Family, friends and colleagues of Taste of Fethiye project leaders, Vicky Erdoğan and Şemsi Toprak,

huddled around their computer screens on Wednesday evening…

The excitement levels were such that they might as well have been watching the Oscars!

However, they were in fact watching the 11th UNWTO annual awards: a celebration of excellence

and innovation in tourism. And the event was being streamed live from the award ceremony in Madrid.

Taste of Fethiye UNWTO awards

UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations

Taste of Fethiye was one of only four NGO projects selected for this award from around the world, 

so Vicky and Şemsi travelled to the Spanish city for the event.

The criteria that the judges were examining covered issues such as:

  • Destination management and promotion
  • Empowerment of local communities
  • Preservation of culture and heritage
  • Fostering of public and private partnerships

This project is Fethiye’s only sustainable tourism endeavour

to date and so since its selection last December, it has been

exciting times for Fethiye, Turkey and The Travel Foundation.

‘A force for good across the globe’

UNWTO Secretary-General, Taleb Rifai, made a speech at the awards Ceremony in Madrid.

If innovation is the spark, then knowledge is the fuel that drives tourism”, he said.
The finalists honoured tonight are outstanding examples of forward-thinking initiatives
in sustainability, social inclusion and technology in the tourism sector, and are as such
key contributors in turning tourism into a force for good across the globe, a goal we must
all be deeply committed to“, he added.

Excellence and innovation for Taste of Fethiye

When it was announced that Taste of Fethiye was joint 1st Runner Up together

with a project from Namibia, everyone thought that it was a fantastic result for

all concerned.

Taste of Fethiye UNWTO awards

Taste of Fethiye UNWTO awards

Congratulations to Taste of Fethiye!

The Taste of Fethiye project, is an initiative that encourages cooperation and

a sustainable business approach between local farmers, hotels and restaurants.

The happy team at Mozaik Bahce Fethiye use locally grown produce for their Hatay dishes
Mozaik Bahçe Restaurant

Taste of Fethiye Film

Praise from Fethiye tourism chief

Salih Tasçı, head of Fethiye’s TURSAB, was delighted to hear that Taste of Fethiye had

received international recognition at the awards.

Louis de Bernieres with Taste of Fethiye produce
British author, Louis de Bernieres, with Taste of Fethiye produce at the Kayaköy Fair

I am so happy for Vicky and Şemsi and send them my heartfelt congratulations!

This is a project I totally support and would like to see continuing forever.

It is really important for sustainable and responsible tourism in this area.

Now we must make sure everyone in Fethiye and the rest of Turkey hear about what

Taste of Fethiye is achieving.”


Innovative projects from around the world


All the finalists had exceptional projects and initiatives, that have contributed to advancing the tourism

sector across the globe, and include projects from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, China, Colombia,

Croatia, Namibia, The Netherlands, Peru, Portugal, Tanzania and Turkey.

In the category in which Taste of Fethiye took part the winner was:

Visit Amsterdam, See Holland, Amsterdam Marketing (The Netherlands)

1st Runner Up: Taste of Fethiye, The Travel Foundation (Turkey)

1st Runner Up: Conserving Wildlife and Empowering Communities in Namibia, World Wildlife Fund for Nature (Namibia)

2nd Runner Up: Promotion of Local Culture in the Sundarbans Impact Zone in Bangladesh through Cultural Ecotourism and Entrepreneurship, Relief International – UK (Bangladesh)