Monday 11 March 2013

TODO 2012 Awards for Socially Responsible Tourism

TBY founder Gopinath Parayil at the acknowledgement speech 
On March 6th, 2013, at ITB Berlin, the Institute for Tourism and Devel- opment presents the winners of TO DO!2012- International contest for socially responsible tourism. The winners of the 18th contest round come from India and Uganda.

The whole is greater than the sum of its parts! This applies especially for the two TO DO! award winners this year: the travel company THE BLUE YONDER from India and the Community Based Tourism project PEARLS OF UGANDA. As well as in the Southern Indian Kerala as in the East African Uganda, many local initiatives are bundled under one umbrella organisation in order to multiply positive economic and social effects in the region. Only the pooling under one umbrella brand attributes invaluable advantages in terms of competitiveness and marketing for the many local groups. Both award winners are – as their predecessors – good examples for the sustain- able success of socially responsible concepts, especially regarding the in- tensive participation of the local population in tourism planning and development. The visitors get an enriched experience through the innovative and at the same time tradition-based tourism products and finally get the chance for meeting local people at “eye-level”.

Vinod C.P, our colleague collecting the award from the State Secretary
of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation & Development, Germany
The State Secretary of the Federal Ministery for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, declared in his appraisal: "I am pleased to hold the laudatory speech for a contest that has the same objec- tives as our ministry: The BMZ, too, promotes sustainable tourism which is socially, ecologically and culturally compatible – yet successful in economic terms. For many of our partner countries, tourism is a key to more economic development – it must not overrun the people, but must take them along, otherwise it will benefit only the tourists and a few tour operators. This is the spirit of sustainability in all respects which the projects of this year's two win- ners are committed to. My hearty congratulations to them!“

Hansjörg Ruf, president of the board of the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism emphasized: "The two TO DO! winners 2012 show in exceptional ways the possible success and sustainability of tourism development when supported by the joint efforts of the population to initiate and implement something themselves. The people are able to not only improve their lives in this way, but can at the same time contribute to a kind of tourism that allows travellers special, authentic insights into the lives and culture of the people. We would like to support these efforts with our prize money and wish the two projects all the best for their further positive development".

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