For some, autumn can be a dull time of year. The summer draws to a close, the clocks go back and the dark nights draw in. But it’s not all doom and gloom for us at Explore. This time of year marks the ‘award season’ in the travel industry, and Explore has done particularly well.
We’ve not just won one award, not even two – but a grand total of five prestigious awards, all in the space of three weeks.
At the beginning of November, you may remember that we were proud to receive two British Travel Awards – awards that are widely referred to as the "Oscars" of the travel industry. We were named 'Best Overall Escorted Experience Tour Operator' and 'Best Medium Tour Operator to Southern Asia’, great accolades for our specialist areas, and with even greater meaning as the votes were cast by those whose opinions matter the most, you – the consumer.
This autumn, Explore has done particularly well with ‘green’ awards. For the 31 years that we’ve been operating, responsible tourism has been at the heart of everything we do. We have always ensured that our tours are of benefit to the local communities and environments that we visit, and over the last few weeks we have won three awards in recognition of this.
Explore are now the proud owners of a Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award for being the ‘Best Tour Operator for Promoting Responsible Tourism’. The prestigious gong was presented to us in recognition of our on-going dedication to responsible tourism and judges were particularly impressed by the thoroughness of our approach to placing responsible principles at the core of our business.
Focussing more on individual projects, Explore received an AITO Award (Association of Independent Tour Operators) for having the 'Most Innovative Sustainable Tourism Initiative'. We have this year teamed up with the University of Surrey to create a Sustainable Tourism MSc “in Association with Explore” - educating students on the importance, theory and practice of sustainable tourism initiatives. This was also recognised at the well-regarded British Travel Press Awards more recently, where we were awarded the ‘Travel Editors’ Green Award of the Year’ for our holistic approach to responsible tourism alongside our work with the University of Surrey.
Overall, it’s been a successful three weeks for Explore. Being responsible sits at the forefront of every decision we make, we don’t just do it for the sake of it – we believe it’s the right way to do things. It’s great to win one award, but to win five prestigious awards is an honour. So, here’s to next year!