Last night, at an anniversary dinner of AITO (the Association of Tour Operators) in London, Tribes was delighted to be given the award for the ‘Most Innovative Sustainable Tourism Initiative 2011’.  This responsible travel award recognised Tribes’ eco-rating system of environmental and social impact auditing of the properties with which it works around the world. So far, 325 properties have been assessed across 17 countries, establishing their relative eco strengths and weaknesses, before publishing their grading on the company’s website. This process helps to raise environmental awareness among property owners, who are able to make positive changes as a result. Tribes also has a business plan to push sales for the higher-graded properties as an added incentive for those with a lower grading.
Guy and Amanda Marks collected the award and are seen here with three of the judging panel, Dick Sisman, Chris Breen and Richard Hammond.

A new award, the Roger Diski Community Project Award was won by Adventure Alternative for their excellent work in two rural village communities in the Nepal Himalaya. One of its main achievements has been to improve the quality of inhabitants’ lives and to stem the migration of younger generations to the more urban lowlands, thereby rejuvenating this unique community.

Judge and environmental guru Dick Sisman said: “This year’s entries show once again the depth of understanding that AITO members and their affiliates have for projects which support communities and the environment in tourism destinations around the world. I am particularly pleased to see the new Roger Diski Community Project award, which remembers a remarkable man and his love for the host communities who helped to make tourism such a special event for him and continue to do so for us.”