for our Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2008 are now open!
In 2007 we received over 1700 nominations from travellers around the world and we will be relying on your responsible travel know-how once again to find the best of the best in 2008.
The central idea behind the Awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people.
The Awards recognise individuals, companies and organisations in the travel industry that are making a significant commitment to the culture and economies of local communities and are providing a positive contribution to biodiversity conservation.
Our Responsible Tourism Awards are different from other awards schemes in that winners are nominated by tourists. One of the founding principles of the Awards is always to seek out new responsible tourism ventures that deserve to be celebrated and your nominations are fundamental to this process.
Nominations are invited in any one of 13 categories (see below). Nominate an Award winner and you could win a prize holiday for 2 to India!
Find out more about the prize holiday
The Responsible Tourism Awards are the largest awards of their kind in the world and are a collaboration between online travel directory responsibletravel.com, who founded and organise the Awards, UK media partners Telegraph Travel and Geographical Magazine, and World Travel Market, who host the Awards ceremony.
The Responsible Tourism Awards are supported by some high profile figures. Michael Palin
"Getting to know more about each other remains one of the most important hopes for the peaceful future of the planet.
If we are really to understand each other better, then we need to be reminded to travel carefully and thoughtfully, listening to people along the way and respecting the world we are privileged to travel through.
The Responsible Tourism Awards are one of the most important ways in which we can understand how to travel better
See more quotes on the Responsible Tourism Awards
All nominees are assessed on an equal basis. Read more about the Responsible Tourism Awards judging process
and interviews with our 2007 winners
Best responsible tour operator
sponsored by The Adventure Company
A tour operator that acts responsibly towards the environment and local people.
2007 winner: Gecko's Adventures, Australia
Best large accommodation
sponsored by Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
A hotel, lodge or other accommodation of more than 50 rooms that is run with the environment and needs of local people in mind.
2007 winner: Apex Hotels Ltd, UK
Best small accommodation
sponsored by VisitBrighton
A hotel, lodge or other accommodation of fewer than 50 rooms that is run with the environment and needs of local people in mind.
2007 winner: Finca Esperanza Verde Ecolodge, Nicaragua
Best in a mountain environment
sponsored by Exodus
An organisation related to a mountain environment, such as an eco-friendly ski resort or a trip that contributes to the welfare of mountain porters.
2007 winner: Explorandes, Peru
Best in a marine environment
An organisation related to a beach or other marine environment, such as turtle conservation or a marine eco-tourism trip.
2007 winner: blue o two, UK
Best responsible cruise operator *New for 2008*
A cruise or ferry operator that acts responsibly towards the environment and local people.
Read more about the new responsible cruise operator category: http://www.responsibletourismawards.com/cruiseoperator.htm
Best for low carbon transport or technology
sponsored by Maison de la France
An organisation or initiative that is developing or promoting low carbon transport or technology.
2007 winner: Eurostar, UK
Best for conservation of endangered species or protected area
sponsored by South Australian Tourism Commission
A group or initiative working for the conservation of an endangered species or a protected area, such as a national park. For example, a wildlife safari or a rainforest trip that supports environmental efforts and maintains the rights of indigenous people.
2007 winner: Protected area: La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras / Conservation of an Endangered Species: Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa
Best for conservation of cultural heritage
sponsored by Jamaica Tourist Board
A tourism organisation or initiative working to protect and promote cultural heritage.
2007 winner: Andaman Discoveries, Thailand
Best for poverty reduction
An organisation that acts to reduce poverty among communities.
2007 winner: Borana, Kenya
Best volunteering organisation
An organisation offering volunteering opportunities, such as the chance to work on conservation or social projects.
2007 winner: Azafady, UK / Madagascar
sponsored by Conservation International
A resort, village or an entire country that manages tourism well for the long-term benefit of tourists, conservation and local people.
2007 winner: The New Forest, UK
Best personal contribution
A person who has made an outstanding contribution to responsible tourism.
2007 winner: Anthony Climpson, The New Forest, UK