Winners of 2019 Champions in Challenge awards unveiled
Honours are presented by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism
The annual Champions in Challenge awards have been presented at the Global Travel & Tourism Resilience Council’s fourth Global Resilience Summit in London.
The awards are organised by the International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT) in conjunction with the Resilience Council in furthering their mission. The awards focus on the importance of tourism as a force for good – aiding recovery, boosting resilience and promoting prosperity through ethical and sustainable practices.
The winner of the 2019 Change Maker in Tourism Award was Dasho Tshering Tobgay, former Prime Minister of Bhutan, who was honoured for placing environment above economic growth.
Bhutan has moved from being a carbon-neutral country to being carbon-negative, with 1.5 million tonnes of carbon produced each year but more than six million tonnes absorbed by its 72% forest coverage. Bhutan has made a commitment to stay carbon negative in perpetuity. The award was accepted by Dr. Mario Hardy, CEO of PATA and friend of Mr. Tobgay.
The 2019 Resiliency in Business Award was presented to two winners.
The first was Countrystyle Community Tourism Network, Jamaica, for developing entrepreneurship and innovation in community-based tourism, particularly through the Villages as Businesses programme.
The second was Discover Dominica Authority, for its Recovery for Rediscovery campaign in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Ajay Prakash, President of IIPT India and Executive Vice President of IIPT, said: “Today more than ever there is a need to reiterate the role that tourism can and should play to engender peace and prosperity.
“These awards seek to acknowledge, felicitate and hold up as role models exceptional individuals and organisations who have gone above and beyond the call of duty or business as usual and stood up boldly, especially in times of challenge or crisis, to create real human value and transform lives.”
Dr. Taleb Rifai, Chairman of the IIPT Advisory Board and former Secretary General of the UNWTO, said: “Resilience and tourism are about sustaining life on the planet. People are going to continue to travel so it is important to honour the visionaries in this industry since the vision is Tourism for Humanity.”
Anita Mendiratta, IIPT Ambassador-at-Large for Global Relations, conducted the awards. She said: “Champions in Challenge are true leaders who have the purpose, principles and passion to stand up and lead when others struggle to step forward – especially in a crisis. Today’s award recipients are all sources of inspiration for the difference they continue to make.”
Daniela Wagner, Convener of the Resilience Summit, added: “We are very excited to collaborate with IIPT and celebrate the Champions in Challenge awards again since these awards are more important than ever in a time of challenge and uncertainty.”
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The next major IIPT awards are the Celebrating Her awards for exceptional women in the fields of travel & tourism, which are due to be presented at ITB Berlin in March, 2020.
About the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council (RC)
The Resilience Council was created following the success of the International Travel and Tourism Crisis Management Summit, which hosted its first event in London in 2016. ITCMS grew from 2016, becoming a yearly event and paving the way for regional efforts that started with the Resilience Through Tourism Summit, held in Amman, Jordan in 2018. These events provide benefits for all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, ranging from aviation to tour operators and destinations, providing valuable real-time advice and information through comprehensive partnership programmes. The goal of the RC is to engage with not only the corporate travel and tourism industry, but also the leisure sector, proactively partnering with industry suppliers in order to become the quintessential resilience strategy platform which leads to improving the confidence of travellers worldwide and sustainable stakeholder resiliency. resiliencecouncil.org
About the IIPT
The IIPT (International Institute for Peace Through Tourism) is a not-for-profit organization founded 33 years ago by Dr. Louis D’Amore. It is dedicated to fostering and facilitating tourism initiatives which contribute to international understanding and cooperation, and is founded on two simple, but powerful, premises:
- That tourism, possibly the largest global industry, can become the world’s first global Peace Industry, and
- That every tourist is potentially an Ambassador of Peace
Past IIPT award winners include business leaders, Ministers, Members of Parliament and organisations across the globe who have been instrumental in showcasing to the world that travel & tourism is one of humanity’s truly global activities that brings prosperity and in turn fosters peace.