and cultural projects to support local youth and marginalised groups, to Scuba Junkie (Malaysia)'s environmental conservation and awareness-building efforts protecting local marine life - the group (see all winners here) represents an exciting overview of how responsible tourism is making a tangible difference in communities across Asia.