ISTO Awards 2024.

ISTO Awards 2024.

Opened at an international level, the ISTO Awards aim to recognise excellence in actions, projects, programs, initiatives and research recently carried out by ISTO’s members.

Towards Social Sustainability of Tourism


Three categories, three awards!

Initiatives from Destinations

Rewarding projects, programs, initiatives, or actions from destinations, regardless of their size, answering the need for tourism programs addressing immediate needs and issues with future consequences. This category is opened to:

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National government agencies; Regional government agencies and Local government agencies. The goal is to celebrate excellence in conducting and managing tourism policies at the destination level to limit the negative impacts on local population, workers and visitors.

Initiatives from Associations and the Private Sector

Rewarding actions aiming at recognising excellence in enabling access to tourism for all, guaranteeing equal opportunities for everyone, ensuring the well-being of communities and the preservation of cultural and environmental heritage, using digital innovation and inspiring solutions. This category is opened to:

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Tourism operators; Accomodations; Associations; Holiday support organisations and Actors of the Social and Solidarity Economy (cooperatives, mutualities, start-ups and so on).

Initiatives from Academies and Researchers

Rewarding outstanding tourism research from members of ISTO’s Alliance for Training and Research and other ISTO members. This category is opened to:

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Academic institutions and Researchers. This category aims to highlight creative and innovative approaches – specifically systematic, quantitative, and qualitative processes analysing, proposing, and promoting best practices for local populations, tourism workers, visitors, the operational sector and public authorities.

Application and Selection process.

Eligibility criteria

  • All applicants must be either a member of ISTO or a member of the Alliance for Training and Research. They must be up to date with the membership fees.
  • Projects, mechanisms, programs and initiatives from members applying to the awards must have started at least 3 years ago. For the “Academies and Researchers” category applicants, the submitted project must have been published in the last 3 years.
  • Applicants must present only 1 action, initiative, project, program or research, which cannot be used to apply to another category. Actions, initiatives, projects, programs or researches developed jointly with other members may apply. In this case, members can apply jointly to the respective category.

How to apply

Apply by filling out the Google form available in French, English and Spanish, and answering the questions. Applicants will be asked to present and describe the role of their structure. They will need to present and describe a project, program, action, or initiative and to provide indicators and measurements of the impacts of their projects for social sustainability of tourism.

The application deadline is 24 July.

Evaluation criteria

Compliance with the 5 categories of criteria define in Brussels Addendum: Local populations, tourism workers, visitors, the operational sector in tourism and public authorities.

Innovation: The proposal must show exactly how the action, initiative, or study addresses unmet needs in an effective and innovative way. Digitisation and the use of technology to create, promote and measure such project, action, program or initiative will be highly regarded.
Impact: The proposal contributes to tackling the challenges of Tourism for All; it will have a long- term positive impact on communities' and people's well-being.
Scalability and replicability: The proposal is easily replicable by other organisations and is inspiring. The aim is to demonstrate effectiveness in reaching as many people as possible.
Relevance and quality: The proposal must be in line with the category selected. Submissions' quality and resources will also be evaluated.


The Jury will be composed of members of ISTO’s Conseil des Sages, Board of Directors, Executive Committee and ISTO’s experts*. Jury members will first pre-select proposals. Three of the best proposals from each category will then form a panel of finalists.

*To promote objectivity in the selection process, members of the jury will not evaluate projects from the same category they apply to. Please also note that ISTO is committed to respect gender equality for the Jury panel as well as language repartitions.

Rewards and Benefits.

ISTO World Congress.

The Awards ceremony will take place on 25 October 2024 during ISTO World Congress in San José, Costa Rica. Winners will be informed of the Awards’ outcome a few weeks before the official ceremony and will be invited to participate in ISTO’s World Congress. ISTO will cover the registration fee for the winners to attend ISTO World Congress.


Winning organisations will receive a certificate and increased visibility during and after the Awards Ceremony. This will take the form of interviews, short videos, posts on ISTO’s Social Media and website. They will also receive communications resources and personalised guidance for ongoing projects.


Winners will position themselves as inspiring change makers demonstrating best practices. The Awards represent an opportunity to connect and network.

Discover the winner of the ISTO Awards 2022 and get inspired!

We look forward to receiving your applications and Good luck!