13th UNWTO Awards Recognises Sustainable Commitment in Tourism

Guanajuato’s State Ministry of Tourism (Mexico), Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group (Belgium), Govardhan Ecovillage (India) and Dutch Travel Trade Association (Netherlands) were the winners of 13th Edition of the UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism. 

Geneva, 19 January 2017. The UNWTO Awards paid tribute to the commitment of the tourism sector towards sustainability and innovation. The winning projects were announced last night during the UNWTO Awards Ceremony in the International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR) in Madrid.

“The 13th UNWTO Awards is particularly relevant as it coincides with the Official Launch of the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017, a milestone and an immense opportunity for the global tourism community to advance towards a more inclusive and sustainable sector,” underlined UNWTO Secretary-General Taleb Rifai in his opening remarks.

Attended by nearly 400 participants from 85 countries, the Ceremony emphasized how the tourism community has embraced sustainable and innovative approaches in the last years as ways to enhance the sector in the future. Nearly 150 initiatives from 55 countries applied for the 13th UNWTO Awards.

The UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism are held annually to highlight and promote the work of organizations and individuals around the world that have greatly impacted the tourism sector.

Their achievements have served as an inspiration for competitive and sustainable tourism development and the promotion of the values of the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The awardees of the 13th UNWTO Awards for Innovation in four different categories are as follows:






Public Policies and Governance

Guanajuato Ministry of Tourism

Strategies for the Development of Sustainable Tourism in Guanajuato



Instituto Costarricense de Turismo

Social Progress Index in Tourist Destinations of Costa Rica

Costa Rica

First runner up

Valencia Region Tourism Board

Valencian Institute of Tourism Technologies (INVAT.TUR)


Second runner up

Advisory Council of the Tourism Ministry

Innovative Use of E-Tourism


Third runner up


Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group

Adding Color to Lives




Ecobnb, The Community of Sustainable Tourism


First runner up

Non-Governmental Organizations

Govardhan Ecovillage

Govardhan Ecovillage - Eco Tourism as a catalyst for rural development



Petra National Trust

Culture Heritage: Tools for Sustainability of a World Heritage Site


First runner up

Fundación Tropicalia

A Sustainable Tourism Supply Chain

Dominican Republic

Second runner up

Research and Technology

ANVR (Dutch Travel Trade Association)

Carmacal carbon calculator for travel packages



Turismo de Portugal, IP

Tourism 4.0


First runner up

Ulysses Foundation

Encyclopedia of Tourism


Second runner up

The 13th Edition of the UNWTO Awards were supported by:

- Suning (China)

- China Chamber of Tourism (China)

- Andalucia Region (Spain)

- PortAventura (Spain)

- Macao Government Tourism Office  (SAR)

- Itaipu Binacional (Paraguay)

- Secretaria de Estado de Turismo de Paraguay (Senatur)

- Ministry of Tourism of Indonesia

- Samsonite

- Madrid Destino

- Eventisimo