LONDON: Two Indian companies have won World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 organised by Responsible Travel at World Travel Market in London recently. Both belong to Maharashtra.
At a special ceremony at the World Travel Market at London’s Global Stage, the Agri Tourism Development Company Pvt Ltd based in Pune was named the Gold
Winner in the ‘Best for Poverty Reduction’ category, and Tiger Trails Jungle Lodge, in Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve was announced the Silver Winner in the ‘Best for
Wildlife Conservation’ category.
The Overall Winner was LooLa Adventure Resort, an eco resort on the island of Bintan, Indonesia.
The World Travel Market was celebrating the annual WTM World Responsible Tourism Day celebrations.
Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the judging panel, said, “Recognising that farm incomes in India have become stagnant in recent years, the Agri Tourism
Development Company has worked with 750 farmers in 218 locations across the state of Maharashtra to empower them to diversify into tourism, resulting in a
33% increase in income over and above previous levels. These farmers are now offering packages which give families in India’s urban areas the opportunity to
enjoy a wide range of activities from animal feeding and farm walks to festivals, folk dancing and music. The judges were impressed by the scale of the programme
and the resulting number of small farmers developing supplementary incomes to raise themselves out of poverty.”
At the event in London, Justin Francis, Managing director of Responsible Travel, said, “The aim of the Awards is to inspire the tourists and the tourism industry by
what is possible to achieve through responsible tourism.”