St Petersburg, Russian Federation, 2019-Sep-11 — /Travel PR News/ — The Spanish city of San Sebastian was awarded the 2019 World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) prize for Public Policy and Governance at a ceremony attended by leaders of the global tourism sector in St Petersburg, Russian Federation.
Held during the 23rd Session of the UNWTO General Assembly, the 15th edition of the awards aimed to celebrate the very best examples of tangible and sustainable improvements in policy, processes, and governance. Alongside cities and regional authorities, NGOs and private sector enterprises are also welcome to be considered for an award.
For this latest round of awards, initiatives from Canada, Colombia, India, Italy, Spain, Switzerland and the Philippines made it to through to the final shortlist. A jury committee was made up of eight tourism experts from the public sector, private companies and universities, announced St Petersburg San Sebastian’s “Love San Sebastian, Live Donastia” initiative as the big winner.
In the Enterprises category, “Community Impact by V Resorts”, an initiative of V Resorts under the aegis of Bliss Inns Ltd, India, took home the top award. Also in St Petersburg, Fundación Once from Spain won the award for best NGO.
Announcing the awards, UNWTO Secretary-General Zurab Pololikashvili said: “These Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism celebrate our sector at its very best. I congratulate San Sebastian for showing how tourism can be effectively managed to be sustainable and an effective tool for promoting and protecting local cultural heritage.”
This 15th edition of the UNWTO Awards were also notable as they marked the launch of Accessible Tourism Destinations (ATD) initiative. Organized by UNWTO in partnership with the Spanish NGO ONCE, this initiative recognizes destinations that are proactively working to make tourism more accessible to everyone, regardless of physical or mental ability. The inaugural ATD award was won by Turismo de Portugal and was presented in front of global sector leaders at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg.
The inaugural ATD award was won by Turismo de Portugal and was presented in front of global sector leaders at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg. Also gaining an honourable mention was the city of Barcelona, which was credited with its working to make public transport accessible to all, including both tourists and local residents, while the Emerging Destinations Award was given to the Indian city of Thrissur. The expert committee recognised “the important steps that have been taken in Thrissur, especially by the public authorities, to make the city more accessible”.
Following the UNWTO Awards ceremony, delegates were treated to a special performance of Swan Lake by principals and dancers from the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg.