A mobile application transporting visitors to the harbor of Arromanches in Normandy, France during World War II and an ecotourism project with a social entrepreneurship focus in Malaysia were among the innovative tourism initiatives recognized by the 2013 UNWTO Ulysses Awards for Innovation. Now on its tenth year, the Awards celebrate outstanding contributions in the field of tourism across the globe (Madrid, Spain, 22 January 2014).
The 2013 UNWTO Ulysses Awardees for Innovation distinguished in the four categories were:
a. UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance: Responsible Tourism Project at Kumarakom, Department of Tourism, Government of Kerala, India
b. UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Enterprises: Arromanches 1944, Biplan, France
c. UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations: From Charity to Social Entrepreneurship, Borneo Ecotourism Solutions and Technologies (BEST) Society, Malaysia
d. UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology: 3D AR Visual Portal, DSP Studio&Momentum Studio, Croatia
“It is thanks to the organizations and individuals whom we honor with these Awards that tourism is increasingly becoming a transformative force, bringing in economic growth, creating jobs, and most importantly, changing people`s lives,” said UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai. “The UNWTO Awards represent our belief that knowledge plays a central role in tourism and it is through innovation and the application of knowledge that we can advance towards a more sustainable and competitive tourism sector in line with the principles of our Global Code of Ethics,” he added.
In other categories, the recently instituted UNWTO Award for Lifetime Achievement was presented to Richard Quest, host of CNN`s flagship daily business program “Quest Means Business” and the monthly “CNN Business Traveler” for his contribution in promoting the presence of the tourism sector in global media. Professor Tej Vir Singh, Founding Director of the Centre for Tourism Research&Development (CTRD) in India, as well as Founding Editor of the highly respected scientific journal Tourism Recreation Research, was presented with the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge.
The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector, recognizing knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications. The winners were announced at the Awards Ceremony which took place at the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid, Spain, which will host this event in the future.