Alongside sustainability certification, there has been a growing number of competitions arising throughout the travel industry around sustainable development and growth. Some of these competitions help to promote businesses and initiatives, whilst others provide funding and support to help organisations prosper and grow in a sustainable and regenerative manner.

If you manage a business, destination or even a social enterprise (NGO) there are competitions available for you. Although there are a wide variety of competitions on offer, we have selected four for this article as they offer a range of different criteria and are aimed towards different sectors within the tourism industry.

At the date of publishing this article, the competitions listed were open for applications, although some may be now closed. If you are too late for this year, research which competitions might be appropriate for your organisation and plan your entry for next year.

TUI Care Foundation and UNWTO - Social Entrepreneurship Competition in Tourism

Supported and powered by the TUI Care Foundation and UNWTO, this first of its kind competition helps social entrepreneurs within the tourism space to gain great international visibility and specialist expert advice from leading professionals in the field. 

The competition follows the structure of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Therefore, is aims to seek achievements of initiatives that cover the following criteria:

  • Quality Education

  • Gender Equality

  • Decent Work and Economic Growth

  • Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure

Find out more about this competition here, as well as learn about last year’s winners and runners up.

Closing date - 18th July, 2022

WTM Responsible Tourism Awards – showcasing best practice in the industry

This competition has been running for many years and rewards excellence in Responsible Tourism. Covering all corners of the world, it provides the opportunity to showcase your achievement on a global stage. The categories change year on year, however this year they cover:

  • Decarbonising travel & tourism

  • Sustaining employees and communities through the pandemic

  • Destinations building back better post-covid

  • Increasing diversity in tourism: how inclusive is our industry?

  • Reducing plastic waste in the environment

  • Growing the local economic benefit

  • Access for the differently abled: as traveller, employees and holidaymakers

  • Increasing tourism’s contribution to natural heritage and biodiversity

  • Conserving water and improving water security and supply for neighbours

  • Contributing to cultural heritage

Find out more and download the entry guide here.

Closing dates - Africa (closed, 28th February 2022), India (31st July, 2022), Rest of the World (31st August, 2022)

UNWTO – Awake Tourism Challenge

The UNWTO work to provide range of different competitions to assist with many different aspects of the tourism industry. This current competition is geared towards innovative start-ups that are working to advance the United Nationals Sustainable Development Goals. The benefits from this competition are huge, providing great worldwide exposure and access to many different networks within the UNWTO.

Six different categories have been identified for this competition:

  • Local Community Involvement

  • Green and Blue Economies

  • Ecological and Sustainable Capital Creation

  • Tourism Tech for Good

  • Tourism Education

  • Women Empowerment

Find out more and apply here.

Closing date – 15th October 2022

GLP Sustainability Storytelling Competition – a chance to share your untold story with the world

GLP Films is a content marketing agency within the sustainable tourism space. They have launched a that awards one from each category below their own free video production package plus global distribution from GLP and their partners. Anyone can enter this competition, whether you are a social enterprise, destination, private entity or initiative.

There six chosen categories are:

  • Sustainable & Regenerative Tourism

  • Sustainable Food

  • Environmental Justice

  • Conservation & Nature

  • Communities & Cultural Preservation

  • Best of the Rest (if you have a great story, but not sure where it fits this category is for you)

Find out more about the entry process and different categories here.

Closing date – 31st July 2022




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