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Published on : Thursday, December 24, 2015
A total of 17 projects from Africa, Latin America, Asia and Europe have been selected, from a total of 109 candidacies, as finalists of the 12th UNWTO Awards on Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. The winners in the four categories – public policy and governance, research and technology, enterprises and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) – will be announced on 20 January 2016 at the UNWTO Awards Ceremony and Gala Dinner at FITUR in Madrid, Spain.
A public sector initiative to fight the sexual exploitation of children in the tourism sector in Medellin (Colombia); a project by the government of Banyuwangi in Indonesia promoting ICT in tourism; the East Africa Tourism Platform and its multi-destination knowledge management tool; and the Green Certification Programme of Puerto Rico, are the nominees in the category of Public Policy and Governance.
In the category of Enterprises, nominees include the Garuda Indonesia airline and its ‘Bali beach clean-up’ initiative which emphasizes the role of communities in preserving coastal areas; Switzerland Explorer Tours, with a 100% electric bus tour and sustainable tour experiences; Meliá Hotels International (Spain) recognized for promoting employment opportunities for young people at risk of exclusion; the Treetop Walking Path in the Anykščiai Regional Park in Lithuania; and the ‘Projeto Fartura’ of Brazil and its Plentifulness Project linking gastronomy, research and travel in 145 Brazilian cities.
The work done in the areas of child protection and gender equality has been recognized by the jury in the projects selected in the category of NGOs. These include projects by Friends International from Cambodia, Children in the Wilderness from South Africa and Sisterhood of Survivors from Nepal. The list of finalists in the category of NGOs is completed with an initiative to protect ecosystems in Indonesia – the Coral Reef Reborn Project.
Finally, in the category of Research and Technology, the jury nominated the Itaipu Complex, a project promoting tourism-based territorial development in Brazil, the Bike Rijeka, a mobile application from Croatia; and the Korea Medical Tourism Online Platform from the Republic of Korea.
Finalists will present their projects and share their expertise during the UNWTO Awards Forum to be held on 18 January 2016 at Palacio Neptuno, Madrid. The Forum is also an opportunity to share and learn about the most innovative tourism trends with speakers from Hilton Worldwide, Facebook and Airbnb, among others.
The 12th edition of the UNWTO Awards on Excellence and Innovation are held in collaboration with Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR/IFEMA) and with the support of the Macao Government Tourist Office (Macao, China), Port Aventura, the Galicia Tourism Board (Spain), Hilton Worldwide, Etihad Airways, Mapfre Asistencia, Amadeus and the Paraguay Tourism Board.