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Skål International Ecotourism Awards 2008

7th ECOTOURISM AWARDS
13th OCTOBER 2008
69TH SKÅL WORLD CONGRESS, TAIPEI, TAIWAN

Skål International Ecotourism Awards 2008

SKAL World Congress 2008 - Ecotourism Award Winners Photo GalleryPhoto Gallery >>


The 7 th Annual Skål International Ecotourism Awards were presented by the President of Skål International, Phillip Sims and Vice President, Media and Public Relations, Hulya Aslantas in the presence of the Minister of Communication and Transportation of R.O.C. Dr. C.K. Mao and Taipei City Mayor Mr. Lung Ping Haw, Madame Janice Lai, Director General of R.O.C Tourism Bureau, during the Opening Ceremony of the 69 th Skål World Congress held in Taipei, Taiwan on 13 th October 2008 at the TICC (Taipei International Convention Centre).

Skål, founded as an international association in 1934 is the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world, embracing all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, in five Continents, 90 Countries and at over 500 locations, with 20,000 members from hoteliers to travel agents, Airlines, tourism media, tourism academies etc.

Skål International is aiming at quality in tourism and values sustainable development in Tourism as the key to the industry's future success and considers Ecotourism but one area of the various components of sustainable development and responsible tourism.

To encourage the conservation of the environment and help to promote the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, Skål International initiated an awards program in 2002, during "The Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains" as declared by United Nations.

While the purpose of these awards was to highlight best practices in ecotourism around the world, they were also created with the aim of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment, the traveler's responsibility and the need for active community participation for Ecotourism.

In their seventh year the awards have received continued support worldwide and this year 54 entries were received originating from 23 Countries; nine from Asia, 18 from the Americas, 15 from Europe, seven from Africa and five from Oceania.

The Awards show the sensitivity and awareness of Skål International towards the protection of the environment in conjunction with sustainable tourism. Ecotourism, together with other alternative forms of tourism strengthens the local economies and contributes to sustainable development

The applications were evaluated by three independent judges and the scores given by each separately, are added up to find the winners. The primary criteria for the evaluation is based on such points like, contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability and innovation.

Skål International is grateful for the meticulous work conducted by the three judges,

- Eugenio Yunis, from UNWTO,

- Natasha Pulitzer from Synergia sas, Italy

- Jack Sofier, Swedish Education and Consulting, Portugal

Iznik Foundation (www.iznik.com.tr) continued for the forth year to be the sponsor of the quartz trophies they have specially designed for Skål International. Combining ecology with the unique art of Iznik (Ancient Nicea); the awards are a sign of preservation of natural sources and traditions and with their special characteristics they are specially chosen to emphasize the value of our global riches.

Main sponsors Evian (www.evian.com) of Danone group, coherent with their environmental commitment identifies as one of their first responsibilities to be to protect the springs they manageand contribute to the preservation of the natural and rural environment. Danone group also owns two hotel properties in Evian and supports environmental friendly tourism.

Johnson Diversey (www.johnsondiversey.com) whose global mission assumes a green position that supports sustainability in terms of Ecology, Efficiency, Low Emissions, Food and Employee safety, has joined the impressive list of sponsors. The products they create and the methods they use are all aimed at making our world a safer and cleaner place.

The winners are announced as follows:

1. In the category of Tour Operators and Travel Agents:


NORTHERN SOUL WILDERNESS ADVENTURES, CANADA

2. In the category of Urban Accommodation:


THE PEFKOS BEACH HOTEL. SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND THE ENVIRONMENT, GREECE

3. In the category of Rural Accommodation:


BUILDING LIVELIHOOD & ECO TAJ, INDIA

4. In the category of Transportation:


NATURAL HISTORY BY SEA KAYAK, THAILAND

5. In the category of General Countryside:


LESVOS PETRIFIED FOREST GEOPARK, GREECE

6. In the category of City and Villages:


THE ORANGE FLAG PROGRAMME: A QUALITY LABEL FOR SUSTAINABLE TOURISM AND ENVIRONMENT, ITALY

7. In the category of Educational Programmes - Media:


EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMMES OF THE GEOPARK NATURTEJO MESETA MERIDIONAL - UNESCO EUROPEAN AND GLOBAL GEOPARK, PORTUGAL

8. In the category of Global Corporate Establishment:


GLOBAL TOURISM BUSINESS, KENYA
 



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