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UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism
Registration to attend the UNWTO Awards Forum and 12th UNWTO Awards Ceremony will open on 1 December on this website. Please note that due to increasing demand, registration will be handled on a first come, first served basis.
What are the UNWTO Awards?
For the fourth consecutive time, the UNWTO Awards Ceremony will be celebrated in collaboration with Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR / IFEMA) on 20 January 2016. Prior to the ceremony, the UNWTO Awards Forum will be held on 18 January 2016 in Palacio Neptuno (Madrid) to highlight and share the knowledge and best practices of the finalists and industry leaders.
The UNWTO Awards, created by the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), are the flagship awards for the global tourism sector. Every year, they are conferred by the UNWTO and the UNWTO Knowledge Network to highlight and showcase innovation and application of Knowledge in Tourism. In doing so, the UNWTO Awards seek to recognize and stimulate knowledge creation, dissemination and innovative applications in tourism and to bring to light the latest advances in the area. This has a transversal effect on governance and society at large.
The awarded projects are in line with the policies, priorities and programme of work of UNWTO, including the Code of Ethics for Tourism. They represent some of the best examples of tourism leaders from around the world that through their exceptional initiatives have placed themselves at the forefront of the sector.
Applications received from more than 50 countries for the 12th UNWTO Awards
Recognition is given in the following categories:
The UNWTO Ulysses Prize is given to a distinguished scholar, whether in academia, government or private industry, for outstanding contributions to innovation and knowledge in tourism.
The UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award is conferred to recognize a lifetime achievement of individuals with visionary leadership and significant contribution throughout the nominee’s career as an inspirational role model for the development at the local, national, regional or international level. The selection of the UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award will be reserved to the international Jury of Experts of the UNWTO Awards in recognition of the global significance of this category. No external nominations or applications for this award category shall be accepted.
- UNWTO Award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance
- UNWTO Award for Innovation in Enterprises
- UNWTO Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations
- UNWTO Award for Innovation in Research and Technology
1. 2003: First edition of the UNWTO Ulysses Prize. Dr. Donald Hawkins, from the George Washington University (USA) was the first recipient of the UNWTO Ulysses Prize for Excellence in the Creation and Dissemination of Knowledge.
2. 2006: Two new award categories open up for specific tourism initiatives. The first award for Innovation in Public Policy and Governance was granted to Black Stone Valley (USA) while the first award for Innovation in Enterprise was awarded to ACCOR (France).
3. 2007: The award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations is created to complement the two abovementioned award categories. It was granted to the Évora Tourism Region (Portugal).
4. 2011: The 2011 Awards Ceremony took place in the framework of the UNWTO Algarve Forum (Portugal); The Forum – intended to bridge theory and practice in tourism as an instrument for development and good governance – convened over 300 representatives from the private and public sector who were joined by prestigious academics to conclude several months of on-line discussion and establish a consensus on future tourism strategies.
5. 2012: The UNWTO Award for Lifetime Achievement and the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology are created. The first edition of the UNWTO Lifetime Achievement Award honored two eminent individuals from both public and private sectors - Mr. Shao Qiwei, Chairman of China National Tourism Administration and Mr. Gabriel Escarrer Juliá, Chairman and Founder of Melià Hotels International. The first winner of the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Research and Technology was the Instituto de Biomecánica de Valencia (Spain). Upon the creation of these two categories, the previous UNWTO Ulysses Prize and Awards were rebranded UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism with different categories.To see the complete list of the 2012 edition awardees, please visit the following link.
6. 2013: The UNWTO Awards were jointly hosted, for the first time, by UNWTO and the Madrid International Tourism Trade Fair (FITUR), a valued UNWTO Affiliate Member. To see the complete list of the 2013 edition awardees, please visit the following link.