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Indonesian Eco-Resort Wins World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM London

Indonesian Eco-Resort Wins World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at WTM London

An eco-resort on the Indonesian Island of Bintan, recognised for its use of a radical Dutch business model, the Polder Model, has been named overall winner of the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 at World Travel Market London. Chosen from 37 finalists, LooLa Adventure Resort was presented with the Award at a special ceremony as part of the annual WTM World Responsible Tourism Day celebrations.

Developed in The Netherlands in the 1980s, the ‘Polder Model’ – a collaborative, consensus-based way of working between employers and employees that makes everyone a stakeholder in the business – can be seen coming to life in tourism at LooLa in 2015. By setting up local staff as entrepreneurs, running and managing their own businesses within the workings of the resort, LooLa has increased local incomes by 20-50%, has a zero staff turnover through education and development opportunities and gains excellent customer feedback.

LooLa classic chalets

LooLa classic chalets

“The judges singled out LooLa for its innovative business model that creates shared value from tourism with the local community,” said Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel, “Each year we look for organisations that will surprise and inspire change, and LooLa’s approach, which gives local staff the opportunity to run and own their own businesses within the resort, is not only exemplary but successful – a win-win way of working that leads to increased local incomes and better guest experiences.”

Justin Francis, Managing Director of Awards organisers Responsible Travel, said: “The aim of the Awards is to inspire the tourists and the tourism industry by what is possible to achieve through responsible tourism. In our 12th year we have added one more inspiring winner and more remarkable stories that will shape how the industry and tourists think about the future of tourism.”

Simon Press, Awards Judge and Senior Exhibition Director for WTM London said: “The standard of entries this year has been of a phenomenally high standard. LooLa Adventure Resort is a truly inspiring example of responsible tourism at its finest, demonstrating that all stakeholder can benefit from well-planned and well-run tourism projects.”

To see the full list of this year’s finalists, log on to: www.worldresponsibletourismawards.com. A full free copy of ‘Progress in Responsible Tourism’, which publishes the full reasons behind the judges’ decisions, will available for download from this site after the ceremony on Wednesday 4th November 2015.

An overview of the judging process, and criteria by which the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2015 have been judged, can be found at:

http://www.responsibletravel.com/awards/about/judging-process.htm

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NEIL STEEDMAN has been a trade journalist, editor and proofreader for 53 years, and ITTN's News & Features Editor for 43 years. His travel blog is at www.thetravelbuddhist.com.

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