Kuala Lumpur, 29 October 2010. Wild Asia announces the winners for the 5th Responsible Tourism Awards 2010 from Thailand, Indonesia and Sri Lanka at ITB Asia. After months of short-listing the finalists and making site visits to the final six properties and tour operators, Wild Asia’s judging panel has finally selected its 2010 RT Awards winners.
Soneva Gili, Six Senses Spa
Operators such as Heritance Kandalama (Sri Lanka), Sarinbuana Ecolodge (Indonesia), and Andaman Discoveries (Thailand) have surpassed judges’ expectations by scoring high against the Awards checklist and are this year’s award winners for the following categories of accommodation operators respectively – large; mid-sized to small; and tour operators.
Every year the Wild Asia judging panel reviews submitted checklists (based on the UNWTO Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria) from operators throughout Asia. Two finalists for each category are shortlisted based on some of the following criteria:
- Involvement of guests – how much does the operators involve their guests in their RT practices?
- Internalisation - how much is sustainability part of the day-to-day operations?
- Reach – how far are these ideas and practices shared across the destination or even the industry?
- Continual Improvement – how do the operators strive to improve their RT efforts?
Understanding and internalising the essence of responsible tourism, these operators are catalysts for positive change within their sphere of influence, inspiring others to embark on the green journey while at the same time, still affording customers with the memorable holiday experience the travel for in the first place.
Mr. Jeevaka Weerakone, general manager of Heritance Kandalama noted that “it is a great honour to receive the Awards and will continually raise the game in making Heritance Kandalama an example in Sri Lanka and to the world, at the same time a learning center for responsible tourism.”
Norm vant Hoff, owner of Sarinbuana Ecolodge, the winner of the small to mid-sized to small accommodation category expressed that, “winning the Awards has helped us increase our profile thereby bringing in more conscious travelers and increasing revenue streams for the local community.”
Wild Asia would like to congratulate winners and finalists for their commendable efforts and commitment in achieving high standards of environmental protection and social responsibility that form the critical pillars of their business philosophy.
Wild Asia’s 2010 Responsible Tourism Awards Finalists:
Frangipani Langkawi Resort (Langkawi, Malaysia)
Frangipani Langkawi is dedicated to get guests and staff involved in their RT practices. The operation is involved in a range of innovative environmental activities that promote conservation. They are determined to raise awareness of RT and inspire others to incorporate green practices as well.
Heritance Kandalama (Dambulla, Sri Lanka)
Heritance Kandalama has a unique architectural design which blends the hotel into the natural surroundings and maximizes natural light in order to reduce energy use. The entire hotel is built on a raised platform allowing water to flow under the hotel. It also allows the free flow of animals under the hotel, leaving minimum impact on the eco system.
Small to Mid-size accommodation
Sarinbuana Ecolodge (Bali, Indonesia)
Sarinbuana Ecolodge is dedicated to conserve their surrounding environment and empower local communities. They aim for the highest standards of sustainability in every aspect of their business. Their bungalows use sustainable local materials and have a low impact on the environment. The ecolodge supports a wide variety of local businesses and uses natural and biodegradable products on site.
Soneva Gili (Lankanfushi Island, Maldives)
Soneva Gili focuses on the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, conserving natural resources and effectively managing energy and waste using an array of technological innovations. The operation uses sustainable building materials and climate-friendly designs.
Andaman Discoveries (Phang Nga, Thailand)
Andaman Discoveries strongly believes in community leadership and allows for the participation of local communities in every aspect of planning through open dialogue. They promote respectful interaction between visitors and local communities, and ensure direct economic benefits to the communities.
Pepy Tours (Siem Reap, Cambodia)
Pepy Tours believes tours should be adventurous, educational and responsible at the same time. They focus on providing economic benefits to the local communities through a variety of educational, volunteer and tour programs. Through their unique bicycle tours, they expose travellers to inspiring people and programs throughout Cambodia.
Source: Wild Asia