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Village Ways and Kerala Tourism wins WTM RT Award
  • November 2017

Uttarakhand based women travel entrepreneurs initiative, Village Ways, bagged the coveted WTM Responsible Tourism award 2017 in the best poverty reduction initiative category along with 5 other winners in various categories, while Kerala Tourism’s Kumarakom responsible Tourism initiative found a place in highly recommended category along with 5 other finalist.

The Responsible Tourism Awards were presented at World Travel Market (WTM) London on the WTM Responsible Tourism Day, which is one of the biggest responsible tourism events around the globe.

Village Ways Travel is based at Almora in Himalayan foothills, bagged  3rd time WTM RT Award for their outstanding works in partnership with Himalayan villages to establish, develop and manage a unique kind of ethical, responsible tourism in India and Nepal.  Village Ways won WTM RT Award in 2009 for Best Cultural Engagement and in 2013 for the Local Economy category.   

Ms. Manisha Pande, Managing Director of Village Ways received the award from Mr. Simon Press, Senior Exhibition Director, World Travel Market London and Arabian Travel Market for Reed Exhibitions Ltd. while Mr. Kadakampally Surendran, Minister for Tourism, Govt of Kerala, Dr. Venu V IAS, Principal Secretary and Mr. P. Bala Kiran IAS, Director of Kerala are received the award from Mr. Harrod Goodwin, Director of International Cntre for Responsible Tourism for Kumarakom RT Initiative.  

Chobe Game Lodge in Botswana won the best in carbon reduction category, Grootbos in South Africa was the best for accommodation; Sapa O’Chau, a female ethnic minority-owned enterprise in Vietnam scooped the best community initiative award; Slovenia’s capital Ljubljana won the best communication award; and  the prize for best poverty reduction initiative went to Indian walking holidays and local accommodations provider Village Ways while South Africa’s Transfrontier Parks Destinations was named the best tour operator.

Over tourism remains a major concern in the context of sustainability and was discussed for the headline Responsible Tourism event. Adama Bah from International Centre for Responsible Tourism West Africa suggested part of the problem is that “governments still think in terms of numbers and not in terms of benefit for communities.”

The event concluded with WTM Festivals, allowing visitors to end their time at this year’s event experiencing the culture, hospitality and cuisine of the Caribbean, Tokyo, Indonesia, Ecuador, Bulgaria, Ghana, Senegal and Brazil.

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