SOUTHAMPTON, Bermuda (April 5, 2011) – Two initiatives emanating from two ends of the sustainable tourism development spectrum share the CTO/TravelMole award for environmental excellence.
Barbados’ Harrison’s Cave and Surama Village Eco-Lodge of Guyana are the winners of the 2011 Caribbean Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award, presented by the Caribbean Tourism Organization, in collaboration with TravelMole.
A panel of regional and international tourism and environmental specialists – led by the head judge, Lelei LeLaulu, president of the global development agency, Counterpart International – selected the winning projects, and the awards were presented at STC-12 here today.
Harrison’s Cave won for taking what was already a mature tourism attraction and upgrading it to make it more environmentally responsible and more economically productive. Green principles have been incorporated into the design and construction of the facility. Elements of greening include the use of natural wood and stone products, low carbon transportation, rainwater harvesting, green design for Visitor Reception Centre and the use of membrane bioreactor sewerage treatment plants.
Surama Village Eco-Lodge, on the other hand, harnesses the economic power of the visitor industry in a responsible and sustainable way to create wealth and to benefit the community of under 290 people and their environment. The Surama Eco-Lodge and all tours in and around Surama – a small Amerindian situated on five square miles of savannah land – are managed and operated solely by the local Makushi Amerindians. With only eight rooms, tourism is intentionally kept small to lessen any impact on traditional lifestyles. However, the roughly 700 annual visitors provide employment for 70 people – (from three-quarters of village households) and nearly 60 per cent of the village’s income comes from tourism.
“These two initiatives reflect two of the core aims of the CTO and TravelMole; namely to use tourism as an anti-poverty/development tool and to encourage the continuing refinement of products to ensure enhanced environmental conservation and added revenue generation,” said Mr. LeLaulu.
The CTO Secretary General Hugh Riley and Graham McKenzie of TravelMole presented awards to Ms. Veronica Millington of Caves of Barbados and Mr. Sydney Allicock of Surama Village Eco-Lodge.
The CTO/TravelMole awards are aimed at identifying, recognizing and showcasing sustainable tourism best practices in the Caribbean, which embrace sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and which helps to enhance the tourism product offerings.
TravelMole.com is the first online community for the Travel and Tourism Industry, established in 1998. Today TravelMole.com and TravelMole.TV publishes 15 eNewsletters and broadcasts hundreds of videos to over 450,000 travel & tourism industry professional registered members and subscribers, as well as 30 million consumers in 132 countries. This includes the highly acclaimed VISION on Sustainable Tourism publication.
Bermuda, just under two hours from the Northeastern U.S., stretches for 21 miles along turquoise waters and is surrounded by a 200-square-mile coral reef plateau. Bermuda’s accommodations range from luxury resorts to intimate guest cottages and family-run inns, all incorporating the sophistication and hospitality unique to the Bermuda experience. The island includes more than 150 restaurants to fit any traveler’s budget, from simple and inexpensive to elegant and special dining. Bermuda’s diverse activities offer an array of vacation options all year round, including more wreck dives than anywhere else in the world, championship golf, horseback riding, world-renowned deep sea fishing and smooth pink beaches to rest on by day’s end.
About the Caribbean Tourism Organization
The Caribbean Tourism Organization (CTO), with the headquarters in Barbados and marketing operations in New York and London, is the Caribbean’s tourism development agency and comprises membership of over 30 governments and a myriad of private sector entities.
The CTO’s mission is to provide to and through its members, the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people.
The organization provides specialized support and technical assistance to member countries in the areas of marketing, human resource development, research and statistics, information technology and sustainable tourism development. The CTO disseminates information on behalf of its member governments to consumers and the travel trade.
CTO Headquarters is located at One Financial Place, Collymore Rock, St, Michael, Barbados; Tel: (246) 427-5242; Fax: (246) 429-3065; E-mail: [email protected] For more information, please visit www.caribbeantravel.com or www.onecaribbean.org. Get the latest CTO updates on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ctotourism. Connect with CTO on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/CaribbeanTourismOrganization.
The CTO’s New York office is located at 80 Broad St., 32nd Floor, New York, NY 10004, USA: Tel: (212) 635-9530; Fax: (212) 635-9511; E-mail: [email protected]; CTO’s London office is located at The Quadrant, Richmond, Surrey TW9 1BP, England. Tel: 011 44 208 948 0057; Fax: 011 44 208 948 0067; E-mail: [email protected]