WTM Latin America Awards for Excellence in Responsible Tourism

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Viviana Vasquez

With excitement, WTM Latin America announces the highly anticipated arrival of the 2024 edition of its prestigious Responsible Tourism Awards. Recognized for their leadership in promoting sustainable tourism across the continent, these awards not only celebrate excellence in the travel and tourism sector, but also drive sustainable development in our region by highlighting the most inspiring narratives.

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This year, the inclusion of 6 new categories marks a significant milestone by addressing crucial issues such as conserving biodiversity, promoting inclusion, fostering equitable economic development, and creating deeper connections between tourists and destinations. During the first week of March, the finalists were announced and will compete for the coveted "Gold" and "Silver" awards.

The culmination of this exciting process will take place during the WTM Latin America event in April 2024, where the awards ceremony will be held. This long-awaited moment offers the perfect opportunity to highlight and celebrate those ventures and projects that not only deserve recognition, but also have the power to inspire everyone towards the promotion of increasingly responsible tourism.

It is especially relevant to mention that the Best Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation category has the valuable sponsorship of La Mano del Mono, reaffirming its unwavering commitment to the promotion of sustainable tourism and the preservation of the environment.

The Jury Selection Process for the Best Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives category:

The meticulous judging process for the Best Biodiversity Conservation Initiatives category was critical to ensuring the integrity and excellence of the WTM Latin America Awards. From the outset, we sought to identify highly qualified individuals committed to the principles of sustainable tourism and environmental conservation.

To this end, a search was conducted for experts with a solid track record in relevant areas such as sustainable tourism planning, environmental consulting, ecotourism and community-based tourism. In addition, their demonstrated commitment to conservation and their ability to impartially evaluate the initiatives presented were valued.

Once the panel of judges was constituted, they took on the responsibility of evaluating each project presented in the category of Best Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation. Using predefined criteria, they analyzed the impact of each initiative on biodiversity conservation, its viability and sustainability, as well as its contribution to the development of local communities and the promotion of responsible tourism. Among them:

  • Karla Alejandra Rivera - La Mano del Mono Project Leader: With an outstanding track record in sustainable tourism planning and environmental consulting, Karla Rivera seeks to promote the wellbeing, resilience and sustainability of communities and destinations. Her international experience supports her role as a tourism evaluator and makes her a key member of the jury.
  • Leidi Paola Mulcué Vitopía - Representative of TRENZAR and ASONTIC: A native of the Nasa indigenous people in Colombia, Leidi Paola Mulcué Vitopía is an important voice in the promotion of community and sustainable tourism. With her background in tourism and ethno-education, and her experience as a guide, she brings a unique perspective as a juror.
  • César Jacobo Martínez Lavariega - Ecoturística Las Ninfas: With a degree in Tourism Administration and extensive experience as a certified guide, César Jacobo Martínez Lavariega is a passionate advocate of ecotourism. His commitment to conservation and his work in community-based tourism make him an invaluable juror.
  • Gabriel Calderón Maciel - GCM Hospitality and Tourism: A graduate in business and tourism administration, Gabriel Calderón Maciel brings a business perspective to the jury. As president of the municipal tourism council in Bonito, Brazil, he has a comprehensive view of the impact of tourism on local communities.

Featured finalists:


Notable finalists include:

  • Water and Land Foundation: This organization has stood out as an inspiring example in promoting environmental conservation through responsible tourism. Its innovative approach and dedicated efforts have contributed significantly to the protection of natural ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable practices in the tourism industry.
  • Association of Community Tourism Guides exploring the Valley: This partnership has stood out for its commitment to inclusion and participation of local communities in tourism. Its people-centered approach has made it possible not only to offer authentic experiences to travelers, but also to generate tangible benefits for host communities.
  • Rainforest Expeditions: Recognized for its tireless dedication to biodiversity conservation in the Amazon, Rainforest Expeditions has been a leader in implementing sustainable practices in the region. Its holistic approach encompasses the conservation of flora and fauna, as well as active support for local communities.
  • Jericoacoara National Park: This national park has become a benchmark in the protection of coastal ecosystems and the promotion of sustainable tourism in Brazil. Its efforts to preserve the natural beauty of the region while promoting responsible tourism are worthy of recognition and admiration.

This year, a total of 33 initiatives were entered to compete in the Best Initiatives for Biodiversity Conservation category, reflecting a growing interest and commitment on the part of the tourism industry in the preservation of our ecosystems and the protection of our biodiversity.

With the participation of these expert jurors and the outstanding presence of inspiring finalists, the WTM Latin America 2024 Awards promises to be a tribute to excellence in responsible tourism. This event not only recognizes the efforts of those who work tirelessly for environmental conservation, but also drives positive change in our region and beyond. It's time to applaud those who make tourism a force for good in our world!