Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute
For immediate release
Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute
Myanmar Responsible Tourism Awards (MRTAs) – Winners Announced
The official awards ceremony was held at the Chatrium Hotel in Yangon on 11th December 2018. This marks the second year of the Myanmar Responsible Tourism Awards and the standard of entries demonstrates the continued passion and dedication of local tourism businesses to lead the way in responsible tourism standards.
The evening started off with an opening speech by U Naing Win, Director MoHT Yangon, followed by Ko Nyunt, Chairman of the Myanmar Responsible Tourism Institute (MRTI), which organises the awards and a welcoming speech by YuYu Naing, Private Sector Development Adviser, Department for International Development (DFID).
Ko Nyunt said: “Our purpose in organising the Awards is to encourage change in the industry and to single out for recognition those who are taking responsibility and can evidence that they are having a positive impact towards responsible and sustainable tourism in Myanmar. These awards recognise those who are working towards Myanmar tourism industry developing in a way that promotes our unique environment, our culture and our people.”
Yu Yu Naing added in her speech: “DFID has also supported MRTA to integrate poverty reduction as a cross-cutting theme in all categories of the MRTA. This is to recognise those businesses that have developed inclusive business models that can inspire others. Tourism doesn’t necessarily help these people if visitors only stay in their hotels and move between a few key destinations with flights and cars.”
This year, MRTI awarded seven winners in six different categories. Each applicant went through a shortlisting process. After this, shortlisted candidates were visited on-site by our assessors, who verified the claims made in their application. Followed by an independent judging panel meeting, to identify the winners. The judging panel consisted of seven travel and tourism experts.
Congratulations to all the 2018 winners, runners-up and applicants.
For each of the six categories, the winners and runners-up are as follows:
Best Responsible Tourism Accommodation
Awarded to an accommodation provider (hotel, guesthouse, B&B, etc.) with a strong commitment to protecting the environment and maximising social and economic benefits to the local economy.
Best Tourism Product for Empowerment
For initiatives specifically working to improve the way in which individuals and groups take part in society –improving the ability, opportunity and dignity of those who are disadvantaged due to their gender, age, ethnicity, religion, disability, education, etc. This award highlights the work of a business/organisation that has equality, equity and social inclusion embedded in everything they do.
Best Responsible Tourism Operator (Newcomer)
Awarded to the operator that educates and inspires travellers through a responsible approach to leading excursions and has only been operating for 3 years or less.
Winner: Myanmar Adventure Outfitters
Best Responsible Tourism Operator
Awarded to a tour operator (travel agent,tour operator, DMC, tour guide) who has responsible tourism at the heart of what they do and who not only demonstrates knowledge and understanding of the places they visit, but also shapes unique and meaningful experiences for visitors while conveying how to be a responsible traveller.
Winner: Sampan Travel
Best Community Involvement in Tourism
Awarded to an organisation or community initiative that is working to improve lives by creating opportunities to preserve and respect cultural heritage and traditions. Initiatives must be provided and explicitly designed to meet the needs and enhance the skills of the people and communities involved.
Best Tourism Business Innovation
Awarded to an inspirational business that has created an innovative and inclusive tourism idea that makes good business sense.
Best Responsible Tourism Awareness Raising Project
Awarded to a project that is raising awareness of responsible tourism– whether it is responsible tourism as a concept,or one aspect of responsible tourism that touches on one of our key criteria(social and economic benefits, benefits to cultural heritage, benefits to the environment, educates about responsible tourism, and/or encourages engagement in responsible tourism).
Programme Manager, Johanna Pelikan, added:“All of the MRTA 2018 winners and runner-ups can be extremely proud of themselves.”, she continued with “This project would not have been possible without the meaningful cooperation and partners and the most important point our participants, the pioneers, the people who try very hard every day to develop Myanmar’s tourism industry in a sustainable way, so resources will be available for future generation in a country where people want to live, work and travel to.”
The organising committee of MRTI looks forward to holding the competition again next year.