INCHEON & SEOUL, South Korea – For eleven consecutive years, the Skal International “Sustainable Development in Tourism” awards were presented during the Opening Ceremony of the 73rd Skal World Congress, which this year took place in the South Korean city of Incheon, on October 3, 2012 and was conducted by Skal member from Bangkok, Andrew Wood.
The trophies and certificates were presented by the President of Skal International, Enrique Quesada, in conjunction with Vice President Karine Coulanges.
Skal, founded in 1934, is the largest organization of travel and tourism professionals in the world. To encourage the conservation of the environment and help to promote the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, Skal International initiated an awards program in 2002, during “The Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains” as declared by the United Nations.
Since the launch of the awards in 2002, they have received strong ongoing support and attracted a high level of participation, with a total of 456 entrants. This year, they have received a total of 39 projects entering the 8 different categories. For a complete list of projects, go to http://skal.org/pdf/projects2012.pdf ; for projects per countries and categories, visit http://skal.org/pdf/countriescategories2012.pdf .
As usual, Skal International selected the panel of three independent judges from important institutions and organizations dealing with eco and sustainable tourism to make the evaluation of all the projects: Mr. Luigi Cabrini, UNWTO, Dierctor, Sustainable Development of Tourism; Mr. Ed Roberts, Sealed Air, Regional Sustainability Director for Europe; Mr. Mandip Singh Soin, IBEX Expeditions India, Founder & Managing Director. The primary criteria for the evaluation is based on such points as contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability, and innovation.
As part of the valuable partnership established with Skal, the company Diversey generously produced the trophies and certificates presented to the winners. Diversey is a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation, and hygiene solutions. Its products, systems, and expertise make food, drink, and facilities safer and more hygienic for,consumers and for building occupants. The company serves customers in the travel and lodging, building management, food service, retail, health care, and food and beverage industries.
For a second consecutive year, Diversey has presented a Special Recognition Award to one of the projects among the 39 competing in the Skal “Sustainable Development in Tourism” awards. According to Diversey, the project selected has gone beyond protecting and preserving while decisively transforming its business into a sustainable enterprise. Some representatives of Diversey attended the Opening Ceremony of the 73rd Skal World Congress: Mr. Nikhil Sawant, Regional Sector Marketing Director, Hospitality and Healthcare Asia, Middle East, Africa & Turkey; Mr. Stefan Phang, Director, Environment, Health, Safety & Sustainability; and Mr. KilMyung Maeng, Managing Director, Korea, who presented the Diversey Special Recognition Award and was a guest speaker at the ceremony.
The Diversey Special Recognition Award, handed out by Mr. KilMyung Maeng went to: Community-based Tourism at Lisu Lodge and Lanjia Lodge, submitted by Asian Oasis, Thailand.
WINNERS OF THE SKAL “SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT IN TOURISM” AWARDS:
Tour Operators & Travel Agents:
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
submitted by Borneo Eco Tours (MALAYSIA)
THE CHELI & PEACOCK COMMUNITY TRUST
submitted by Cheli & Peacock (KENYA)
SUSTAINABILITY AT HAIKKO MANOR
submitted by Hotel Haikko Manor & Spa (FINLAND)
HERITANCE TEA FACTORY
submitted by Heritance Tea Factory, Kandapola (SRI LANKA)
Cities & Villages:
UTHANDO (LOVE) SOUTH AFRICA
submitted by Uthando (Love) South Africa (SOUTH AFRICA)
Educational Programs & Media:
EU-SWITCH ASIA GREENING SRI LANKA HOTELS PROJECT
submitted by CCC Solutions (SRI LANKA)
THE GREEN CAB (SOUTH AFRICA)
submitted by The Green Cab (SOUTH AFRICA)
Major Tourist Attractions:
submitted by Calgary Tower Facilities Ltd & Sky 360 Restaurant (CANADA)