Friday, August 7, 2009

RT Awards 2009 Finalists Announced!

The Wild Asia RT Team has deliberated on the entries and has chosen this year’s responsible tourism finalists. Once again we saw entries from across Asia, namely from Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia, Maldives, Sri Lanka and India. The entries received were of high quality based on the strength of the completed WA RT Checklist (a self-assessment tool) and had posed a challenge to the judging process. Even deciding on the most appropriate category is challenging for the team.

This year, our judging team was assisted by Sarah Loftus (UK) and Sarah Baxter (Taiwan), two alumni of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism's Master Programme in the UK, who helped us vet through each entry and highlighting their strengths and weaknesses. Our decisions were made impartially, in which the finalists were selected through in-depth research and guided by analysis and recommendations by qualified verifiers.

Our Finalists for 2009

Mid Size
Community-Based Tourism (CBT)

What's Next?
The RT team will be heading out on a manic schedule for ground visits of all the highlighted properties. The objective of these trips is to learn and verify on-ground practices. Our Fact-finding team includes a fact-finder to verify the completed self-assessment checklist, a communications member to report on the findings and a photo/videographer to document the fact-finding process. The team will be feeding back reports to the judging team, and we'll be sitting down together at the end to make our final decisions in search of this year’s Responsible Tourism winner.

More in October
We will be working on a mad timeline to provide the following at the very latest, by end of the year:
  1. Verifiers report on all entries for 2009 with a round up of the challenges faced by operators in Asia.
  2. RTA Blog entries for all site visits.
  3. Feature stories on all site visits.
  4. Video blog (Vlog) for all site visits.
  5. DVD for the 2009 awards (e.g what is RT?, our thoughts on the finalists and examples of good practices.)
  6. Web video promo on summing up the 2009 awards.
  7. Lots of pictures and video footage.
Want to learn more?
As part of our efforts to share our learning, all finalists will be invited to our annual RT Training Workshop which will be attended by a selected pool of media and tourism operators. This unique 2-day workshop, now in its 3rd year, provides the essential grounds to understand and learn from operators already committed to Responsible Tourism in Asia, hence titled “RT in Action!” To register (seats are limited) for the workshop, please visit our website.

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