Sustainable tourism operators in Southeast Asia can now enter the new ASEAN Sustainable Tourism Awards (ASTA), which have been launched as part of ASEAN’s Tourism Strategic Plan 2016-2025. Twenty sustainable tourism winners – two from each ASEAN member state – will be chosen, and winners will be highlighted on their NTO’s website and receive exposure as a national best practice operator during press conferences and trade shows such as ATF, TRAVEX, ITB and WTM.
Some of the key objectives of the awards are to boost the profile and importance of sustainable tourism businesses in Southeast Asia, promote responsible tourism in all ASEAN countries, combat seasonality, and rebalance tourist flows towards best practice tourism experiences, said Mr Sounh Manivong, Director General of Tourism Marketing Department, Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism, Lao PDR.
“The diversity and quality of ASEAN’s sustainable tourism options are amazing,” said Mr Manivong. “The aim of the awards is to prove it — and encourage green tourism practitioners to keep doing a great job.”
Of the two winners in each country, one will be “rural”, one will be “urban”, to reaffirm that city operators can be sustainable as much as rural ones.
The awards will take place every two years with a dedicated theme decided jointly by ASEAN NTOs. The inaugural awards 2017-18, which are now open, is themed “nature-based tourism.”
The deadline for submissions is 15 August 2017. Results will be announced in December and the award ceremony will take place during ATF 2018.