UNWTO Awards: Tourism sector’s commitment to sustainable development


Guanajuato’s State Ministry of Tourism (Mexico), Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (Belgium), Govardhan Ecovillage (India) and Dutch Travel Trade Association (Netherlands) were the winners of 13th edition of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. Nearly 150 initiatives from 55 countries applied for this edition.

The UNWTO Awards paid tribute to the commitment of the tourism sector towards sustainability and innovation. The winning projects were announced last night during the UNWTO Awards Ceremony in the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid.

“The 13th UNWTO Awards is particularly relevant as it coincides with the Official Launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, a milestone and an immense opportunity for the global tourism community to advance towards a more inclusive and sustainable sector,” underlined UNWTO Secretary General, Taleb Rifai in his opening remarks.

Attended by nearly 400 participants from 85 countries, the ceremony emphasised how the tourism community has embraced sustainable and innovative approaches in the last years as ways to enhance the sector in the future.

The awardees of the 13th UNWTO Awards for Innovation in four different categories are as follows:

(a) Project Country Post Public Policies and Governance

(1) Guanajuato Ministry of Tourism Strategies for the Development of Sustainable Tourism in Guanajuato, Mexico- Winner

(2) Instituto Costarricense de Turismo Social Progress Index in Tourist Destinations, Costa Rica -First runner -up

(3) Valencia Region Tourism Board Valencian Institute of Tourism Technologies (INVAT.TUR), Spain-Second runner- up

(4) Advisory Council of the Tourism Ministry Innovative Use of E-Tourism, Egypt – Third runner- up

(b) Enterprises

(1) Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Adding Colour to Lives, Belgium – Winner

(2) Ecobnb, The Community of Sustainable Tourism, Italy – First runner up

(c) Non-Governmental Organisations

(1) Govardhan Ecovillage– Eco Tourism as a catalyst for rural development, India -Winner

(2) Petra National Trust Culture Heritage: Tools for Sustainability of a World Heritage Site, Jordan-First runner-up

(3) Fundación Tropicalia- a Sustainable Tourism Supply Chain, Dominican Republic -Second runner- up

(d) Research and Technology        

ANVR (Dutch Travel Trade Association)