January 2016 – Wilderness Safaris is thrilled to announce that it has been selected as one of three finalists in the World Travel & Tourism Council’s (WTTC) 2016 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Environment category, for its ongoing commitment to sustainability and pioneering Botswana Rhino Conservation Programme.
Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to its 4Cs ethos (Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce) Pics: Black rhino reintroduced into the Delta; Solar panels at Mombo Camp; Children in the Wilderness Zimbabwe
“We are extremely proud to have made it through to the next phase of this esteemed awards programme, which recognises the vital importance of responsible ecotourism in securing a brighter future for highly threatened species. As Wilderness Safaris, we strongly believe that the long-term sustainability of travel and tourism in Africa is dependent on the protection of its spectacular biodiversity and sharing the benefits of ecotourism with rural people. Our ongoing rhino project is one of our finest examples of sustainable conservation in action”, says Wilderness Safaris CEO, Keith Vincent.
The Botswana Rhino Conservation Programme, which began as far back as 1999, is run in partnership with the Botswana Government and has seen the establishment of a very healthy white rhino population in the Okavango, as well as several complex and delicate black rhino translocations over the course of 2014 and 2015. The company is also deeply committed to its 4Cs ethos (Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce) and works extremely closely with its two independent NGOs, Children in the Wilderness and the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, to help use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards programme celebrates business leadership that works towards a more sustainable future by educating and inspiring governments, travellers and other tourism businesses. In particular, the Environment category recognises organisations and companies that have achieved environmental best practice through biodiversity conservation, protection of natural habitats and carbon footprint reduction.
The 2016 awards saw applications from 62 countries go through a rigorous three-stage judging process, with all submissions evaluated by a committee of independent expert judges against established sustainable tourism criteria.
Awards Lead Judge, Graham Miller, Professor of Sustainability in Business and Head of School of Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of Surrey, said: “This year’s finalists reflect the importance of knowledge in creating a more sustainable tourism industry. There is still no shortage of passion and determination to drive forward sustainability, but working smarter through networks, partnerships and high-level thinking mark the future for sustainable tourism”.
The next phase will see the on-site evaluation of each finalist by international sustainable tourism experts, following which the winners of each category will be chosen by a further panel of leading authorities. Winners will be announced during the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Ceremony at the 16th WTTC Global Summit in Dallas, Texas on the 7th of April 2016.
The 2016 shortlist has also been published on WTTC website and full list is available from here:http://www.wttc.org/tourism-for-tomorrow-awards/winners-and-finalists-2016/Ends