2008 Skål International Ecotourism Awards
Following the evident effects of climate changes on the environment, Skål International is even more aware of the need to continue its efforts to create awareness for sustainable and responsible development in tourism and to this end continues to support initiatives around the world.
The 2008 Awards, sponsored by Johnson Diversey, Evian Water and Iznik Foundation, will be presented in Taipei on 13 October 2008 during the Opening Ceremony of the 69th Skål World Congress by the President of Skål International Philip Sims.
Skål, founded as an international association in 1934, is the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world, embracing all sectors of the tourism industry from hoteliers to travel agents, to airlines, tourism media, tourism students and similar. Skål, with 22,000 members is active in 90 countries and in almost 500 locations worldwide.
Skål International is an Affiliate Member of the United Nations World Tourism Organisation whose mission is to promote the development of responsible, sustainable and universally-accessible tourism. Skål International, in line with this vision and following the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains, launched the Ecotourism Awards in the same year and the first awards were presented during the World Congress in Cairns in 2002.
Skål, as an international organisation of industry leaders, is a powerful force in the travel and tourism industry to initiate change and encourage the conservation of the environment in order to promote tourism and travel. The awards presented on these grounds, while highlighting best practices in tourism around the world, also serve the purpose of acquainting the world with this new concept that puts emphasis on the importance of the interaction of the physical, cultural and social environment the traveller’s responsibility and the need for active community participation for Ecotourism.
Skål values sustainable development in tourism as the key to the industry’s future success and considers Ecotourism but one area of the various components of sustainable development.
Awards are presented in seven different categories;
1. Tour Operators – Travel Agents
2. Accommodation providers of any size and category in:
2.1 urban areas
2.2 rural areas
4. General Countryside (Alpine Tourism, Underwater Projects, Beaches, Theme Parks, Scenic Mountains, Rivers, Lakes)
5. Cities–Villages (Community and Government Projects)
6. Educational Programmes – Media
7. Corporate /Global Establishments
The criteria for the evaluation are based on such points like contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability and innovation.
The evaluation of the entries are made by three independent judges from important Institutions/Organisations dealing with Eco and Sustainable tourism. The names of previous years’ judges can be found on the Skål website.
The names of the judges for each year are only announced during the Awards ceremony which take place at the Skål International Annual World Congresses attended by members from all around the world and dignitaries from the host country.
The impressive list of sponsors now include Johnson Diversey (www.johnsondiversey.com) who identifies its global mission as “to assume a green position supporting sustainability in terms of ecology, efficiency, low emissions, food and employee safety”.
Iznik Foundation (www.iznik.com.tr) for the fourth consecutive year will continue to sponsor the quartz trophies, specially designed for Skål International. Combining ecology with the unique art of Iznik (Ancient Nicea), the awards are a sign of preservation of natural resources and traditions and with their special characteristics they are specially chosen to emphasis the value of our global riches.
Evian (www.evian.com) continues to be one of the major sponsors of the Awards, completely coherent with their environmental commitment. DANONE Group identifies as one of its first responsibilities “to protect the area and the springs it manages”.
The deadline for entries is 30 June 2008
More information and an entry form can be found at www.skal.org www.skal.org/html/ecotourism/guidelines.asp
Skål International General Secretariat Edificio España Avenida Palma de Mallorca 15-1º 29620 Torremolinos - SPAIN Tel: +34 952 38 9111 www.skal.org e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org