Taking The Initiative

Africa’s responsible tourism initiatives will be highlighted by the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2021, which has introduced regional awards for the first time.

The WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards were launched in 2002 and the seek to recognize and reward businesses and destinations which are contributing to more sustainable and responsible tourism industry, based on the simple principle that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organized in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.

Winners will be chosen by a group of industry experts, led by Harold Goodwin, WTM’s Responsible Tourism Advisor, which meet online to allow for an internationally diverse panel.

The competition is broken down into four regions – Africa, India, Latin America,

Rest of World – with Gold and Silver Awards given to the first and second placed entries in each category in each region.

The panel will also name one business in each category and region as “one to watch”.

Each region also has a discretionary “Judges Award” available for businesses whose area of expertise falls between the categories or who have been previous winners.

In 2021, all the Gold winners will have a chance to win an inaugural WTM World Responsible Tourism Global Award. Each of the six categories will have its own Global winner, chosen from the four regional winners.

This year’s categories reflect the relationship between tourism, responsibility and COVID-19:

  • Decarbonizing Travel & Tourism
  • Sustaining Employees and Communities through the Pandemic
  • Destinations Building Back Better Post-COVID
  • Increasing Diversity in Tourism: How inclusive is our industry?
  • Reducing Plastic Waste in the Environment
  • Growing the Local Economic Benefit

The same assessment process is followed across all regions and categories to ensure that each entry is judged on the same basis. Businesses can enter on their own behalf or be nominated by partners, peers or customers.

Entries can be submitted from April 8, with 31 August being the final closing date. Entries must be submitted online by clicking here.

The regional Gold and Silver Awards recipients, and the new Global winners, will be announced at WTM Virtual, taking place digitally between Nov. 8 and Nov. 9 this year.

Meanwhile, WTM London is returning as a physical event, taking place at Excel London from Nov. 1 to Nov. 3.