At ITB Berlin 2015, the TO DO! will be awarded to tourism projects that implement socially responsible tourism development in an extraordinary manner. In the 20th contest round, projects from ten countries had been submitted, including from Uzbekistan for the first time. The expert jury selected three projects, each of which was checked on location. All these projects confirmed the positive impression from the applications submitted.
Despite all differences, the three equal winners of the TO DO! 2014 from Costa Rica, India and Uzbekistan have one characteristic in common: In an exemplary manner, they involve the local population in a kind of tourism that is managed sustainably. They create alternative sources of income and strengthen self-awareness of local culture and traditions.
Costa Rica: ACTUAR, the Costa Rican Association of Rural Community Based Tourism, is a network of 34 communities dispersed over the country who jointly market their tourism projects and thus create alternative sources of income for the villagers. When visiting the rural or indigenous communities, travellers experience Costa Rica authentically, with its culture and traditions, and directly meet the local population.
India: Reality Tours & Travel organises tours to the underprivileged neighbourhoods of Mumbai – the so called slums. The population is strongly involved in the development and implementation and a major part of the income directly benefits the people, e. g. in their training on the job. The most important objective is to show the positive sides of life in the slums, to eliminate prejudices that might exist, and to strengthen the self-confidence of the slum dwellers through personal encounters.
Uzbekistan: Silk Road Destinations is an incoming tour operator in Uzbekistan who set up a community-based project in the remote village of Mitan. In Mitan, the guests get into direct contact with local families and their Muslim culture and traditions. The project is aimed at generating an additional income for the villagers. It is also meant to contribute to cultural exchange and to a better understanding between people with different social and religious backgrounds.
The international contest is organised by the Institute for Tourism and Development (Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e. V.) and is supported by: the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Bread for the World – Church Development Service, forum anders reisen e. V., ITB Berlin, Studiosus Reisen München and the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism that also provides the prize money.