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Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards Program

World Travel – Sustainable Tourism

Open Eyes Opinion {source: Skål International}

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Skål International is an Affiliate Member of the World Tourism Organization whose mission is to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and universally accessible tourism. Skål has adopted the Global Code of Ethics in Tourism, and is also a sponsor to the Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from sexual exploitation in tourism, and supports the new project ST-EP (Sustainable Tourism- Eliminating Poverty)

1. What is the aim of the Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards programme and when was it first launched?

Skål International following the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, launched the Ecotourism Awards in the same year, to highlight and acknowledge best practices around the globe. The awards programme has been sponsored and supported by our partner Diversey Care since 2009.

Skål, as an international organisation of the industry leaders, is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel. The awards presented on these grounds, while highlighting best practices in tourism around the world, also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment the traveller’s responsibility and the need for active community participation for Sustainability.

2. Who is eligible to participate in the Awards and what are the categories?

Companies from the public and private sector as well as NGO’s can submit entries in the following categories :

  1. Tour Operators: Travel Agents, inbound/outbound tour operators, DMCs
  2. Urban Accommodation
  3. Rural Accommodation
  4. Transportation: Air, land and sea based
  5. Countryside: Alpine tourism, scenic mountains, forests, national parks, etc.
  6. Marine: Coastal tourism, underwater, beaches, lakes, rivers, water sports, etc.
  7. Community and Government Projects: Tourism offices and representation
  8. Major Tourist Attractions: Cultural heritage, zoos, theme parks, etc.

3. What are the primary criteria for winning the Awards?

The judging panel will evaluate each project according to leadership criteria in Sustainability that encompass tangible, measureable benefits to the environment, enhance business, and the society and communities in which they operate. The criteria are :

  • Contribution to the conservation of nature, environmental considerations
  • Cultural heritage conservation
  • Community involvement and benefits
  • Educational features and benefits
  • Business viability and economic growth
  • Innovation and creativity
  • Marketing Value generation(Brand enhancement)
  • Health, Safety and wellbeing of employees and guests
  • Any other highlights

4. How to apply for the Awards

Please send the following requirements to the Skål International General Secretariat before the deadline of 30 JUNE 2015:

  • Application form: This includes the Descriptive Report and Evaluation Points
  • Presentation: PowerPoint presentation or YouTube video highlighting the sustainable aspects of the entry.
  • Letter of verification: Endorsement letter from a local or national Tourism Organisation, from the Government department or local Authority. This is not required if the project is supported by a Skål Club.

Please send your project by e-mail to or on a USB to:

Skål International General Secretariat
Avenida Palma de Mallorca 15-1º, Edificio España
29620 Torremolinos
Malaga, SPAIN
Tel: +34 952.389.111

5. Who are the judges and how do they make their evaluation?

The independent judges are experts in sustainable fields or from important institutions dealing with Eco and Sustainable tourism. The name of the judges are not announced until the Awards Ceremony. The judges are independent of each other and do not confer or meet at any time during the process.  Following the deadline for submission of entries at the General Secretariat, all entries are sent to the judges, who make the evaluation separately. The judges awards points reflecting their judgment on the basis of the evaluation points (Section 3). All the evaluation points are then totaled at the General Secretariat to determine the winner in each category.

6. When and where does the Awards Presentation Ceremony take place?

Winners will be announced by the President of Skål International, Salih Cene, during the Opening Ceremony of the 76th Skål World Congress to be held in Kenya Coast.

The winner of the Skål Special Recognition Award by Diversey  will be identified from amongst all entries and the outstanding entry that meets the Diversey Care pillars of sustainability, particularly in the travel and tourism industry, will be presented by a  senior Diversey Care executive

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