We were thrilled to receive a GOLD award in the Animal Welfare Category of the 2015 World Responsible Tourism Awards, announced at the World Travel Market in London.
When we were invited to submit an application for the category of 'Best Animal Welfare Initiative', we looked into the award and decided that going through the process application process would be valuable in itself, irrespective of the outcome.
The World Responsible Tourism Awards look for people and businesses that have identified the economic, social and environmental issues which matter locally and which are using tourism to make better places for people to both live in and visit. They are looking for inspiring examples of businesses which are demonstrably making a difference, and can show the results of their efforts in taking responsibility. The businesses are assessed within 12 separate categories including, for instance, 'best for wildlife conservation' and 'best accommodation for disability access'.
The award process was a long one. It started over 6 months before the announcement of the awards themselves with an indepth assessment of our proceedures, practices and plans. Sometimes being challenged to put your thoughts and ethos into writing in a specific way, brings enhanced clarity and that was definitely true in this case. At the end of the process, they announced the largest ever 'long-list' of finalists: c. 200 companies (including 5 nordic companies) from over 69 countries.
In August, the short list of companies that had been put through to the final judging was announced and we were excited to be amongst them.
Just 37 companies from 20 countries had made the final cut and ours was the first Finnish company to make it this far in the competition. Three other Nordic companies made the shortlist.
When the Gold Award category winners were announced at the WTM in November, it gave us confidence that - despite sometimes feeling that we were swimming against the tide in our fairly old-school industry, (when it comes to talking openly about the topic of responsible husky dog care, for instance,) - there is a moral imperative to not only continue to showcase optimal standards of care with our own dogs but also to drive improvements in standards, industry-wide.
Read more about the 'Best Animal Welfare Initiave' category, here.
We joined Tripadvisor at the end of 2015 and were super happy to be awarded Tripadvisor's Certificate of Excellence in 2016, 2017 and 2018. The Certificate of Excellence honors accommodations, restaurants, attractions and vacation rentals that deliver consistently great service.
In 2006, Anna was awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Memorial Trust Award for her leadership of an innovative and inclusive crossing of the Greenland Icecap. We have rehosted the majority of the expedition website since our aim of the expedition was to disseminate information about what we discovered during the development of kit and clothing to make the venture possible, so that others could more easily follow in Karen's 'footsteps'. Only the blog and commentary by friends is missing. The expedition report will shortly be available to download from the winston churchill memorial website.