The first edition of the WTM Latin America Responsible Tourism Awards is already a success. A total of 53 projects have entered for the awards, 38% of which are Brazilian and 62% from other countries in Latin America. The finalists have already undergone a prior assessment and the winners of the awards will be announced on 31 March at 5:30 pm, in the Inspire Theatre at Expo Center Norte, in São Paulo.
WTM Latin America received projects for assessment in four categories: Best contribution to wildlife conservation; Best cultural heritage attraction; Best for poverty reduction & inclusion; and Best destination for responsible tourism.
According to Gustavo Pinto, coordinator of the awards and responsible tourism adviser for WTM Latin America’s Responsible Tourism Programme, the projects that were submitted for competing for the awards are very well structured and make a real contribution to making the tourism industry sustainable. “In selecting the finalists, we evaluated six aspects of each project: achievements, influence, innovation, impact on the local community, management and the sustainability of the undertaking and/or initiative and customer experience. The project has to be truly viable, original and replicable. The solutions that have been presented are well founded and we’re happy with the industry’s acceptance and participation in this first edition of the awards”, he said.
The awards put Latin America on the global recognition route and follow the movement of other shows in the WTM portfolio that already highlight best practices in responsible tourism, such as WTM London and WTM Africa.
These are the finalists:
- Awake Travel (Colombia)
- Awamaki (Peru)
- Brasil Food Safaris (Brazil)
- Complexo Turístico Itaipu [Itaipu Tourist Complex] (Brazil)
- Corredor Turístico Pájaros Pintados [Colourful Birds Tourist Corridor] (Uruguay)
- Expediciones Sierra Norte, Pueblos Mancomunados [Sierra Norte Expditions, Macomunados Villages] (Mexico)
- Fundación Teatro del Lago [Teatro del Lago Foundation] (Chile)
- Instituto Costarricense de Turismo [Costa Rica Tourism Institute] (Costa Rica)
- La Mano del Mono (Mexico)
- Puntacana Resort & Club (Dominican Republic)
- Reserva Biológica Huilo Huilo [Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve] (Chile)
- Sitios WAO (Venezuela)
- Travolution (Chile)
- WorldVentures Foundation (USA – with projects in Nicaragua)
Thais Del Ben, marketing manager for WTM Latin America, emphasizes the importance of the awards for the tourism industry and the contribution that the disclosure and recognition of good market practices makes to the market. “We were positively surprised by the number of entries and the quality of the projects that were presented. Responsible tourism is an urgent matter for the whole of the tourist chain and the awards are an important tool for spreading good conduct and showing off some of the good examples of what’s happening in Latin America.”
You can find out more about each initiative on WTM Latin America’s site.