Daily Archives: January 25, 2016

WTTC Tourism For Tomorrow Awards Announces 2016 Finalists

The World Travel & Tourism Council [WTTC] has announced the 15 Finalists for its 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards in the five categories; Community, Destination, Environment, Innovation and People.

The 15 Finalists, which were chosen after a rigorous judging process, showcase the highest level of sustainability practices within the Travel & Tourism sector. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme celebrates business leadership that works towards a more sustainable future of our sector by educating and inspiring governments, travellers and other tourism businesses.

The 2016 Awards saw applications from 62 countries across all continents. Following the first phase of the three stage judging process all applications have now been carefully evaluated by a committee of independent expert judges against established sustainable tourism criteria, which include community development, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, and innovative solutions for sustainable practices.

The second phase will see on-site evaluation of each Finalist by international sustainable tourism experts, assessing the organisations and the business practices they have highlighted in their application. Following the evaluations the winners of each category will be chosen by a further panel of leading authorities in sustainability.

The Winners will be announced during the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Ceremony at the 16th WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, Texas on the 7th of April. Awards Lead Judge, Graham Miller, Professor of Sustainability in Business and Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, The University of Surrey, said:”This year’s finalists reflect the importance of knowledge in creating a more sustainable tourism industry.

We have organisations who have created carbon calculators, methods of measuring impacts, developed new technology and really thought outside the traditional confines of the sector.

There is still no shortage of passion and determination to drive forward sustainability, but working smarter through networks, partnerships and high level thinking mark the future for sustainable tourism”.

The Finalists of the 2016 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, which is Headline sponsored by AIG Travel, are: Community Award Finalists, whose organisations are committed to sustainable tourism leadership in local community development, empowerment and cultural heritage •

Expediciones Sierra Norte, Pueblos Mancomunados, Mexico

• Sapa O’Chau, Vietnam
• Yayasan Ekowisata Indonesia, Indonesia

Destination Award Finalists, who show commitment to supporting and delivering sustainable tourism best practices in their destinations:

• Parkstad Limburg, Netherlands • Swiss Parks Network, Switzerland
• V&A Waterfront, South Africa Environment Award Finalists, whose organisations and companies achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats, addressing climate change, and green operations:
• Alcatraz Cruises, US
• Lindblad Expeditions, US and worldwide
• Wilderness Safaris, South Africa / Botswana

Innovation Award Finalists, who provided innovative solutions to overcoming the challenges faced by Travel & Tourism in implementing sustainability in practice:

• ANVR, the Netherlands
• Northsailing, Iceland
• PWC, Travel Foundation & TUI Group, United Kingdom

People Award Finalists, who are dedicated to the development of capacity building, training and education to build a skilled tourism workforce for the future:

• Jus’ Sail, Saint Lucia
• Kinyei International, Cambodia
• Youth Career Initiative [YCI], United Kingdom

The Winner Selection Committee is chaired by Fiona Jeffery OBE, Chair of the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and [also] includes:

• Darrell Wade, Co-Founder and CEO, Intrepid Group, Australia
• Hugh Riley, Secretary General, Caribbean Tourism Organization, Barbados
• Stephanie Draper, Deputy Chief Executive, Forum for the Future, United Kingdom

Fiona Jeffery OBE, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Chair said: It is great to see the depth and range of achievement the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are attracting. Greater innovation and longer term sustainable practises from right across the globe.

We look to stretch the boundaries as an Awards Programme recognising and applauding true business leadership. It’s so encouraging to see such inspiring work being exemplified in this way as it helps our industry improve and ensure it brings better business practises to a wider community.

David Scowsill, President & CEO of WTTC said: “Tourism is a force for good and it is by sharing best practices and educating our peers about sustainability that we can ensure the growth of our sector is managed responsibly.

The Awards, which are now in their 12th year, again will demonstrate how tourism businesses can bring positive change to communities by protecting livelihoods and the environment.

The Awards Ceremony will again be broadcast online, allowing not only the delegates at the Summit but everyone around the world to hear the remarkable stories of the Finalists.”

Togo To Host 2016 Africa Investment Forum

Togo has been named as the host country for this year’s additional Africa Investment Forum [AHIF] following expected economic boom in the country.

AHIF conferences bring together major international investors, business leaders, government ministers and top officials from across Africa.

The plans to host an AHIF conference in Togo’s capital, Lomé in April is due to two major development initiatives designed to enhance the country’s standing as a strategic investment destination for business and tourism by the country’s Ministry of Commerce, Industry, Private Sector Promotion and Tourism.

Lomé’s new airport terminal is expected to increase passenger capacity from 400,000 to two million, and triple the international airport’s passenger and cargo potential. It will accommodate direct flights from Cairo, Turkey and Dubai. Within the next decade the expansion of the capital’s sea port will triple its capacity, to 1.2 million containers a year.

According to the Managing Director of Bench Events, Matthew Weihs, organizers of AHIF, “our decision to host an additional AHIF conference in Lomé comes at a pivotal time for Togo. Business and tourism is growing and we’re confident this will fuel increased demand for hotel capacity.

We believe the airport and port expansion will trigger other infrastructure projects, presenting significant opportunities for business and tourism. Togo is increasingly becoming an important investment destination.”

AHIF conference is scheduled for April 5 – 6 at the newly opened Radisson Blu 2 Fevrier Hotel. It will give delegates the chance to discuss the challenges and opportunities of investing and developing in the country.

The country’s tourism minister, Bernadette Essossimna Legzim-Balouki, is upbeat about the conference, as she said that: “Our government is keen to see sustainable economic growth, and travel and tourism is a major contributor to that effort. Of course we face a number of challenges, and discussion between government and business, such as at AHIF, will help us find the best way forward.”

Togo attracts a variety of tourist visitors keen to explore its beautiful scenery and enjoy its tropical climate. Latest figures from the World Travel and Tourism Council show that travel and tourism directly accounted for 3.1% of total Gross Domestic Product [GDP] in 2014 and is forecast to rise by 6% in 2015, and by a further 2.2% each year from 2015 to 2025.

On a wider analysis, the total contribution of travel and tourism to GDP was 6.7% in 2014 and is forecast to rise by 5.4% by the end of 2015.