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2017 Global Youth Travel Awards finalists announced

Judges for the 2017 Global Youth Travel Awards (GYTAs) have sifted through a record-shattering number of entries to name three finalists in each of the 14 award categories, which include 10 nominated and four consumer-voted awards. The GYTAs began at the World Youth Student and Educational Conference (WYSTC) 2011 in Barcelona with a focus on celebrating outstanding contributors to the youth and student travel industry.

WYSE Travel Confederation is pleased to announce that a significant portion of this year’s award contenders are Confederation members. GYTA judges tasked with selecting finalists in the category for the Best Social Responsibility Initiative said their task was especially difficult. “[A] very high standard of applications, which made it hard to differentiate,” said one judge.

2017 is the UNWTO Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development and, as an affiliate UNWTO member, WYSE Travel Confederation has worked closely with members to support their sustainable tourism initiatives. WYSE Travel Confederation’s Director General said the quality entries for this category, as well as a strong showing from the Best Green Accommodation Initiative, indicates that the tourism industry is stepping up to the UNWTO challenge.

“The exceptional entries we received this year in categories related to sustainable tourism have shown us that not only is greater awareness being paid to tourism’s role in sustainable development, but that the industry is mobilising for change,” said David Chapman.

A judge analysing the Best Green Accommodation Initiative said, “The projects of all the candidates showed good engagement not only from their staff and guests but also their wider communities.”

A new category in this year’s competition is the award for Best Travel Safety Initiative, which recognises organisations proactively working to keep their customers safe. The initiative can be implementation of best practices, toolkits, risk management plans, or the creation of preparatory educating tools or innovative products. The new category gathered a significant amount of interest. A judge described one of the finalists as, “…innovative, adopts a young approach and reaches the needs and expectations of the Millennial Generation.”

The winners of the 2017 Global Youth Travel Awards will be announced during the World Youth and Student Travel Conference in Montréal. An awards gala dinner will be held Thursday, 28 September 2017 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel Montréal.

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