Hailing from Austria,
Brazil, Malaysia, Mexico and Spain, the 2012 winners were
presented their awards during the UNWTO Awards Ceremony in
Istanbul, Turkey on 15 November 2012.
An online tool that allows tourism
business to assess and improve their accessibility, and an
initiative encouraging tourists to stay with families in Malaysia
are among the five winners of this years UNWTO Ulysses Awards.
Since 2003, the UNWTO Ulysses Awards for
Excellence and Innovation in Tourism has honored tourism
initiatives that have contributed to the advancement of tourism
through knowledge creation and innovation, in line with the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the United Nations
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The winners of the
2012 edition are:
UNWTO Ulysses Award for
Innovation in Public Policy and Governance
Homestay Experience Program, Ministry of Tourism Malaysia.
its launch in 1995, hundreds of thousands of domestic and
international tourists have stayed with Malaysian families on
their trips, finding this homestay program a unique way to
experience the local culture. The initiative is not only
benefiting tourists, but has also become a vital source of income
for local communities, especially in rural areas.
Runners-up: Holiday Participation Center, Tourism Flanders,
Belgium, and the Pannonian Salt Lakes of Tuzla, Municipality of
Tuzla, Bosnia and Herzegovina.
UNWTO Ulysses Award
for Innovation in Enterprises
Conservation of the natural
and cultural heritage of Quintana Roo, Experiencias Xcaret,
The Experiencias Xcaret group owns land throughout the
Mayan Riviera in the Mexican state of Quintana Roo, all of which
has been turned into eco-archaeological parks benefiting visitors,
employees and local communities alike. The Groups longstanding
commitment to sustainability is often cited as a leading example
of how tourism can protect land from other less sustainable uses.
Runners-up: Wine World and Wine & Spa Resorts, Loisium
Hotel, Austria; Chanita ta di Fiesta, University of Aruba, Aruba; and Calviá Beach Resorts, Meliá Hotels International, Spain.
UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental
Landscape of the Year, Nature Friends
Every two years since 1989, Nature Friends
International has awarded a cross-border and ecologically valuable
region in Europe as Landscape of the Year. Today, the award has
grown to become an important incentive for regions across Europe
to protect their landscape and biodiversity through sustainable
projects such as tourism; and Experience Tour Project, Instituto Marca Brasil, Brazil:The towns of Petrópolis,
Teresópolis and Nova Friburgo in the foothills of Rio de Janeiro
are the latest to benefit from the Experience Tour Project which
helps tourism professionals to adapt their business so that
tourists move from mere spectators to protagonists of their
Runners-up: Sustainable Hospitality
Programme, Asociación de Hoteles de Turismo de la República
Argentina, Argentina and Long Run Destinations, Zeitz Foundation,
UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in
Research and Technology
TurAcces/IBV, Instituto de
Biomecánica de Valencia, Spain.
This free online tool allows
tourism managers to assess the accessibility of their facilities,
a major factor of sustainable tourism as defined by UNWTO. The
tool further provides reports with proposals to improve
accessibility, prioritized by importance and urgency based on
current laws and standards.
Runners-up: Amadeus Agent
Track, Amadeus IT, Spain, and the Strawberry Energy Concept,
National Tourism Organization of Serbia, Serbia.
The two winners of the UNWTO Award for
Lifetime Achievement, Mr. Shao Qiwei, the Chairman of the China
National Tourism Administration (CNTA) and Mr. Gabriel Escarrer
Juliá, the founder of the international hotel chain Meliá Hotels,
and the winner of the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the
Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge, Mr. Erik Cohen, George S.
Wise Professor Emeritus of Sociology at the Hebrew University of
Jerusalem, also received their awards during the UNWTO Awards
Ceremony in Istanbul.
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