TORONTO — One of Canada’s biggest tour operators was among the 15 finalists at the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.
Now in its 13th year and hosted by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the awards showcases business practices of the highest standards that balance the “needs of people, planet and profits within our sector.” Finalists span across five continents in categories such as Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People.
This year, G Adventures was named one of three Community Award Finalists, along with Cinnamon Wild Yala in Sri Lanka, and Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya. All three were chosen for their commitment to sustainable tourism and leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage.
Winners of the 2017 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced during the Awards Ceremony at the 17th WTTC Global Summit, taking place in Bangkok from April 26-27.
This announcement comes on the heels of G Adventures’ award for ‘Best Inca Trail Tour Operator’, presented by the Regional Direction of Foreign Trade and Tourism of Cusco (RDFTTC). The application process included interviews with RDFTTC, an on-site examination of G Adventures’ Inca Trail operations, and a presentation by the operator’s Cusco team. The award recognizes outstanding service, safety, technical operations and ethical business practices.
G Adventures’ Inca Trail operations employ over 560 local employees, including guides, porters, cooks, drivers and office staff. The company offers 29 trips on the Inca Trail.
The WTTC currently estimates global Travel & Tourism to have grown by 3.1% in 2016. David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said that the sector must “safeguard the environment, local communities and cultural heritage” and that the awards program “calls on tourism businesses to showcase just that.”
Scowsill also noted that this year saw a 36% rise of applications, which shows “not only that more and more Travel & Tourism companies are looking to operate sustainably, but also an increased interest to share company best practices and thereby educate peers and governments.”
The remaining finalists of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are as follows:
Destination Award Finalists, who show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations:
• Botswana Tourism Organisation, Botswana
• City of Bydgoszcz, Poland
• Pallas-Yllästunturi National Park, Finland
Environment Award Finalists, whose organisations and companies achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations:
• Biosphere Expeditions, UK
• Caiman Ecological Refuge, Brazil
• Misool, Indonesia
Innovation Award Finalists, who provided innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice:
• NATIVE Hotels and Accessible Tourism, Spain
• Soel Yachts, Netherlands
• The Mapping Ocean Wealth initiative led by the Nature Conservancy, USA
People Award Finalists, who are dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future:
• Desert & Delta Safaris, Botswana
• STREETS International, Vietnam
• The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation’s China Hospitality Education Initiative (CHEI), China