Award Winners

WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards 2019

The ambition of the awards is to find and recognise examples of tourism businesses and organisations which are taking responsibility by reducing negative impacts on our world and increasing the positive ones. Recognition is important for those who are making a difference, and through the awards we seek to inform, educate, inspire and challenge others to step up and take responsibility; do more to make tourism better for communities and their natural and cultural environment; make better places for people to live in and to visit.

View the categories below. 

Best for Wildlife & Nature Conservation

Gold: Six Senses Lamu, Maldives

Silver: Batu Batu Resort & Tengah Island Conservation Malaysia

We are looking for innovative examples of tourism businesses that have made a demonstrable and significant difference locally, initiatives which we hope will inspire and encourage others.

This year the judges are looking for examples of tourism enterprises which have made a tangible difference to the conservation of nature which is locally significant. The judges will take into account the size of the business and the scale of the demonstrable impact – we shall level, as best we can, the playing field between large initiatives and smaller ones. We are looking for examples where real change has been made on the ground, addressing what is locally important. We are, as usual, looking for examples which may inspire and influence others and which have not been dependent on a great deal of external grant funding.

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Best for Reducing Carbon & Other Greenhouse Gases

Gold: Feynan Ecolodge, Jordan

Silver: Les Villages Nature Paris, France

We are looking for examples of initiatives which have developed practical means of reducing carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions in any part of the tourism industry.

Over the last year, there has been heightened concern about the risks posed by climate change and our slow and partial response to the challenge. The judges are looking for examples, from any part of the sector – airlines, coaches, cruise, car hire, and accommodation – where solutions have been implemented and where demonstrable and replicable reductions in emissions have been achieved. The judges will seek to level the playing field to ensure that the category could be won by a large or small business or organisation, what matters is the solution, its replicability and the scale of emission reduction relative to the cost of the change implemented.

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Best for Transparent Reporting

Gold: TUI

Silver: andBeyond

We are looking for examples of businesses and certification schemes where the impact of the initiatives taken to reduce negative and increase positive impacts are communicated to guests, travellers and stakeholders.

Transparency about the issues being addressed and the impacts of the initiatives taken by tourism businesses have always been important in Responsible Tourism. The judges are looking for examples of good practice where businesses publicly report the extent to which they reduce negative impacts or increase positive impacts whether at the accommodation or tour level or in company reporting alongside or integrated into annual accounts.

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Best for Reducing Plastic Waste

Gold: Ibero Star, Spain

Silver: Kilkee and Silver: Soneva Maldives

We are looking for innovative examples of initiatives taken by tourism businesses, community groups or destination organisations which have significantly reduced the volume of plastic waste going to landfill and/or reduced the amount of plastic pollution across the destination.

There is mounting public concern about plastic waste in watercourses and our oceans. The judges are looking for examples of good practice that have had genuine impact on one or more of the following:

  • Resulted in a reduction in the volume of single-use plastics used by organisation(s) within the destination (where single-use plastics have been replaced with alternative products, the judges will be looking for evidence that these have been sourced sustainably).
  • Delivered reductions in plastic use across the tourism supply chain.
  • Demonstrated collaboration between stakeholders to reduce the volume of plastic used by businesses in the destination, work collectively to clean up plastics from the environment, identify options to improve waste recycling and educate/inform residents and visitors about ways in which they can support plastics reduction.

Best for Coping with Success, dealing with Overtourism

Gold: Park Güell, Barcelona, Spain

The Winner of this Award will be recognised for Managing Success and promoted as an example of successfully maintaining a competitive quality visitor experience and ensuring that residents quality of life is also maintained.

We are looking for examples of attractions and sites where management interventions have reduced the negative impacts on the site and neighbouring communities and improved the visitor experience. The sites may be publicly or privately owned & managed.

Last year we looked at coping with success in destinations, this year our focus is on sites and attractions whether with or without an entrance charge. Overtourism can negatively affect residents, the tourist experiences and the natural and cultural environment. The judges are looking for examples where any, or all, of these dimensions of the problems of marketing success have been addressed. We want to recognise and share, examples where the problems arising from increasing visitor numbers have been successfully addressed to the benefit of the local community and to visitors.

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Best for Benefiting Local People

Gold: Green People & Bakrichhap for the Goat Village, India

Silver: Nikoi Island, Indonesia

We are looking for examples of businesses which are making particular efforts to benefit neighbouring communities, by providing social, economic or environmental benefits to the community, through training and progression or working with local people to create a local supply of goods or services for purchase by the tourism business or tourists.


Responsible Tourism is about using tourism to make better places for people to live in, creating greater economic benefits for local people and enhancing the wellbeing of host communities. The judges are looking for examples of businesses which are generating benefits through their business or by providing community benefits. This might be by upskilling local people and enhancing their earnings, benefiting particularly disadvantaged groups, mentoring and supporting the development of local suppliers, providing potable water or other community benefits. We are looking for examples which others might be encouraged to replicate.

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Hear from our previous winners...

Transfrontier Parks Destinations

See what Glynn O’Leary, CEO of the African tour operator Transfrontier Parks Destinations has to say about what winning has meant to them.

Village Ways

And Manish Pande, CEO of Village Ways, an India company offering walking tours in rural India


The Municipality of Gansbaai won a Gold Award for Best Destination in 2015, and two businesses in the municipality have also won Gold: Grootbos and Marine Dynamics/Dyer Island Cruising.

Want to be recognised?

If you're interested in becoming a candidate for our awards, please get in touch with our Marketing Team.