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Recognizing Best Practices in Tourism Development, the
World Travel & Tourism Council Names 12 Finalists
for Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2005

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London - 18 February, 2005 - Today the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) announced the shortlist for the 2005 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.  The Awards, until last year under the auspices of British Airways, recognize and promote best practice in tourism development all over the world. 

The finalists were selected from over 90 applications from 30 countries representing the full spectrum of Travel & Tourism enterprises, large, medium and small. Mandip Singh-Soin, Founder & Managing Director of Ibex Expeditions in India and member of the finalists’ selection committee said, “The number of excellent applications submitted for review was inspiring.  I am delighted to be part of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards which will raise the profile of role-model companies and encourage others to follow suit.” Martha Honey, Executive Director of The International Ecotourism Society and also a member of the finalists’ selection committee added, “The entries received this year were of a particularly high standard which made the selection process very difficult. However, it is encouraging to see how many companies are committed to developing tourism in a responsible way all over the world”. The finalists for each of the four categories are, in alphabetical order:-
 

Destination Award

Chugchilán and Black Sheep Inn – Ecuador
The founders of Black Sheep Inn moved to Chugchilán, high in the rural Andes, in 1994 with the goal of creating an affordable sustainable tourist destination.  Before 1994, the village of Chugchilán was unknown by tourists, travellers, and agencies. Ten years later, Chugchilán has preserved its cultural charm and now has several small community businesses that profit from sustainable tourism. Guidebook Let's Go! Ecuador 2004 describes “The Latacunga Loop” with these words  “the tiny town of Chugchilán has seen more than its share of visitors in recent years. Part of this may be due to its oasis of idealism: the Black Sheep Inn”. Chugchilán has become a sustainable ecotourism destination that has positive impact on both the environment and local community. www.blacksheepinn.com

Jurassic Coast – United Kingdom
The Dorset and East Devon Coast World Heritage Site (popularly known as the Jurassic Coast) is situated on the south coast of England, and stretches from Exmouth in Devon to Studland Bay in Dorset.   Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in 2001, Jurassic Coast’s development has been a partnership between over 200 local, national and international stakeholders for more than.  A commitment to local community engagement combined with the recognition of the inherent value of the natural asset, and therefore its conservation, means that benefits from the 22 million staying and day visitors each year are reinvested in the local culture, society and environment. www.jurassiccoast.com

Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme – Lombok Indonesia
The Rinjani Trek spans the Gunung Rinjani National Park in Lombok, Indonesia linking the villages of Senaru, via the crater rim and crater lake, with Sembual Lawang.  Not only is it considered one of the best treks in South East Asia, the Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme is one of the world’s leading examples of how tourism can really benefit the communities and environments on which it depends. The Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme offers opportunities to guides, porters, handicraft makers, trail maintainers and many others while at the same time making sure that locals and visitors are fully aware of the value of their environment. www.lomboksumbawa.com/rinjani

Conservation Award

Cooperativa de Santa Lucia de Nanegal – Ecuador
Santa Lucia Cooperative owns 650 hectares of 80 primary cloud forest in a biodiversity hotspot in the Andean-Choco corridor in northwest Ecuador. This is a truly community driven project dedicated to preserving the environment while making a livelihood from it. The Cooperative depends on tourism to survive, but tourism in turn depends on the forest. Tourist facilities have therefore been developed with minimal impact on the environment and money generated from tourism is used for restoration, conservation monitoring and community projects.  This small-scale initiative is one of the world’s most successful models for conservation through tourism. www.santaluciaecuador.com

Damaraland Camp – Namibia
Damaraland Camp is located 90 kilometres inland from Namibia’s Skeleton Coast and integrates communities, the environment and wildlife.  The camp is located within the Torra Conservancy and enjoys the vistas across stark plains, ancient valleys and soaring peaks.  Damaraland Camp is one of Wilderness Safaris’ successful tourism and conservation partnerships and has resulted in a 72 000 hectare (180 000 acre) conservancy being proclaimed in what was barren countryside. Prior to Damaraland Camp’s construction, there were no environmental or poaching controls and the community had no sense of ownership.  Today, this area has been transformed; the wildlife numbers are climbing and the animal populations have doubled. www.wilderness-safaris.com 

