The World Travel Awards (WTA) will announce the winners of the newly launched ‘Green’ Awards program during the Europe Awards Ceremony in Newcastle Gateshead in October.

‘Green’ tourism is quickly becoming mainstream and more and more hospitality businesses are realising the benefits of showcasing their environmentally-friendly credentials. Therefore, the World Travel Awards are introducing ‘green’ categories to their prestigious award scheme. These will reward those companies who excel in ecologically-friendly practices.

WTA, the premier global accolades for the travel and tourism sector, will announce the ‘green’ winners with those in the European categories for 2007 at the invitation-only gala ceremony at The Sage Gateshead in the North East of England on October 9th. Silverjet, Fairmont Hotels and Resorts, Thompson and The Banyan Tree are amongst companies up for nomination. Nominated companies are accredited to certification programs, or comply with a range of prerequisites, such as minimising the environmental impact of tourism and increasing environmental knowledge among staff.

"Climate change, combined with a booming demand for travel worldwide, is presenting the travel industry with new environmental challenges," says Manon Han, Vice President of the World Travel Awards.

"As a responsible authority for the travel industry, the World Travel Awards are keen to encourage creativity and leadership that will lead to a sustainable future. The ‘green’ categories are a new and exciting way for us to do this. The introduction of these new categories will ultimately help green-conscious travellers make a more informed decision on eco-friendly products and services," added Han.

Networking events have been planned around the gala ceremony, including the World Travel CEO Forum on October 8th, which will also tackle the debate on climate and sustainable tourism. The World Travel Golf Tournament will also take place before the ceremony.

World Travel Awards are especially coveted as, uniquely, the votes are cast globally by fellow professionals. With trophies awarded in over 1,000 different categories, the World Travel Awards are undoubtedly the world’s most comprehensive awards celebration. Attended by top executives of winning companies, the events are highly regarded and well-established as a forum that brings together all areas of travel and tourism in recognition of their achievements.