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Responsible Tourism Awards 2009 08.04.09

Nominations are now open for the Responsible Tourism Awards 2009 organised by and sponsored by Virgin Holidays. The Awards celebrate tourism ventures around the world that make positive contributions to conservation and the economies of local communities.

Prolific travel writer Paul Theroux is supporting this year’s Awards: "In the past, awards were given for Best Meal, Best View, Most Grovelling Staff, Biggest Ballroom, or whatever. It’s encouraging that tourism organisations and individuals are being rewarded for doing something that is ethically right or supporting a position that will help the planet. That’s the greatest lesson of travel: it is a very small and easily bruised planet."

The Awards are now in their sixth year and are the most prestigious of their kind in the world, with 13 categories receiving a total of over 1,900 nominations in 2008. Partners include The Telegraph Media Group, Geographical Magazine (the magazine of The Royal Geographical Society), BBC World News and World Travel Market.

This year sees the introduction of an annual theme for the Tour Operator category which focuses on ’cultural engagement’ of local cultures and communities for 2009.

Justin Francis, founders of the Awards and MD of said: "This year will be one of great change for the travel and tourism industry as the global economic situation alters the way we think about our holidays. It is therefore more crucial than ever before that responsible tourism remains high on the agenda and that tourism ventures, destinations and travellers around the world continue to ensure that local communities and environments do not become the forgotten voices. We urge the travelling public to join us in uncovering and nominating those passionate innovators who are leading the way in responsible tourism."

How to nominate

Nominations should be made online at or by post to, Pavilion House, 6 Old Steine, Brighton, East Sussex, BN1 1EJ, and include the name and contact details of the nomination, plus up to 200 words on why they should win a Responsible Tourism Award. The category of entry should also be specified (see notes to editors). Nominations close on: Monday 15th June 2009

Win a safari holiday!

Those individuals who nominate a category winner will be entered into a draw to win a once in a lifetime eight day safari holiday for two to Kenya (including flights) courtesy of Gamewatchers Safaris and Porini Camps - a 2008 Award winner. Full details can be found on

Peter Shield

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