Thirteen of the 15 finalists for the WTTC’s 2015 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards presented to fellow finalists and judges at a pre-Summit symposium in Madrid yesterday ahead of today’s announcement of the winners.
Professor Graham Miller of the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey in the UK, who led the judges of the awards , said: “We had a bigger and broader range of applicants from more countries than ever before.
“We had businesses from the luxury end to slum tourism. We had a range of different approaches, from the very consumer approach of TripAdvisor to an employee driven, government driven and trade association driven in the case of [UK association] Abta.
“We saw a range of business models from small lodges to multinational organisations.
“But the thing all the finalists share in common is a culture of experimentation and the confidence to do things wrong.”
Miller said: “There is a bravery or foolhardiness to it.”
He added: “There is a scalability to everything everyone has done and there is financial sustainability.
“We have gone from making grand claims [for sustainability] to being able to say ‘this is how many tonnes of carbon we took out’ or ‘this is how many litres of water we saved’.
“The nonsense element of sustainability has gone. Everyone can provide evidence of their sustainability now.”
Miller hailed the presentations as “moving” and said: “It has been genuinely impressive.”
The winners of the annual Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will be announced at 17.15 this afternoon.
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