Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2008

rta.jpgTime is running out!

Nominations for this year’s Responsible Tourism Awards will close on 16 June 2008 (next Monday) so be sure to cast your vote for your favourite responsible retreat.

If you’re not already familiar with the Responsible Tourism Awards, as the name suggests, they are dedicated to rewarding individuals, companies and businesses that provide genuinely green holidays which operate in a way that respects and benefits local communities and without impacting too much on the surrounding environment.

The awards, now in their fifth year, are undoubtedly the most respected in the ecotourism industry; well, they are sponsored by Virgin, so they must be big. Receiving an award from these guys is kudos indeed.

All types of tourism are open for nomination so whether you’ve taken part in a lesser known ecotourism project, discovered a great new responsible tour operator or stayed in a new 100% carbon neutral lodge, get clicking to register your vote. There’s a a 15-day trip to India courtesy of Real World Adventures up for grabs, too, so get those fingertips tapping.

Below are the 13 award categories to help with your decision, although I can’t help noticing the distinct lack of ‘Best Eco/Responsible Tourism Blog’ (hint, hint). Maybe next year, eh?

Happy voting.


  • Best responsible tour operator – sponsored by The Adventure Company
  • Best large accommodation – sponsored by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Best small accommodation – sponsored by VisitBrighton
  • Best in a mountain environment – sponsored by Exodus
  • Best in a marine environment
  • Best responsible cruise operator *New for 2008*
  • Best for low carbon transport or technology – sponsored by Maison de la France
  • Best for conservation of endangered species or protected area – sponsored by South Australian Tourism Commission
  • Best for conservation of cultural heritage – sponsored by Jamaica Tourist Board
  • Best for poverty reduction
  • Best volunteering organisation
  • Best destination – sponsored by Conservation International
  • Best personal contribution


Chair: Harold Goodwin, Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University & Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism

  • Justin Francis, Managing Director,
  • Graham Boynton, Group Travel Editor, The Daily Telegraph
  • Fiona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market
  • Graeme Gourlay, Publisher, Geographical Magazine
  • Tricia Barnett, Director, Tourism Concern
  • Andrew Cooper, Director General, Federation of Tour Operators (FTO)
  • Debbie Hindle, Managing Director, bgb communications
  • Sue Hurdle, Chief Executive, The Travel Foundation
  • Ian Reynolds, former Chief Executive of ABTA & Trustee of The Travel Foundation
  • Keith Richards, Head of Business Development and Consumer Affairs at ABTA

The awards will take place on World Responsible Tourism Day, 12 November 2008 at the World Travel Market in London’s ExCel exhibition centre.

>>> Last year’s nominees and winners