Manda Wilderness Project (including Mchenga Nkwichi Lodge) - Mozambique
Mix a heady cocktail of sumptuous yet ‘responsible’ tourism, grassroots practical help for the war-weary people of Mozambique and a last chance to protect a pristine corner of real Africa  - and you have the Manda Wilderness Project. The Project protects one of Africa’s last true wildernesses, releases the true potential of an African community, and boosts the standards of international tourism.  Established in 1999 as a privately-funded company and community trust, the Project has worked alongside the local Nyanja people to carve out a huge conservation area along the shores of Lake Niassa (also known as Lake Malawi), build primary schools and roads, and create a successful luxury lodge dedicated to responsible tourism. www.mandawilderness.org 

Investor in People Award

Cook-up with Kamamma at Dreamcatcher - South Africa
Cook-up with Kamamma brings the benefits of tourism those who would otherwise not have access to the industry’s opportunities.  It is an exciting, participative and interactive cuisine experience, whereby ‘Kamamma’ (community matriach and entrepreneur), teaches visitors her culinary secrets at her community restaurant, and consists of 60 home-based catering businesses of women representative of the diverse indigenous cultures of South Africa.  Cook-up with Kamamma venues can be found on all the major tourist routes in South Africa, traversing approximately 2000 kilometers across both rural and urban areas, and is rapidly growing to be one of the country’s top tourism experiences. www.dreamcatcher.co.za 

Conservation Corporation Africa – Southern & Eastern Africa
Conservation Corporation Africa (CC Africa) is a pioneer in sustainable ecotourism, conservation development and community empowerment. The company was founded in 1990, with a strong corporate commitment to operating a successful high quality tourism business while contributing unprecedented time, passion and the resulting revenue to benefit rural communities in the areas in which they operate.  The 35 lodges and camps in 16 African wilderness highspots, Walking and Specialist Safaris, CC Africa Expeditions and tour-operations span eight African countries and provide employment for 1700 people – all ensuring the conservation of hundreds of thousands of hectares of wilderness land and the betterment of the lives of all who benefit there from. www.ccafrica.com 

Grupo Plan, Haciendas del Mundo Maya – Mexico
Grupo Plan is a Mexican development company that owns several luxury resorts in the Yucatan peninsula called "The Haciendas".  In their heyday of the 1920s, the haciendas were booming plantations which supported their local communities but by the 1990s they had been abandoned, leaving the communities in poverty.  Over the past years, the haciendas have been rebuilt by teams of specialist historians, architects, hoteliers, trainers and social workers to breathe life back into these communities.  Now, operated by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, under the brand of “The Luxury Collection”, the Haciendas are a succesful tourism business providing jobs, support and social welfare for the communities which surround them. www.haciendasmundomaya.com

Global Tourism Business Award

Casuarina Beach Club – Barbados
Casuarina Beach Club is a three -star hotel located on the south Coast of Barbados, in one of the busiest resorts in the South Caribbean. It’s beautiful 10-acre property is set in a “Tropical Forest” and is one of the few hotels in the Caribbean in its own ecosystem.  All aspects of Casuarina’s management are dedicated to ensuring the environmental, social and cultural sustainability of its surroundings.  All rooms are fitted with water and energy saving devices, staff are trained in all aspects of environmental management and guests are encouraged to participate in local community activities.  Within Barbados, Casuarina is already leading the way in environmental awareness, providing advice to other companies wishing to follow their example and working with the government to put in place ‘green’ policies. www.casuarina.com

