An airline, a major destination and one of the world’s largest hotel groups were among the winners of sustainable tourism awards at the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) summit.
Organisers of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, held under the auspices of the WTTC, hailed the results as bringing sustainability into the mainstream.
Chairman of the judging panel Costas Christ defended tourism’s role in conservation, saying: “If we stopped flying, it would unleash an ecological nightmare.
“Places like the Serengeti would be transformed by human settlement. The Pantanal in Brazil [the world’s largest wetland] would be almost entirely cattle ranches if not for tourism. Tourism is probably the single greatest catalyst for conservation.”
Grupo Puntacana, parent company of the Puntacana Resort in the Dominican Republic, won the Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Stewardship Award.
Nature Air, the Costa Rican carrier, won the Conservation Award. Marriott International won the Global Tourism Business Award. The Zakoura Foundation for Micro-Credits in Morocco won the Community Benefit Award.