Travel firms urged to showcase sustainability credentials

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Travel businesses are being urged to showcase their sustainability best practices to educate governments and tourism organisations alike.

The call came from the World Travel & Tourism Council as it called for entries to its 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

Applicants can enter in five categories: Community; Destination; Environment; Innovation; and People.

The 2016 finalists will be announced in January with the winners announced during the WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, in April.

President and chief executive, David Scowsill, said: “WTTC works to promote the sustainable growth of the industry. It is an extremely important time with the launch of the United Nation Sustainability Goals at the end of September and the Climate Change COP 21 meeting in Paris in December.

“The travel and tourism sector has been consistently improving its sustainability practices. It is our responsibility to and to plan this growth sensitively for the long term.

“Through our Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, we celebrate best practice in travel and tourism businesses, encouraging them to share their well-executed policies to educate governments and other travel businesses.”

Fiona Jeffery, former chairman of World Travel Market and founder and chairman of the international water aid charity Just a Drop, will be chairing the awards for the second time.

She said: “Tourism is a force for good as it brings together people and cultures from all over the world, creating greater insight and understanding.

“However, if we do not focus on preserving our natural environment, look after our cultural heritage and ensure equal opportunity to local communities, our industry can do a lot of damage.

“We are calling on all individuals and businesses to apply for this prestigious award scheme and show the wider industry how tourism businesses can add real value through their effective business practises. It is by sharing we can help overcome our industry’s challenges.”

Lead judge, Professor Graham Miller, chair in sustainability in business at the University of Surrey and head of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, will oversee the three-step judging process.

AIG Travel, the travel insurance and assistance arm of leading international insurance organisation American International Group, is the official headline sponsor of the 2016 awards.

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