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World Responsible Tourism Awards Best Sea or River Cruise: Ullswater Steamers

Winner’s background A business dating back as far as 1859, the current owners took it over in the early 1950s, leading cruises onboard traditional heritage vessels in the Ullswater Valley. Cruises last from 20 minutes to two hours, and link up with many of the most famous walks in the Lake District National Park.

What they do Ullswater Steamers takes 280,000 visitors per year up and down the valley. As well as protecting one of the largest heritage passenger vessel fleets in the UK, including the oldest working passenger vessel in the world, Lady of the Lake, originally commissioned in 1877, it protects Ullswater and the surrounding national park environs. By linking with some of the most popular hiking trails, it provides a

sustainable refit of their Glenridding Pier House. But it is work within the community – sourcing produce locally, being an important local employer and as an influential voice within the local environmental network – in which Ullswater Steamers excels.

viable, sustainable transport link in the park and plays an important role in contributing to stakeholder partnership within the park, such as investing in bridge and pier infrastructure. They monitor their reduction in carbon

Best for Poverty Reduction: Agri Tourism Development Company Pvt Ltd

footprint and recyclable waste, and share their environmental impact in a transparent manner. Ullswater Steamers also keeps carbon

consumption to a minimum, with a minibus to transport staff and a

Judges’ comments The judges recognised that Ullswater Steamers has improved its sustainability performance year on year. Since 2011, it has begun to monitor its performance in reducing water and carbon emissions and worked with other local transport providers, and the national park, to encourage people out of cars. They have shown how much progress can be made by adopting a strategy of continuous improvement in sustainability and sticking at it.

Best Innovation for Carbon Reduction: Tui UK & Ireland

Supported by Visit Gozo Winner’s background Tui UK & Ireland is part of Tui Group, which operates in 180 destinations worldwide and employs 77,000 people. Its submission for this award was focused on the work it has undertaken to reduce carbon emissions within its retail outlets and offices for all its brands, which include Thomson and First Choice, with more than 600 shops.

Sponsored by Tobago House of Assembly Winner’s background An agritourism business in the Indian state of Maharashtra, founded by Pandurang Taware, whose heritage is within the local farming community. The organisation’s main focus is training and capacity building among small farming communities with a view to diversification into agritourism.

What they do As well as running their own farm and agritourism business, which receives 15,000 domestic tourists and international tourists from 17 countries (in a region that is not on the usual tourist trail), inspiring and training other farmers is this organisation’s strength. India’s agricultural sector is stagnating, with young people migrating to urban areas for

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employment, and the founder of Agri Tourism Development Company is determined to reverse this trend. Consequently, it now boasts 750 trained farmers and 218 agritourism locations across the state, with farmers experiencing a 33% increase in income. It now offers products including

family summer camps, blanket making using recycled clothes, and other rural handicrafts that are sold at agritourism centres.

Judges’ comments The judges were impressed by the scale of this agritourism programme, and especially by the number of small farmers being offered a supplementary income to help take them out of poverty. The judges believe this initiative is ripe for replication elsewhere.

What they do This award has been given for Tui’s commitment to, in particular, cutting carbon emissions throughout its retail and office outlets. Communicating the energy reduction strategy to 5,000 members of staff was one of the main difficulties.

It overcame this by the use of innovative Tui Turtle Dashboards. These operate a simple traffic-light system to indicate an individual shop’s progress against energy reduction targets. These resulted in a 25% reduction in carbon emitted in a single year and, between 2010 and 2014, the firm achieved a 40% reduction in carbon emitted from all offices and retail shops. This reduction was also as a result of innovative technology, such as replacing air conditioning systems with newer, climate-friendly gas alternatives, installing voltage optimisers to deliver power at a reduced voltage from the mains, installing building management systems to monitor and adjust consumption and refitting shops with energy-efficient lighting.

Judges’ comments The judges regard this as a highly exemplary approach and a model case of taking responsibility to reduce carbon emissions. Often operators are rightly criticised for pushing responsibility for sustainability down their supply chain. Tui UK & Ireland has taken a holistic approach, addressing greenhouse gas emissions across the customer journey, whether in its source markets, airlines or destinations.

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