The entries for the WTM Latin America Responsible Tourism Award are open and are already at full blast. The award, which will recognize the best tourism initiatives in four categories, places the Latin American continent on the global recognition path and keep pace with the changes at the portfolio’s other events that already highlight the best practices in terms of responsible tourism, such as WTM London, WTM Africa and the ATM in Dubai.
Gustavo Pinto, the coordinator of the awards and advisor for WTM Latin America’s Responsible Tourism Program lists three arguments as to why companies should take part in the awards: recognition, highlight in the market and positive exposure for the company. “The award encourages companies that are already working with responsible initiatives to expand and enhance their actions, while also making them a reference in the categories in which they win. In turn, the market takes advantage of the opportunities to promote a more responsible and correct activity”, stresses Gustavo.
Competing and winning the award implies recognition of initiatives that take responsibility for the positive or negative impacts left on the destinations in which they operate. On this point, the work requires time, dedication, involvement on the part of the team and even financial investments.
Highlight in the Market
The second argument put forward by the awards’ coordinator goes beyond the commercial bias of the initiatives, since it accomplishes the mission of showing the tourism sector that taking responsibility may not lead to extra expenses, but rather to the contrary. Organizations that coordinate responsible strategies ensure the operational health of the destinations and activities carried out. In addition, those players who stand out in their industry as a result of promoting sustainable development become indispensable when it comes to the consumer making his or her final decision, going beyond the competition.
Positive Exposure for the Company:
The third item is the exposure that winning an award generates in the Latin American media and, in this case, in other countries outside this region. The stories of the finalists and winners will be mentioned and highlighted, as well as a long and lasting return in terms of exposure with the cachet generated by winning the award.
Check out the categories
Best for poverty reduction & inclusion: recognizes travel service providers who view tourism as a strategy for changing the local reality. To this end, they create memorable travel experiences with the goal of achieving a marked reduction in poverty, including people who are marginalized, and by creating shared and inclusive forms and values.
Best contribution to wildlife conservation: the aim here is to reward initiatives that include the viewing of wildlife, nature trails, accommodation or other initiatives that operate in order to preserve wildlife and natural habitats.
Best cultural heritage attraction: seeks to shed light on fully preserved sites, ancient traditions and ceremonies, proven examples of cultural, historical or natural resources that are aimed at tourism.
Best destination for responsible tourism: aimed at those destinations which promote sustainable local development.
Source : WTM