Agri Tourism India wins the Global ‘Responsible Tourism’ award at WTM London

L-R: Maytha bint Saif bin Majid al Mahrooqiyah, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Oman; Shri Pandurang Taware, MD, ATDC India; Amanda Wills, Managing Director, Virgin Holidays and Mr. Justin Francis, Founder, Responsible Tourism awards.

London, Nov 9, 2011:

Pune based Agri Tourism Development Corporation (ATDC) has recently won the most prestigious global responsible tourism award 2011 in ‘Best contribution to conserving cultural heritage’ category at World Travel Mart, London. The awards were given out by Justin Francis, Managing Director, www.responsibletravel.com; Amanda Wills, Managing Director, Virgin Holidays and other key organisers and founders of the award.

ATDC organizes tourism experiences on working farms in India providing holiday experiences based on local agricultural traditions and creating job opportunities for local farmers, allowing them to diversify their livelihoods whilst preserving their way of life. The jury was impressed by the reliability of the idea, and how this primarily domestic tourism experience is helping to bring Indian tourists back into rural communities.

About the Responsible Tourism Awards:

The Responsible Tourism Awards are organized by founder responsibletravel.com, with support from media partners Metro Newspaper, Geographical Magazine (the magazine of the Royal Geographical Society), and World Travel Market, where the Awards are given out. The judging process is designed and organized in partnership with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University, and Virgin Holidays have supported the Awards as headline sponsor since 2007.

Since they were founded in 2004, the Awards have attracted over 10,000 nominations from members of the public, leading to 201 unique organizations Awarded from 51 countries around the world.

What are the Awards for?

The Responsible Tourism Awards were founded in 2004 to celebrate and inspire change in the tourism industry. The Awards rest on a simple principle – that all types of tourism, from niche to mainstream, can and should be organised in a way that preserves, respects and benefits destinations and local people.

We want to celebrate the shining stars of responsible tourism – the individuals, organisations and destinations working innovatively with local cultures, communities and biodiversity.

But more than that, we want their examples to inspire others. That’s why we’ve got the most rigorous judging process around, and work with the best partners in the industry to help us get the word out – to ensure that their stories provide an example to the industry.

How do the Awards work?

Rather than handpick our nominees, we rely on travellers and the industry to nominate those tourism ventures with exciting stories to share. This makes our Awards unique – we don’t pre-decide the winners, we let you tell us who should be in the running. Every year we team up with our media partners to invite the public to make their nominations, and every year this process yields hundreds of unique nominees.

All it takes for someone to be considered for an Award is one nomination in any of our 13 categories. It isn’t a popularity contest; one nomination is enough to be entered.

Once all the nominations are received the judging process really begins – several stages designed with the International Centre for Responsible Tourism to put our nominees through their paces. At each stage the list gets shorter, until our expert panels of judges are ready to combine their knowledge to debate the winners on our annual Judging Day. Read more about the

What does it mean to be a winner?

Finalists of the Awards are invited to a prestigious ceremony hosted as part of World Responsible Tourism Day at the World Travel Market in London, where the winners are announced to an audience of tourism ministers, destination managers, industry professionals and media. We work with a variety of media partners to share the stories of our winners with the public – including The Metro, and Geographical magazine.

Photo Caption:

L-R: Maytha bint Saif bin Majid al Mahrooqiyah, Under-Secretary of the Ministry of Tourism, Oman; Shri Pandurang Taware, MD, ATDC India; Amanda Wills, Managing Director, Virgin Holidays and Mr. Justin Francis, Founder, Responsible Tourism awards.

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