• World Legacy Awards winners announced

    Ramesh Tiwari
    March 9, 2017
    World Legacy Awards winners announced

    News ITB Berlin —

    Berlin : Coinciding with the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development, the five winners of the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were announced  during an awards ceremony held at the Palais am Funkturm,Berlin.

    The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations – ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to entire countries – that are driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry.

    More than 100 entries, representing 45 countries across six continents, were submitted for these prestigious travel awards. An international panel of 26 judges coordinated by Costas Christ, a internationally recognized sustainable tourism expert and award-winning National Geographic travel writer, scored each entry according to globally recognized sustainable tourism criteria. All 15 finalists underwent a rigorous on-site inspection.

    The 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards winners and finalists are:

    Earth Changers – recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emission reduction.

    WINNER:

    Cayuga Collection, Costa Rica and Nicaragua — This innovative hotel collection combines state-of-the art sustainability with experiential travel at eight unique properties in Central America. Reduction and monitoring of energy, water, waste, composting, recycling, and other earth-friendly initiatives inspire staff and guests to make green practices part of their own lives. Innovative practices also include eliminating plastic waste (at Cayuga, even drinking straws are reusable bamboo), and guests join popular behind-the-scene tours to learn how sustainability directly touches their vacation experience.

    Finalists:

    • Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, Ecuador

    • ITC Hotels, India

    Sense of Place -recognizing excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

    WINNER:

    City of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA — If American pioneers from more than a century ago were to visit Santa Fe’s central plaza today, they would recognize it instantly. The oldest state capital in America considers safeguarding its rich heritage a duty and a passion. The historic downtown and surrounding area protect archaeological sites and cultural authenticity, including the Santa Fe Indian Market, now almost 100 years old and still going strong. Santa Fe’s annual festivals and events place Native American, Spanish, and Anglo heritage front and center, while strong sustainability initiatives also bring the past into the future.

    Finalists:

    • Adventure Canada, Canada

    • Awamaki, Peru

    Conserving the Natural World – Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.

    WINNER:

    North Island, Seychelles — With the Seychelles Islands known as the Galapagos of the East, this luxury eco-resort’s innovative Noah’s Ark project has successfully reintroduced some of the Seychelles’ rarest and most endangered species back to nature as part of their restoration of native habitat on the former plantation island. Biologists on site monitor all aspects of the island’s ecology, contributing to greater global understanding of migration patterns, sea temperatures, and the impacts of climate change in one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots.

    Finalists:

    • Mark Thornton Safaris, Tanzania

    • Misool, Indonesia

    Engaging Communities – recognizing direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education.

    WINNER:

    The Lodge at Chaa Creek, Belize – Belize’s pioneer jungle lodge demonstrates that putting local people first benefits employees, villagers, and its own bottom line. The Lodge provides economic benefits to community projects across the nation, directing 10 percent of all room revenue to support social and environmental programs. They offer annual training and workshops to promote career development, and sponsor an Environmental Outreach Program, a free Eco-Kids summer camp, and scholarships and internships for local students.

    Finalists:

    • Andaman Discoveries, Thailand

    • Chambok Community Based Eco-Tourism/Mlup Baitong, Cambodia

    Destination Leadership – recognizing destination leadership, including cities, provinces, states, countries and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local communities and educating travelers on the principles of sustainability.

    WINNER:

    Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenia — with nearly 60 percent of its land protected, the country of Slovenia has successfully laid the foundation to become one of the world’s most sustainable destinations. The Tourist Board unifies all stewardship initiatives through its Green Scheme, which sets guidelines and provides tools for monitoring sustainability progress, instilling a culture of continual improvement in the country’s tourism efforts based upon benefiting local communities, protecting cultural heritage and saving nature, including revitalizing rural areas and creating authentic travel experiences for visitors.

    Finalists:

    • The Riverwind Foundation/Jackson Hole Chamber of Commerce, Wyoming, USA

    • Segera Retreat, Kenya

    The sponsors of the World Legacy Awards are Adventure World and TreadRight Foundation. 

