The World travel and Tourism Council has announced the twelve finalists for one of the most prestigious ceremonies in the tourism calendar.

The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards highlight "examples of best practice" in sustainable tourism and are now in their 21st year. Categories include acclamations for Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit and Global Tourism Business.

Winners will be announced on the 26th May at the Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Beijing, a high profile gathering of travel firms and politicians. The awards are decided by a panel of judges from the public and private sectors, as well as media and academia.

The travel and tourism industry is at a critical crossroads as more travel companies and destinations understand that a paradigm shift is underway, where addressing social and environmental issues is an important part of business success," said Costas Christ, the Chairman of the judges.

"Sustainable practices have become a new measure of quality service, and the excellent Award entries we received this year in all categories support this."

Finalists include four Africa-based projects or businesses, four Australasian, two European and one each in the Middle East and Latin America.

The 2010 Finalists

Destination Stewardship Award
• Botswana Tourism Board, Botswana -
• Ministry of Tourism, Montenegro -
• Mount Huangshan Scenic Site, China -

Conservation Award
• Emirates Hotels & Resorts, UAE -
• Inkaterra Perú SAC, Peru -
• Singita Grumeti Reserves, Tanzania -

Community Benefit Award
• Namibia's Communal Conservancy Tourism Sector / NACSO, Namibia -
• Tourindia, India -
• Whale Watch Kaikoura Ltd, New Zealand -

Global Tourism Business Award
• Accor, France & Global -
• Banyan Tree Holdings, Singapore & Global -
• Wilderness Safaris, South Africa & Global -