Foto: © WTMWe are almost at the end of 2018. Now is the moment we can look back to a year full of significant events, conferences and changes that contribute to creating a sustainable tourism industry. In this sense, each year the WTM World Responsible Tourism Awards are presented at the WTM London, the biggest responsible tourism conference worldwide. One Overall Winner, Eight Golds and Six Silvers have been awarded in this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards, presented on November 7th. The awards are not only the intent to inspire others to stimulate new initiatives and innovations of the industry but also to showcase and distinguish great examples of the Responsible Tourism industry. The World Responsible Tourism Awards 2018 recognized the city of Barcelona as the overall winner. By avoiding negative and divisive language in discussing the impact of tourism in this city and by actively addressing severe problems like overtourism, Barcelona managed to be acknowledged as an outstanding example in the tourism industry. What can be achieved to contribute to sustainable tourism? How can others be challenged to do as well or better? Barcelona got the 2018 overall winner award, due to the range of management methods that the city has used to do so in order to achieve a sustainable tourism industry. Thus, it is seen with a potential to educate and challenge other destinations to respond to certain issues, to do more and eventually to increase the positive economic, social and environmental impacts. “It is a significant achievement, it marks you out as a leader in Responsible Tourism; and it carries a responsibility to exercise leadership.” Also, Michael Palin shared his vision on why the Responsible Tourism Awards are so important to this industry: “Getting to know more about each other remains one of the most important hopes for the peaceful future of the planet. If we are really to understand each other better, then we need to be reminded to travel carefully and thoughtfully, listening to people along the way and respecting the world we are privileged to travel through. The Responsible Tourism Awards are one of the most important ways in which we can understand how to travel better. “ Authenticitys, as a significant social impact startup was shortlisted in the WTM Responsible Tourism Speed Networking Buyers 2016 at the World Responsible Tourism Day for ‘responsible travelling’. Based in Barcelona, Authenticitys can proudly be part of the city that was awarded as the overall winner in the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2018.
Foto: © Ayuntament de BCNWithout doubt, the tourism industry needs to share crucial information and expertise about solutions and the positive outcomes of sustainable tourism in order to increase the management intervention that contributes to addressing the problems that the tourism industry is facing. Entrepreneurs, experts but also all interested people need to gather regularly to exchange different missions and visions – and thus, to create a common bond for Sustainable Tourism. The past year contributed to a great extent to that work, and we are more than excited to follow the positive outcomes and new initiatives in 2019.