Chosen from 37 inspirational finalists, Loola Adventure Resort was handed the prestigious Award at a special ceremony at World Travel Market London’s Global Stage, as part of the annual WTM World Responsible Tourism Day celebrations.
Developed in Holland in the 1980s, the ‘Polder Model’ – a collaborative, consensus-based way of working between employers and employees which makes everyone a stakeholder in the business – can be seen coming to life in tourism at LooLa in 2015. By setting up local staff as entrepreneurs, running and managing their own businesses within the workings of the resort, LooLa has increased local incomes by 20-50%, has a zero staff turnover through education and development opportunities and gains excellent customer feedback.
“The judges singled out Loola for its innovative business model which creates shared value from tourism with the local community” says Professor Harold Goodwin, Chair of the Judging Panel “Each year we look for organisations which will surprise and inspire change, and Loola’s approach, which gives local staff the opportunity to run and own their own businesses within the resort, is not only exemplary but successful; a win-win way of working which leads to increased local incomes and better guest experiences”.
Welcoming more than 500 people to the event in London, Justin Francis, Managing director of Awards organisers Responsible Travel explained how the Awards were founded to change the face of the tourist industry. “The aim of the Awards is to inspire the tourists and the tourism industry by what is possible to achieve through responsible tourism” says Francis. “In our 12th year we have added one more inspiring winner and more remarkable stories which will shape how the industry and tourists think about the future of tourism”.
Simon Press, Awards Judge and Senior Exhibition Director for World Travel Market London says, “The standard of entries to this year’s World Responsible Tourism Awards at WTM London have been of a phenomenally high standard. Loola Adventure is a truly inspiring example of responsible tourism at its finest, demonstrating that all stakeholder can benefit from well-planned and well-run tourism projects.”