Tokyo, Japan – (April 17, 2012) – The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, one of the world’s most renowned and prestigious awards, has revealed its 2012 results. Following a rigorous three-phase application process, and the evaluation of the World Travel & Tourism Council’s selection committee, we are delighted to announce that Soria Moria Boutique Hotel, Siem Reap, CAMBODIA, has been named as a Runner Up for the 2012 Tourism For Tomorrow Community Benefit Award.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the world’s highest accolades in the Travel & Tourism industry. They are aimed at highlighting prime examples of best practice in sustainable tourism in front of a global audience of leading players from the industry, governments and media.

The 2012 Awards ceremony took place at the opening session of the Global Summit in Tokyo, and the opening speach was made by the Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda.

Given the growing concern about natural and cultural resources, these Awards showcase companies and organizations who are pioneers in sustainable tourism development across the world.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Community Benefit Award recognises initiatives that have efficiently demonstrated direct benefit to local people, including capacity building, transfer of industry skills, community development and support cultural heritage.

For the past 5 years, Soria Moria has been an innovator in sustainable community development initiatives. With their Educational Development Program they have directly contributed to empowering the local community in term of capacity building, transfer of industry skills, higher education and ownership.

WTTC’s Vidoeo showcasing the 3 Community Benefit Awards Finalists:

WTTC’s Tourism for Tomorrows finalist brochure, including all 12 finalists from 4 categoris can be viewed here.
About Soria Moria Boutique Hotel:

Soria Moria is a 38 bedroom hotel whose goal is to facilitate long term economic development of the impoverished area of Siem Reap, near Angkor Wat. With tourism growing in the area, the hotel was established in 2007 to empower locals to develop a successful long-term economic opportunities through building educational capacity and encouraging the development of socially responsible leaders. Their Employee Elevator program provides support and training to employees to move up within the business, and the Higher Education Program offers support in the community for others to benefit from further education, including partnering with local community development organizations to provide paid trainee positions to disadvantaged youths. They also work to implement guidelines for cultural heritage preservation, including the education of tourists about the underlying problems. Set up as a social enterprise, Soria Moria applies marked based strategies and reinvests a percentage of profits back into the local community. All employees are locals, with majority ownership in the company – every employee owns shares, with ownership based on seniority and level of responsibility, providing staff with the means to an independent income, accountability and ownership. The long-term goal is total transfer of ownership to the local employees, with the hotel’s success continuing to support the larger goal of the community’s sustainable development. For more information about Soria Moria Educational Development Program click here, and for more information about the hotels Responsible Tourism Practices click here.

About Tourism for Tomorrow:

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council, with the support of its strategic partners Travelport and The Travel Corporation Conservation Foundation. Tourism for Tomorrow’s thorough three-step judging process, including on-site evaluations, makes this awards scheme particularly unique. For this year’s awards, the on-site evaluations took place during February 2012, with esteemed sustainability experts visiting each of the Finalists, to make in-depth assessments and gain a well-rounded picture of the organisations and practices.

The WTTC winner selection committee is drawn from media, government, non-profit organisations and the private sector. In addition to Costas Christ, the 2012 judges included Hon. Marthinus van Schalkwyk, Minister of Tourism South Africa; H.E. Sergio Díaz-Granados, Minister of Trade & Tourism Colombia; Fiona Jeffery, Chairman of World Travel Market & Just A Drop; and Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief of National Geographic Traveler.

To watch a short video from the Awards Ceremony and the presentation of the Community Bennefit Category Finalists click here.
For more information about the Tourism for Awards click here.
For more information about Word Travel & Tourism Council click here.