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Responsible Tourism Awards 2009


rt2009Launched in 2004, the Awards aim to celebrate those 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.

The short-list was selected by a panel of 13 judges at a recent judging day held at The Royal Geographical Society, London. Dr. Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judges and Professor of Responsible Tourism Management at Leeds Metropolitan University said:

“Working our way through this year’s long lists, we were impressed by the willingness of so many organisations to take responsibility and to do what they can to help make better places for people to live in and better places for people to visit. This year over 140 submitted detailed responses to our questionnaire and we received hundreds of references.

“Despite the economic difficulties being faced by the travel and tourism industry, responsible tourism continues to move ahead and I’m continually impressed as more is achieved by more people.”

Richard Nimmo, Blue Ventures’ Managing Director, said:

“This is a record fifth time that Blue Ventures has been recognised in these prestigious awards since they began in 2004. No other organisation has achieved such a sustained track record of global recognition for its commitment to social and environmental sustainability.  We are thrilled to once again be acknowledged by the judging panel for our long-standing commitment to responsible tourism.”

Founded by, the awards are run in association with headline sponsor, Virgin Holidays and partners World Travel Market, The Daily Telegraph and Geographical Magazine.

The awards presentation will be held as part of World Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market in London, on Wednesday 11 November where the winners in all 13 categories will be announced. For more information and to register for WTM, visit

For the full short-list, see

For more information about the judges and the judging process see:


About Blue Ventures

final-logo(blue-darkblue)Blue Ventures is an award-winning marine conservation organisation, dedicated to working with local communities to conserve threatened marine environments.

Our highly acclaimed conservation programmes work with some of the world’s poorest coastal communities to develop conservation and alternative income initiatives to protect biodiversity and coastal livelihoods. The results of our work help us to propose new ideas to benefit coastal communities everywhere.

In recent years Blue Ventures has won widespread international acclaim for its innovate approaches to addressing the challenges faced by coastal communities. Its recent accolades include the United Nations’ Equator Prize and SEED Award, two of the most prestigious global awards for biodiversity conservation.

Amongst other achievements Blue Ventures has created the largest community-managed marine reserve in the Indian Ocean – Velondriake – and pioneered ambitious research programmes tackling critical issues facing marine biodiversity and indigenous coastal communities.

Blue Ventures’ programme portfolio encompasses marine and fisheries research, sustainable aquaculture, family planning, environmental education and capacity building, fisheries management and protected area development.

Projects are now focusing on scaling-up conservation activities at national and international levels in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans.

Blue Ventures is a social enterprise – innovating new approaches to financing marine conservation, and generating almost all of its own conservation funding independently. Business models include highly acclaimed ecotourism and carbon offsetting programmes, as well as community-based sustainable aquaculture projects.

Having diversified revenues considerably in recent years, we are now poised to launch an innovative new model for the sustainable financing of marine reserves, a ground-breaking project with potential for massive replication throughout the world’s tropical oceans.

For more information about Blue Ventures, please contact Richard Nimmo on +44 (0)20 3176 0548 or via email.

About The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards

The Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world and are collaboration between online travel directory, UK media partners The Daily Telegraph and Geographical Magazine, and World Travel Market who host the event. Now in their sixth year, the central tenet of 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.

For more information about the Awards and previous winners see:

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