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2nd skal international ecotourism awards

The 64th Skal World Congress was held in Chennai, India from 19th to 24th October 2003. During the Open Ceremony of the Congress held at the Chennai Trade Centre on 20th October the…

The 64th Skal World Congress was held in Chennai, India from 19th to 24th October 2003. During the Open Ceremony of the Congress held at the Chennai Trade Centre on 20th October the 2nd Skal International Ecotourism Awards were presented by the President of Skal International Mary Bennett. The Director responsible for the awards is Litsa Papathanassi.

The President referred to the decision of Skal International to launch these annual Ecotourism Awards, which began in 2002, the year declared by the United Nations as the year of Ecotourism and the Mountains.

The Ecotourism Awards affords an opportunity for Skal to act in Unison on an International level, expanding the network and creating more possibilities for its members to do business with each other based on the fundamental element of Skal “friendship”. The awards also show Skal’s sensitivity and awareness for the protection of the environment in conjunction with sustainable tourism. Ecotourism together with other alternative forms of Tourism strengthens the local economies and contributes to sustainable development.

Mary Bennett pointed out that apart from the winners, Skal equally values the participation of all entries. This year the number of participants was 53 from 24 countries, 11 more than in 2002 which is a 26% increase. The success of last year resulted in the sponsorship of the awards by the Greek Ministry of Environment and the Municipality of Rhodes.

The Winners from the four Categories are:

1) Travel and Tourism Providers – The Project “Studioses” Tour Operator Neckerman -Germany

2) Smaller enterprises “Milia” A hotel in a form of traditional village – Greece

3) Community, Governmental Projects- “Reserva Maquipucuna” – Ecuador

4) Educational Programmes “Bugday” Magazine -Turkey

The judges also cited two of the entries for mention and two Special Awards under the General Area Countryside were presented to:

“The Lycian Way”- Turkey

“Spier”- South Africa.

The trophies, specially designed for and produced by the Municipality of Rhodes, Greece, were presented by President Mary Bennett to the winners. Two trophies were also presented to the two international judges, Bjorn Guterstam, Sweden and Michalis Skourtos, Greece.

The President of Skal International Mary Bennett thanked the winners the participants, the Judges, Director for Ecotourism Litsa Papathanassi and all those who had helped with Awards.

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