Press Release

14 October 2022

Skål International presents the 2022 Sustainable Tourism Awards that celebrate its 20th Anniversary, during the Opening Ceremony of its 81st Skål International World Congress in Kvarner, Croatia

October 14, 2022, Skål International

This highlight event that has gathered over 320 travel executives from all over the world and important authorities of the Croatia, the Kvarner region and also Opatija and Rijeka, as well as Skål International, has been honoured with the prestigious presence of Mr. Ion Vilcu, Director of Affiliate Members Department at the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

Skål International following the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, launched these awards, which have received strong ongoing support and attracted high level of participation from all over the world, and certainly helped the tourism world to better understand the importance of sustainability in tourism.

In its 20th Anniversary the award ceremony was conducted by Interim Vice President Hulya Aslantas and awards presented by Skål International World President Burcin Turkkan.

Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards 20th Anniversary 2022

Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards program is getting even greater prestige

Skål International is an Affiliate Member of the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) since 1984 and have joined forces to give a greater dimension to the Sustainable Tourism Awards.

Mr. Ion Vilcu, Director of the Affiliate Members Department at the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), with Skål International President Burcin Turkkan and Interim Vice President Hulya Aslantas.

And, for fourth consecutive year, we keep the partnership with the Responsible Tourism Institute and Biosphere Tourism, who have enhanced its support and have granted the 'Skål Biosphere Sustainable Special Award' to each winner, consisting of a one-year free subscription to the Biosphere Sustainable platform, where the winner will be able to create their own personalized Sustainability Plan.


Three prominent and distinguished judges from internationally recognized entities have independently evaluated each entry based on leadership criteria in sustainability that encompass tangible, measurable benefits to the environment, enhance business, and the society and communities in which they operate:

Mr. Ion Vilcu, Director of Affiliate Members Department at the U.N. World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). 

Mr. Patricio Azcárate Díaz, General Secretary, Responsible Tourism Institute.

Mr. Cüneyt Kuru, Member of the Board of Directors of the Turkish Environment Education Foundation and General Manager of Aquaworld Belek Hotel.

Skål International sincerely appreciates their time and efforts for the meticulous and laborious work they have conducted.


This year, a total of 50 entrants from 23 countries worldwide have met the requirements and competed in the nine available categories. 

2022 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards: full list of Entrants and Jury


Today, during the Opening Ceremony of the 81st Skål International World Congress, the winners of the 2022 Sustainable Tourism Awards have officially been announced:


Secretary of Tourism of Santiago de Cali, Colombia

Supported by Skål International Bogotá

Secretary of Tourism of Santiago de Cali, Colombia

Award collected by Annette Cárdenas, Director of PR, Communications & Social Media at Skål International.


Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, South Africa

Supported by Skål International South Africa

Panthera Africa Big Cat Sanctuary, South Africa

Award collected by Wayne Bezuidenhout, Fundraising Manager of Panthera Africa and Vice President of Skål International South Africa. 

Opatija Tourist Board, Croatia

Since the Skål International World Congress is being hosted by Skål International Kvarner, the Opatija Tourist Board has been specially recognized for being ranked second in this category.  

Skål International President Burcin Turkkan presenting the certificate of appreciation to Mr. Fernando Kirigin, Mayor of Opatija.



Mankind Digital, Australia

Supported by Skål International Melbourne

Mankind Digital, Australia

Award collected by Ivana Patalano, President of Skål International Australia.


The CapTA Group, Australia

Supported by Skål International Cairns 

The CapTA Group, Australia

Award collected by Ben Woodward, Director of Sales & Marketing of The CaPTA Group and member of Skål International Cairns.


Six Senses Laamu,The Maldives

Supported by Skål International Roma

Six Senses Laamu,The Maldives

Award collected by Luigi Sciarra, President of Skål International Roma.


CGH Earth, India

Supported by Skål International Kochi 

CGH Earth, India

Award collected by Carl Vaz, President of Skål International India.


Travel with a Cause, Australia

Supported by Skål International Hobart

Travel with a Cause, Australia

Award collected by Alfred Merse, Former President of Skål International Hobart.


East by West Ferries, New Zealand

Supported by Skål International Wellington 

East by West Ferries, New Zealand

Award collected by Bruce Garrett, Treasurer of Skål International New Zealand and Ivana Patalano, President, Skål International Australia.


Legacy Vacation Resorts, United States

Supported by Skål International Tampa Bay

Award collected by Kristina Park, Former President of Skål International Tampa Bay.

Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the participants in the 2022 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards.

Want to apply for next edition?

Full information on the 2023 edition will be published on the Skål International website

About Biosphere Tourism: Biosphere Tourism develops certifications to guarantee an adequate long-term balance between the economic, socio-cultural and environmental dimensions of a Destination, reporting significant benefits for a tourism entity, society and the environment. This certification is granted by the Responsible Tourism Institute (RTI), an international non-profit NGO, in the form of an association, which has promoted, for more than 20 years, responsible tourism at an international level, helping all the actors involved in the tourism sector develop a new way of traveling and of knowing our planet.

Skål International is an advocate of global tourism, focused on its benefits--happiness, good health, friendship, and long life. Founded in 1934, Skål International is the only organization of tourism professionals worldwide promoting global Tourism and friendship, uniting all sectors of the Tourism industry. For more information, please visit

Press Release contact:

Annette Cardenas, Director PR, Communications & Social Media

Skål International

[email protected]

[email protected]

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