Sustainable tourism winners
THE four winners of the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards were announced at the summit in Florianópolis, Brazil.
Under the stewardship of the WTTC for the past five years, the awards programme recognises and promotes best practices in sustainable tourism development all over the world.
“For the first time, we have the airline sector represented, as well as micro-lending financial credit organisation, one of the world’s largest hotel groups, and a major Caribbean tourism destination,” he added.
The winners are, for the Destination Stewardship Award: Grupo PUNTACANA, Dominican Republic; Conservation Award: NatureAir, Costa Rica; Community Benefit Award: Zakoura Foundation for Micro-Credits, Morocco; Global Tourism Business Award: Marriott International, USA & Global.
Conservation award winner NatureAir was first ever airline to receive a Tourism for Tomorrow award. “The economic crisis is a wake up call,” the airline’s CEO Alex Khajavi told delegates. “We have to change the way that we do things ... NatureAir is the only company of its kind. We hoped that we would have more competitors in this field but this is sadly not yet the case.”
NatureAir was selected for its 100 per cent carbon neutral aviation programme that engages customers in a non-voluntary carbon offset scheme, and a commitment to fuel reduction in the air and on the ground.
Marriott International won the award because of its long term commitment to the natural world and the people living around its hotels as well as to its $2 million scheme to protect a large tract of the Amazon rainforest.
Zakoura Foundation for Micro-Credits is a Moroccan based not-for-profit organization aimed at fighting poverty and developing civic spirit through financial and non-financial programmes that specifically target vulnerable populations from both rural and urban areas who do not have access to conventional financial services.