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 Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia
Voted the Global Winner of 2003 British Airways
Tourism for Tomorrow Awards
December 3, 2003 - Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, beat more than 70 other entrants in the worldwide competition, which raises awareness of the world’s leading role models for responsible tourism.

The judges assess how projects benefit the local community, protect the natural and cultural heritage, control energy and water use, educate local people and visitors and contribute towards a better life for future generations.

Bunaken’s management has brought an end to damaging environmental practices in the park such as coral mining, mangrove cutting, and blast and cyanide fishing.  At the same time, it has helped improve livelihood opportunities for 30,000 local residents and made education a priority, through scholarship programmes and links with local schools and universities.

The marine park’s beaches have been cleaned and a joint patrol of villagers, rangers and police officers established to safeguard its valuable natural resources.   In the last two years live coral cover has increased in the park by more than11 per cent. 

Almost a third of the park’s entrance fees are used to fund conservation and development projects which are proposed and implemented by the community.  The local community has a strong input into the park’s management initiative, as five of its fifteen board members are local residents

Speaking about the global winner Professor David Bellamy, chairman of the judging panel said,  “Bunaken is what natural parks and nature based tourism are all about.   It is a biodiverse area of great beauty and importance to its nation and the world. 

“The park is sustainably managed by the local community, safeguarding their own heritage, a rich living resource which they can hand on to their children.  This Global winner is a perfect mix of national pride and tourism that doesn’t cost the earth more than it can afford.”

British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards

National parks and protected areas
Winner: Bunaken National Marine Park (Indonesia)
Highly Commended: Cousin Island Special Reserve, Nature Seychelles

Environmental Experience
Winner: Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk (Western Australia)
Highly Commended: P&O Australian Resorts Heron Island Junior Rangers Program; Ranweli Holiday Village, Sri Lanka

Winner: Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca (Costa Rica)
Highly Commended: Saunders Hotel Group, United States

Built Environment
No winner
Highly Commended: The Aga Khan cultural service for the Garnish Village project.

Tourism Organisation
Winner: ATG (UK)
Highly Commended: Community Tourism Project, Prainha do Canto Verde, Brazil.

Large scale Tourism
Winner: Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation
Highly Commended: Whistler Blackcomb Ski Area.

The awards were presented at a ceremony on December 2, at British Airways’ Headquarters.  The ceremony was hosted by British Airways’ chairman, Lord Marshall, and John Craven OBE.

The global winner was chosen from a shortlist of five category winners.  Entries are judged by an independent panel of leading environmental and conservation experts, including Professor David Bellamy, and Sir Crispin Tickell. 

Lord Marshall, chairman of British Airways announced a change to the awards programme,  which will in the future be managed and presented in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC). 

He said: “Over the years, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have clearly grown in stature.  From the beginning, the objective has been for the scheme to evolve in a way that would progressively increase scope, influence and effectiveness.

“Now, British Airways and WTTC will be working together to launch the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards into a new and exciting stage of development.”

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president, WTTC added: “Travel and tourism is one of the world’s largest contributors of wealth and prosperity, accounting for more than 198 million jobs worldwide. Furthermore, if developed and managed effectively, our industry can actually nurture cultural and natural environments across the planet.

“For the last 11 years, the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have led the field in promoting and encouraging sustainable tourism development.  WTTC is delighted to partner with British Airways, helping to raise the profile of Tourism for Tomorrow across all sectors of the industry worldwide.”

The new-look awards programme will be unveiled at the WTTC’s annual summit meeting in May 2004 and the first awards ceremony will take place at the WTTC summit in May 2005.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) is the forum for business leaders in the travel and tourism industry.  With chief executives from 100 of the world's leading travel and tourism companies as its members, WTTC has a unique mandate and overview on all matters related to travel and tourism.

British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow
Keelin Vaccaro
+ 44 (0) 20 8 738 5191
Also See: Caribbean Alliance for Sustainable Tourism (CAST) Resturctures; Reiterates Commitment to Ongoing Environmental Programs / June 2003

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