World Responsible Tourism Day 2012

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WTM World Responsible Tourism Day is a global day of action, encouraging to help drive change by educating more responsible behaviour with the travel and tourism industry and travelling public.

Showcasing Responsible Tourism and encouraging positive change

For the fourth consecutive year, World Responsible Tourism Day was celebrated in Siem Reap, Cambodia. Hosted at Soria Moria Boutique Hotel in co-operation with ConCERT and Harnessing Opportunities through Play and Education (HOPE). the event coincided with the WTM World Responsible Tourism Day events in London and aimed to showcase examples of Responsible Tourism practices and encourage positive change.

Read more about last year’s successful Responsible Tourism Day events in Siem Reap

After a short welcome note by Kristin Holdø Hansen Oishi, representatives from ten local businesses and organisations from the Travel & Tourism-, Education-, Environment- and Health-sector gave short, inspiring and motivational presentations about their excellent work.

  • We are absolutely thrilled to experience such a big interest for the World Responsible Tourism Day event this year, and next year it looks like we will have to look for a bigger venue–Kristin Holdø Hansen Oishi, Founder, Soria Moria Boutique Hotel

With more than 70 people in the audience, Responsible Tourism is certainly on the agenda in Siem Reap.

“We are absolutely thrilled to experience such a big interest for the World Responsible Tourism Day event this year, and next year it looks like we will have to look for a bigger venue,” said Kristin in her welcome note.

Schedule of events
  • Welcome & Introduction by Kristin Holdø Hansen Oishi
  • Presentation by Ms. Ra Nari, ConCERT Cambodia
  • Presentation by Ms. Sam Sokha, Soria Moria Educational Development Program
  • Presentation by Ms. Anna Baranova & Mr. Chor Choch, PEPY Tours
  • Presentation by Ms. Rachel Band, Rosy Guesthouse
  • Presentation by Mr. Tim Waterfield, Naga Biofuels
  • Presentation by Rin Vibol, APLE
  • Presentation by Ms. Sinketh Arun, Angkor Hospital for Children
  • Presentation by Mr. Fernando Abreu Hdez, Travel Loops.
  • Presentation by Ms. Rong Molyka, Friends International.
  • Presentation by Ms. Fiona Jaensch, Sojourn Boutique Villa

Each presentation added significant value to the programme, and after the formal part of the event, there was an open forum on Soria Moria’s rooftop terrace. This was a great opportunity for the different actors on the ground to discuss how the tourism and travel industry, in collaboration with the local development organisations can have a positive impact on the local communities and environment.

To round of the very event, Soria Moria offered light snack and Norwegian singer & songwriter, Hilde Marie, performed live music.

Hilde Marie performs at Soria Moria’s Rooftop Terrace

Good communication bringing key community benefits

Cambodia was also represented and made a big impact at the Wold Travel Market in London. Michael Horton, Founder and CEO of ConCERT presented about Tourism and Child Protection and HOPE Trustee Jo Hansen did an interesting talk on how ‘Good communication bringing key community benefits in Siem Reap’ at the new Speaker’s Corner at the World Travel Market.

Micheal Horton and Professor Harold Goodwin at World Travel Market

Jo at Speaker’s Corner, World Travel Market, London

The highlight was, however, probably the presentation of the Virgin Holiday Responsible Tourism Awards 2012. With more than 1600 nominations, it is an impressive feat that Cambodia produced two winners and shows that a lot of progress is being made in this field.

Soria Moria Boutique Hotel – Best Accommodation for Local Communities
Songsaa Private Island – Best Accommodation for the Environment

Just to be a finalist in the Responsible Tourism Awards is a great achievement and there were many inspiring projects amongst the finalists, so we would like to extend many congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

Highlights from World Responsible Tourism Day in London where Thomas receives the prestigious Responsible Tourism Award on behalf of Soria Moria.
HOPE is a UK-based charity with the mission to give the children of Cambodia a childhood and the young adults of Cambodia a better future, through play, education and development, in order to harness opportunity and positive change. This post was also published on HOPE’s website.

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