Tiamo Resorts – Bahamas
Since commencing operations in 2001, Tiamo Resorts on South Andros Island has been a precursor for tourism businesses worldwide, representing a unique model for innovation in sustainable development, integrated resource management, and coastal development.  The vision of its founders has been to provide the best vacation experience possible, offering exceptional service, cuisine and accommodations to a limited number of guests in a pristine nature based environment.   A team of South Androsians manage guest services and operations, providing full service dining, daily maid service, guided snorkeling, kayaking, sailing and nature hikes.  By providing an informative and practical educational experience for visitors, the resort team hopes to instill an awareness and appreciation for the local ecosystems and the resorts efforts to maintain their pristine status. www.tiamoresorts.com

Xel Há – Mexico
Located in the heart of Mexico’s Mayan Riviera, Xel Há is a unique theme park that offers a fun-packed adventure holiday experience for visitors based on community involvement and environmental awareness.  Xel Há is a natural aquarium with 84 jungle hectares and water spots, unique in the world. The park’s guiding philosophy sustains that the care and respect for nature elevate the environmental consciousness of those who interact in it.  Different activities aimed at the regional educational institutions, at all their levels, encourage participation of community members. Xel Há finances scientific research in endangered species and promotes the harmonious development of Chemuyil city, where 60 per cent of the park’s collaborators work. www.xelha.com

During the next phase of the judging process, each finalist will be visited by a WTTC / Tourism for Tomorrow representative in person to ensure that the high standards outlined in initial applications are indeed being met in practice. The winners of each category, selected by the Panel of Judges, chaired by Costas Christ, CEO of Bar Harbor Maine Chamber of Commerce and an internationally recognized expert on sustainable tourism, will be announced during a special ceremony at the Gala Dinner of the 5th Global Travel & Tourism Summit in New Delhi, India on April 8.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President, WTTC said “WTTC is delighted to be presenting the 2005 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards during the Summit.  The theme for this year’s Summit is ‘Realizing the Potential’ and the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards will honour the destinations and organizations that are truly realizing the full social and economic potential of our industry.  It is particularly fitting that the Awards are taking place in India, one of the world’s fastest growing Travel & Tourism economies where the industry really does have the potential to create very many jobs, enhance livelihoods and help to protect a particularly wide variety of natural environments.”

The Finalists’ Selection Committee

Chairman: Costas Christ, CEO, Bar Harbor Maine Chamber of Commerce
Committee:
Raul Arias de Para, Owner, Canopy Towers, Panama
Tony Charters, Principal, Tony Charters & Associates, Australia
Loreto Duffy-Mayers, Environmental Manager, Casuarina Beach Club, Barbados
Oliver Hillel, Director, Palawan Sustainable Development Project, Philippines
Martha Honey, Executive Director, The International Ecotourism Society
Meitamai Ole Dapash, Founder / Executive Director, Masai Environment Resource Coalition (MERC)
Mandip Singh-Soin, Founder & Managing Director, Ibex Expeditions, India
Ary Suhandi, Executive Director, INDECON, Indonesia
Albert Teo, Managing Director, Borneo Eco Tours, Malaysia
Richard Weiss, Vice President, Walt Disney Imagineering, USA
Tensie Whelan, President, Rainforest Alliance, USA
Christopher Whinney, Managing Director, ATG Oxford, UK

About the World Travel & Tourism Council
The World Travel & Tourism Council is the global business leaders’ forum for Travel & Tourism. Its Members are Chairmen, Chief Executives and Presidents of the world’s most prominent Travel & Tourism organizations. It is the only body representing the private sector in all parts of the Travel & Tourism industry worldwide. 

 
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Contact:
Olivia Ruggles-Brise, 
Policy & Communications Co-ordinator
on + 44 (0) 20 7481 8007
olivia@wttc.org
www.tourismfortomorrow.com
Also See: Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia Voted the Global Winner of 2003 British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards / December 2003


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