Virgin Atlantic has been named among the 15 finalists for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2018.
The airline is one of three contenders for the Innovation Award for implementation of sustainable practices, along with non-profit organisations Transportation Options of Canada and Yayasan Karang Lestari Teluk Pemuteran (Pemuteran Bay Coral Protection Foundation) of Indonesia.
Finalists in all five Tourism for Tomorrow Awards categories were announced on Tuesday and will now be subject to a series of onsite evaluations. The awards recognise best practice and leadership in the development of sustainable tourism.
Melia Hotels of Spain and Hong Kong Airport Authority are among the finalists for the Environment Award along with nature reserve Chumbe Island Coral Park (CHICOP) of Tanzania.
Luxury travel company &Beyond of South Africa is one of three finalists in the Community Award category along with Global Himalayan Expedition of India, which is bringing solar-powered light to local villages, and the Sustainable Development Institute Mamirauá in Brazil.
The Destination Award finalists are Colombian eco-tourism park Corporación Parque Arví, the Riverwind Foundation of the US, and the Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association of Canada.
Heritage Watch (Australia), the Cayuga Collection of Sustainable Luxury Hotels and Lodges (Costa Rica) and TREE Alliance (Cambodia), which helps marginalised young people train for the hospitality sector, are the finalists for the People Award.
Awards chairman Fiona Jeffery demanded the industry “step up and accept its wider responsibilities” when calling for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards entries last September.
She said: “The impact of growing tourist numbers has been called into question. Now more than ever it is vital the industry accepts its wider responsibilities.”
Lead judge Professor Graham Miller, executive dean of the University of Surrey, told Travel Weekly: “I’ve been involved in the awards for 10 years. What is different [now] is the seriousness with which people are managing sustainability. People have more sense of what they are doing and why.”
The winners will be announced at the WTTC Global Summit in Buenos Aires on April 18-19.
More details on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards here