“To be nominated as a finalist is a major honor. To win is one of the ultimate accolades in tourism.” Charles Kao, Founder of Travel Mole Media.
Cayuga won the 2018 Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the “People” Category. This award is given out in five categories by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) every year. Close to 200 applications are judged. Then the field is narrowed down to 15 finalists that undergo rigorous site inspections by experts in sustainable travel. At the WTTC Global Summit, the five winners are announced. Winning this award is a huge honor and recognition of leadership in sustainability in tourism and hospitality.
So, what does it mean to win this award in the case of the Cayuga Collection? Will it mean more hotel and lodge bookings? Probably not. We don’t think that having won awards is a mayor factor in choosing one hotel or lodge over another. But there are other, maybe more important benefits.
To win such a prestigious international award is a huge boost of motivation for the staff at Cayuga and all the hotels and lodges. Our guests have high expectations in terms of the quality of the experience. And on top of this, we put high standards on ourselves in terms of sustainability. So it is good to get an “external pad on the back”. We send the award to the hotels so that every staff member can have a picture and show their friends and family that they work at a world class company.
Of course it helps us also with recruiting. More and more we see that the best talent is looking for “work with a purpose”. It is not only about making money or building a career. It is about making a contribution to the community and a difference with conservation. After we won the National Geographic World Legacy Award last year, we saw an increase in applications and expect the same now after this award.
We have high standards and often push our local suppliers hard to meet our quality and sustainability goals. Having won this international recognition will make it easier for us to explain why we don’t need the extra wrapping on the vegetables or why we are interested in buying only local, in bulk, organic, free range, hormone free, grass fed, etc.
And in the end, it is also a reassurance for us that we are on the right track. Achieving the perfect symbiosis of sustainability and luxury in hospitality is often a challenge. And there is no manual for this. We often have to be very creative and try things out to see how they work out in the end. So it is great that we get confirmation that we are doing not only the right things, but that we are also doing them right.
And maybe there will be some additional bookings. We will talk about this award on our websites and try and educate the potential guest of what this means. Somebody that looks at things carefully might understand what an achievement it is to win this award and choose a Cayuga Collection Hotel or Lodge over another one. If you are one of them, send us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will offer you a special Tourism for Tomorrow value.