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National marine park in Indonesia voted global winner in British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards

Travel News Asia 3 December 2003

A national marine park in Indonesia has been voted the global winner of this years British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards.

Bunaken National Marine Park in North Sulawesi, Indonesia, beat more than 70 other entrants in the worldwide competition, which raises awareness of the worlds leading role models for responsible tourism.

The judges assess how projects benefit the local community, protect the natural and cultural heritage, control energy and water use, educate local people and visitors and contribute towards a better life for future generations.

Bunakens management has brought an end to damaging environmental practices in the park such as coral mining, mangrove cutting, and blast and cyanide fishing. At the same time, it has helped improve livelihood opportunities for 30,000 local residents and made education a priority, through scholarship programmes and links with local schools and universities.

The marine parks beaches have been cleaned and a joint patrol of villagers, rangers and police officers established to safeguard its valuable natural resources. In the last two years live coral cover has increased in the park by more than11 per cent. 

Almost a third of the parks entrance fees are used to fund conservation and development projects which are proposed and implemented by the community. The local community has a strong input into the parks management initiative, as five of its fifteen board members are local residents.

Speaking about the global winner Professor David Bellamy, chairman of the judging panel said, Bunaken is what natural parks and nature based tourism are all about. It is a biodiverse area of great beauty and importance to its nation and the world.

The park is sustainably managed by the local community, safeguarding their own heritage, a rich living resource which they can hand on to their children. This Global winner is a perfect mix of national pride and tourism that doesnt cost the earth more than it can afford.

Lord Marshall, chairman of British Airways announced a change to the awards programme, which will in the future be managed and presented in conjunction with the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

He said: Over the years, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have clearly grown in stature. From the beginning, the objective has been for the scheme to evolve in a way that would progressively increase scope, influence and effectiveness.

Now, British Airways and WTTC will be working together to launch the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards into a new and exciting stage of development.

Jean-Claude Baumgarten, president, WTTC added: Travel and tourism is one of the worlds largest contributors of wealth and prosperity, accounting for more than 198 million jobs worldwide. Furthermore, if developed and managed effectively, our industry can actually nurture cultural and natural environments across the planet.

For the last 11 years, the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow Awards have led the field in promoting and encouraging sustainable tourism development. WTTC is delighted to partner with British Airways, helping to raise the profile of Tourism for Tomorrow across all sectors of the industry worldwide.

The new-look awards programme will be unveiled at the WTTCs annual summit meeting in May 2004 and the first awards ceremony will take place at the WTTC summit in May 2005.

The full list of category winners and highly commended entries are:

National parks and protected areas

Winner: Bunaken National Marine Park (Indonesia)

Highly Commended: Cousin Island Special Reserve, Nature Seychelles

Environmental Experience

Winner: Valley of the Giants Treetop Walk (Western Australia)

Highly Commended: P&O Australian Resorts Heron Island Junior Rangers Program; Ranweli Holiday Village, Sri Lanka


Winner: Hotel Finca Rosa Blanca (Costa Rica)

Highly Commended: Saunders Hotel Group, United States

Built Environment

No winner

Highly Commended: The Aga Khan cultural service for the Garnish Village project.

Tourism Organisation

Winner: ATG (UK)

Highly Commended: Community Tourism Project, Prainha do Canto Verde, Brazil.

Large scale Tourism

Winner: Code of Conduct for the Protection of Children from Sexual Exploitation

Highly Commended: Whistler Blackcomb Ski Area

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