23rd TO DO! – Two Winners from Ecuador, One from South Africa

Increasing number of applications for the International Contest Socially Responsible Tourism; very convincing projects from South America and Africa

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Seefeld, 01/02/2018 – For this year’s TO DO!, the number of participating tourism projects has reached an all-time high: 34 applications from 22 countries had by the deadline, 31st August 2017, been received by Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development). The vast majority is from developing countries and emerging economies, where exemplary initiatives for socially responsible tourism have been initiated, which are worth copying. This year, two of the three prizes for convincing projects go to Ecuador, one to South Africa.
All of these three projects fulfil the main TO DO! criterion in an outstanding manner: the participation of local people in the planning and implementation of tourism projects. The projects create alternative sources of income and strengthen the self-confidence of the local population.
A jury encompassing 13 members first nominated these three projects for the TO DO! 2018. Following the nomination, Studienkreis sent experts to check the projects on location. All three assessments were absolutely positive, so that on 8 March 2018 at ITB Berlin the following projects will be awarded with prizes of equal value:

Award Winner »Tren Ecuador« (Ecuador)

The public company has since 2010 been offering a four-day ”rail cruise“ between Guayaquil and Quito, with the objective of involving and strengthening local communities along the route. The concept includes encounters with local cultures – for example at cafés, handicraft markets, museums, etc. More than 5,000 jobs have been created. 180 micro enterprises are under contract and work along the principles of ”fair trade“ – including comprehensive consultancy and training.

Award Winner »!Khwa ttu« (South Africa)

The organisation’s objective is the rehabilitation and preservation of the culture of the San who live in several countries across Southern Africa. The organisation has three focus areas of work: Firstly, running a restaurant with various accommodation facilities it functions as a tourism service provider. Secondly, it is a vocational training centre for young San, aimed at providing them with job perspectives – after a history of uprootedness and displacement. A third focus is the commitment to sustainable nature projects and the promotion of cultural activities to preserve the culture of the San.

Award Winner »Maquipucuna« (Ecuador)

The project promotes the protection of biodiversity by following a cautious development and eco-tourism approach. As part of the project, land was declared a nature conservation area, an eco-lodge with tourism activities was built, and youths received training in programmes on environmental issues. Furthermore, the project enables communities to set up their own eco-tourism and nature conservation projects. With organic agriculture and the fair production of food items, economic alternatives for the local population have been developed.

The TO DO! 2018 award ceremony will take place on Thursday, 8th March 2018, from 16:30 at ITB, Palais am Funkturm. Representatives of the three projects will be present and will receive the prizes. The laudatory speach will be held by Prof. Dr. Verena Metze-Mangold, President of the German Commission for UNESCO. After the award ceremony, we will invite you to a reception with regional delicacies from the winning projects. There will be opportunities for interviews with the award winners.

Please also visit us at our information booth at ITB in hall 4.1, stand 248. Meetings can already be arranged.

The TO DO! International Contest Socially Responsible Tourism is published and organised every year by Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e. V. It is supported by: the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bread for the World – Church Development Service, Forum anders reisen e. V., ITB Berlin, Studiosus Reisen München, and the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism, which also donates the prize money.

Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung (Institute for Tourism and Development) focuses on development related information and education in tourism. In this context it brings out publications, organises international contests, offers training and seminars for people employed in the tourism sector, carries out tourism research and consultancy, and is involved in dialogue on issues related to tourism development.

Contact for the press:

Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e. V.
Claudia Mitteneder, Executive Director
Bahnhofstraße 8, 82229 Seefeld, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)8152.99 90 10 | info@studienkreis.org | www.studienkreis.org