Today, Monday 7th September 2015, Wild Asia proudly revealed the winners of the ninth Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards. For the first time, the announcement and celebration was held at PATA Travel Mart, this year at Bangalore, India, and generously sponsored by World Nomads Travel Insurance.
The Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards are an opportunity for shining stars in sustainability to gain international recognition for their efforts to create better places to live and better places to visit. The Winners represent leadership in commitment to benefiting their local communities and natural environment, whilst providing authentic and meaningful travel experiences for visitors from around the world. The Awards are based in the Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, and all recipients go through an in-depth review and assessed by a panel of international travel industry experts.
The following collection of businesses and initiatives has social and environmental ethics at heart and range in sizes, locations, and age. Wild Asia shares these inspirational stories with an aim to create positive change in the tourism industry though business to business best practice.
Best in Community Engagement and Development
This award recognizes exceptional commitment to supporting the local community and economy in which your business operates.
Winner – Lanjia Lodge, Thailand
High on a hill in northern Thailand, Lanjia Lodge offers visitors intimate cultural experiences, whether a locally guided village tour, trek, or a boating excursion down the mighty Mekong and ensures the local communities are involved in all of their projects.
Finalists – Xintuo Ecotourism, China; CRDTours, Cambodia
Best in Protection of Natural Areas & Wildlife Conservation
This award recognizes tourism businesses’ consideration of their local environment and biodiversity by actively supporting and protecting their natural assets.
Winner – Gaya Island, Malaysia
Tucked along the coast of Malohom Bay, Gaya Island Resort integrates luxury and the natural world. Offering a set of “PURE Activities” guests can interact with the surrounding rare species of flora and fauna, facilitated by the resort’s resident naturalist.
Finalist – Club Med Cherating, Malaysia
Best in Resource Efficiency
This award recognizes excellence in waste, water and energy management and sustainable architectural design in order to minimize your business’s environmental impact.
Winner – Jetwing Yala, Sri Lanka
Boasting Sri Lanka’s largest privately owned solar installation, guests at Jetwing Yala can fully relax thanks to the resort’s commitment to renewable resources. Embarking on Jetwing Yala’s “Green Tour” gives guests a greater understanding of the resort’s environmental initiatives.
Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Operator
This award recognizes the tourism operator that excels by taking into consideration all the key principles of responsible tourism (maximum positive impacts to the local community and minimum negative impacts to the environment) and awards innovation for this most inspiring tourism business of the year.
Winner – Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Situated off the Indonesian coast Nikoi Island offers guests a private getaway and peace of mind thanks to their environmental initiatives. With the majority of the island left untouched, Nikoi gives guests an intimate introduction to the natural environment with activities such as kayaking, rock climbing, and trekking.
Finalists – El Nido Resorts, Philippines; Khiri Travel group, Thailand
Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Initiative
This award recognizes grass-roots initiatives championing responsible tourism within their destination.
Kinyei combines two initiatives, Kinyei Cafe and Soksabike to enrich their local community in Battambang. Soksabike gives tourists an off-the-beaten-path cycling experience while Kinyei Café provides vocational training opportunities for local youths and a refreshing break for the cyclists.
Finalists – CBT Vietnam, Vietnam; EXO Foundation, Cambodia