Responsible Travel has been in search of the most inspiring individuals and organizations that have been a good steward of nature, preserves and respect tourist destinations and local people as well. This year, the organization's annual awarding celebration called World Responsible Tourism Awards will be held at WTM London on November 8. Thirteen finalists will be competing for this year's award. Here are some of the nominees:
Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia
Diver's heaven-on-earth, the pristine reef are one of the world's best tourist spots for diving. The resort has built a 465sq mile Marine Protected Area. With the participation of the local communities, the resort was able to preserve and develop marine resources.
Bushman's Kloof Wilderness Reserve and Wellness Resort, South Africa
Situated in the foothills of the Cederberg Mountains, this award-winning lodge is an ecological oasis. Have a relaxing vacation in the scenic open plains and see the ancient sandstone formations, plus over 130 sites of bush art paintings, which were made as far as 10,000 years ago. The reserve is known for its good employment practices.
Lemon Tree Hotels, India
The hotel focuses on bringing a healthy planet by engaging in energy efficiency and conservation by using Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) instead of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), planting of trees and shrubs on hotel grounds and supports in using of green building materials. It also addresses the needs of its employees, to testify, it is considered as one of the Top 100 Great Places to Work For in India. They also hire people with physical and intellectual disabilities like orthopedically handicapped or someone with Down Syndrome.
World Cetacean Alliance
The WCA worldwide cause on captivity is concentrated on the rehabilitation and release of dolphins, porpoises and whales currently housed in dolphinariums and aquariums around the globe. The Working Group for Responsible Whale and Dolphin Watching is the driving force behind the WCA Whale Heritage Sites accreditation scheme that aims to set new standards for responsible whale and dolphin watching destinations. A number of new Whale Heritage Sites will be used in the coming years so that travellers can enjoy watching these marine animals in a safer place.
Karen Bevans, Director of Tourism, quoted in the Responsible Travel website, "We are extremely proud to be backing these thirteen incredible organisations. It's incredibly inspiring to see the calibre and variety of sustainable and responsible tourism outfits across the world. As we move forward with the next stage of our sustainable tourism plan here in Belize, we hope that their stories will in turn inspire businesses in our country, as well as in other parts of the world, to invest in, and achieve more through sustainable tourism."
Other nominees are: Xaus Lodge, South Africa; Burj Al Arab Aquarium, United Arab Emirates; East African Safari & Touring Company, Tanzania; Elevate Destinations, USA; Friends International - Childsafe Movement, Cambodia; Sam Veasna Centre, Cambodia; Sapa O'Chau, Vietnam; Tren Ecuador, Ecuador; and Viaggi Solidali, Italy.
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