    March 8 , 2017

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      Kabul: Afghan security forces have regained control of Intercontinental Hotel, hours after the gunmen burst into the hotel shooting at guests and staff. At least five civilians were killed and six were injured in the siege. Three of the attackers have been killed and more than 150 guests were rescued. No group has said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban targeted the Intercontinental hotel in 2011.

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      2017 in review -Top stories

      January 1 : New year nightclub attack leaves 39 dead in Istanbul
      January 20 : Republican billionaire Donald Trump sworn in as 45th US president
      January 23 : Syria peace talks begin in Kazakh capital Astana
      March 29 :United Kingdom officially launches the Brexit process
      April 4 :Syria launches chemical attack killing 90 people
      April 6 : US cruise missiles destroy Syrian air base
      April 9 : Bombings at two churches in Egypt kill dozens
      April 16 : Refugee death toll passes 1,000 in Mediterranean
      April 16 :Turkey says YES to presidential system
      May 6 :Emmanuel Macron elected French president defeating Marine Le Pen
      May 19 :Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani wins re-election
      May 22 : Terrorist attack kills 22 at Manchester concert
      June 5 : Gulf nations severe ties with Qatar
      June 7 :Suicide bombers attack Iranian parliament killing 13 people
      June 14 :London fire kills 71 in the 24-storey Grenfell Tower
      July 4 :North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s missile ambitions
      July 28 : Pakistan’s top court disqualifies Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from office
      August 5 :US withdraws from Paris climate change pact
      August 17 :Storms cause record damage in Caribbean and southern United States
      August 25 :Muslim Rohingya start fleeing Rakhine state in Myanmar
      September 15 : NASA’s 13-year Saturn mission ends
      September 20 : Earthquake kills more than 200 in Mexico
      September 24 : Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel wins fourth term
      September 26 : Saudi Arabia lifts ban on women driving
      October 1 : Gunman opens fire on Las Vegas music festival killing 59 people
      October 14 : Massive bombing in Somalia’s capital Modadishu kill more than 500 people
      October 24 : China confirms the elevation of President Xi Jinping to the same status as the nation’s founder, Mao Zedong, and Deng Xiaoping, by enshrining ‘Xi Jinping thought’ in the party’s constitution at the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China
      October 27 : Catalonia declares independence from Spain
      November 4 : S audi Arabia detains 11 princes, four ministers and ten former ministers in a corruption probe
      November 12 : Iran-Iraq magnitude 7.3 earthquake kills more than 500
      November 15 : Argentine navy submarine disappears with 44 crew on board
      November 21 : Robert Mugabe resigns as Zimbabwe’s president after 37 years in power. His former deputy Emmerson Mnangagwa will become president.
      November 22 : Bosnian Serb army commander Ratko Mladic convicted of genocide in Srebrenica during the 1990s Bosnian War
      November 24 : Gunmen kill hundreds at Sinai mosque in Egypt
      December 4 : Houthi militants assassinate Yemen’s former President Ali Abdullah Saleh
      December 5 : Russia banned from 2018 Winter Olympics for state-sponsored doping
      December 6 : US President Donald Trump recognises Jerusalem as the capital of Israel
      December 17 : Price of one bitcoin reaches a new high of $19,783.06 dollars
      December 21 : Yemen’s cholera outbreak
      December 22 : Syria peace talks in Astana (compiled)

      Top ten most visited cities

      Between January and August 2017, destinations worldwide welcomed 901 million international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors), 56 million more than in the same period of 2016 .The top ten most visited cities are:
      CityVisitors
      HONG KONG26.6 million
      BANGKOK 21.2 million
      LONDON19.2 million
      SINGAPORE16.6 million
      MACAU15.4 million
      DUBAI14.9 million
      PARIS14.4 million
      NEW YORK12.7 million
      SHENZHEN12.6 million
      KUALA LUMPUR12.3 million

      Source: Euromonitor International

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