In search of responsible travel accommodations in the region, WILD ASIA short-listed eight candidates and sent its fact-finding teams out to select our winners for the 2009 Responsible Tourism Award.
In 2009 our Responsible Tourism Awards saw entries from across Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, India, Maldives and Indonesia. After 8 weeks of back-to-back site visits and comprehensive reporting, we are proud to highlight our 8 of the region’s leaders in responsible tourism.
Large to Mid-sized Accommodation Operators
WINNER: ITC Mughal, Agra, India
The ITC Mughal focuses on “made in India” as a brand infusing the Mughal-theme into the whole traveling experience: from food to design. Highly acclaimed in architecture, the hotel was awarded the prestigious Aga Kahn award in 1980. Guests’ experience of India is brought to life through genuine hospitality, culture and customs the staff at ITC share. The hotel’s commitment towards a greener environment is conveyed through programmes that engage their staff. The hotel’s goal is to be ‘water positive’ and ‘zero waste’.
FINALIST: Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa, Malaysia
Set amidst 25 acres of beautifully landscaped gardens on a peninsula surrounded by the waters of the South China Sea, Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort & Spa exudes the culture and heritage of Borneo through its architecture and design. The resort is committed to improve local environmental well-being and contribute to local communities through a range of philanthropic efforts. It adopts effective Environmental Management Systems which includes water and fuel conservation, efficient energy consumption, and proper waste management.
Mid-size to Small Accommodation Operators
WINNER: El Nido Resorts, Philippines
El Nido Resorts is a tropical hideaway set in a cove fringed by a lush forest overlooking majestic lime stones. The resort practices responsible tourism through their Quadruple Bottom Line (Environmental, Social, Financial and Employee Satisfaction) and partners with local communities, NGOs and the government to develop plans to protect natural assets and give back to the local community.
FINALIST: Soneva Fushi, Kunfunadhoo, Maldives
Soneva Fushi located on the privately owned, uninhibited, tropical paradise island of Kunfunadhoo offers guests the sophisticated Maldivian charm in complete luxury. The concept of ‘Intelligent Luxury’ is adopted throughout the resorts innovative architecture and infrastructure through energy efficiency, use of materials from certified sustainable sources, and production of renewable energy. The resort’s goal is to achieve ‘Zero Carbon’ by 2010.
FINALIST: Nikoi, Indonesia
Nikoi Island is a private-owned island amid azure blue waters, natural forest, shapely granite boulders, mangroves and coral reefs. The resort blends into its natural surroundings with villas designed for energy efficiency and built using locally-sourced materials to reduce carbon footprint involved in transportation. Nikoi is committed to preserving and supporting conservation and developing sustainable communities within its surroundings.
Community-Based Homestay Operators
WINNER: Sunderbans Jungle Camp, Bali Island, India
Sunderbans Jungle Camp (SJC) was developed to support poacher-turn-conservationists with a more responsible alternative livelihood through tourism. Guests emerge into the livelihood of the local community and stay in cottages constructed by local materials with mud-finishing complete with local straw thatch roof. SJC demonstrates that sustainable livelihood with minimal impact on the environment is possible through the engagement and involvement of the local communities.
FINALIST: Lamai Homestay, Amphur Bua Yai, Thailand
Lamai Homestay allows guests to truly experience the Isan way of life, the warmth of Thai villagers and indulge in the cuisine of north-eastern Thailand. The homestay contributes to sustainable economic growth without negatively impacting the community, the culture and biodiversity of the area. The local community provides tour services on a rotating basis, therefore allowing the financial benefits to be shared equally.
FINALIST: Andaman Discoveries, Thailand
Andaman Discoveries is one of North Andaman Tsunami Relief (NATR)’s on-going community-driven development projects. NATR is an independent, non profit organization that continues to provide assistance to tsunami-impacted coastal communities of the North Andaman. NATR has implemented over 120 projects in twelve villages, focusing on human needs and services. Explore diverse, pristine eco-systems such as taking a traditional long-tail boat through dense mangrove forests; hike through lush rainforests that are alive with the sounds of exotic wildlife or snorkel in clear, emerald-colored waters teeming with vibrant marine life.
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.
And our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation to Mariglo Laririt for accepting the award on behalf of El Nido Resorts, Gopinath Parayil for Sunderbans Jungle Camp, and to our sponsors, Malaysian Airlines, Keresa Plantations, CSR Asia, The Star, Sime Darby and Dot and Line Graphics for making this event a true success! We could not have done it without you.