Sustainable tourism initiatives recognized by the UNWTO Awards

12th UNWTO awards 2016The Itaipu Technological Park (Brazil), the Treetop Walking Path (Lithuania), the Sisterhood of Survivors Program (Nepal), and Re-Inventing the Government in Tourism (Indonesia) were the winners of the 12th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. The projects were selected among more than 100 candidatures from 30 countries.

The Awards, recognizing innovation in four categories – Public Policy and Governance, Enterprises, NGOs and Research and Technology – were announced last week at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony in the Spanish Tourism Fair (FITUR).

“The UNWTO Awards aim to honour those that everyday work for the benefit of host communities, supporting the livelihoods of local people and protecting our environment and our culture for future generations,” said UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai, opening the ceremony. “All 16 finalists are an example to all of us of how the principles of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the objectives set in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) can inspire sustainable tourism.”

The full finalists and winners were:

UNWTO Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance

Winner: Re-Inventing the Government in Tourism, Pemkab Banyuwangi, Indonesia

First Runner-up: East Africa Tourism Platform, Kenya

Second Runner-up: Green Certifications Program, Puerto Rico Tourism Company, Puerto Rico and Responsible Tourism and Free of Crime in Medellín, Alcaldía de Medellín, Colombia

UNWTO Awards for Innovation in Enterprises

Winner: Treetop Walking Path, Anykščiai Regional Park Direction, Lithuania

First Runner-up: Bali Beach Clean-Up, Garuda Indonesia, Indonesia, and World´S First 100% Electric Tour Bus, Switzerland Explorer Tours, Switzerland

Second Runner-up: Plentifulness Project, Projeto Fartura, Brazil, and First Professional Experience Project, Meliá Hotels International, Spain

UNWTO Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations

Winner: Sisterhood of Survivors (SOS) Program, Samrakshak Samuha Nepal (Sasane), Nepal

First Runner-up: Coral Reef Reborn, Yayasan Karang Lestari, Indonesia

Second Runner-up: The Child safe Movement, Friends-International, Cambodia; and Children in the Wilderness, South Africa

UNWTO Award for Innovation in Research and Technology

Winner: Itaipu Touristic Complex, Fundação Parque Tecnológico, Brazil

First Runner-up: Mobile Application Bike Rijeka, Rijeka Tourist Board, Croatia; and Korea Medical Tourism Online Platform, Korea Tourism Organization, Republic of Korea

On the occasion UNWTO has also conferred the UNWTO Award for Lifetime Achievement to the late Arthur Haulot, founder of the International Social Tourism Organization for his contribution in promoting social tourism and the right to tourism for all and the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge in Tourism to Dr. Richard Butler, author of one of the most influential theories about tourism – the Tourism Area Life Cycle (TALC).

See more at the official awards page here.


Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith
Jeremy Smith is the editor and co-founder of Travindy. He is a writer and communications consultant working for a more responsible and sustainable tourism industry. He is the author of two books, writes a fortnightly blog on responsible tourism for World Travel Market, and provides consultancy to a wide range of companies and organisations, ranging from National Parks to individual hotels and tour operators.

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