Skål Presents Sustainable Development in Tourism Awards

New York, NY (USA) - October 2, 2013 - For twelve consecutive years, the Skål International “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards were presented during the Opening Ceremony of the 74th Skål World Congress that, for the first time, is being held aboard a cruise departing from the Big Apple on 28th September and stopping in Boston, Portland, Halifax, St. John and New England.

The Awards Ceremony was held on 29th September 2013 and conducted by Mr. Nigel Pilkington, Director of Business Affairs of Skål International. The trophies and certificates were presented by the President of Skål International, Mr. Mok Singh, in conjunction with Vice-President Karine Coulanges.

Skål, founded in 1934, is the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world. To encourage the conservation of the environment and help to promote the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, Skål International initiated an awards program in 2002, during “The Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains” as declared by United Nations.

Since the launch of the awards in 2002, they have received strong ongoing support and attracted a high level of participation, with a total of 482 entrants. This year, a total of 26 projects, from 17 countries, have entered the eight different categories. Further information on the projects received:

Complete list of projects
Projects per countries and categories

As usual, Skål International selected the panel of three independent judges from important institutions/organisations or experts in Eco and Sustainable tourism, to make the evaluation of all the projects. The primary criteria for the evaluation is based on such points like, contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability and innovation.

Skål International wishes to express its gratitude to the three independent judges for accepting to carry on the evaluation and for the meticulous and laborious work conducted by: Mr. Ed Roberts, SEALED AIR, Regional Sustainability Director for Europe, Mr. Jack Soifer International Consultant and Editor, and Mr. John Gray, Owner John Gray’s Sea Canoe.

As part of the valuable partnership established with Skål, Diversey has generously produced the trophies and certificates presented to the winners. Diversey is a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions. It offers a total solutions approach to building care by combining chemicals, equipment, tools and services to improve customer operational efficiency. With application expertise ranging from kitchen hygiene and laundry to housekeeping, Diversey serves a broad range of industries including health care, retail, hospitality, food service, food and beverage and building service contractors (BSCs).

For third consecutive year, Diversey has presented a Special Recognition Award to one of the projects among the 26 competing in the 2013 edition of the Skål “Sustainable Development in Tourism” Awards. The “SKÅL Special Recognition by Diversey” shares its aim with the “Sustainable Development in Tourism Awards” (SDIT), and designed to acknowledge projects which are new and innovative, set up to transform the conventional understanding of sustainability to deliver a most efficient output, closer to the idea of "integrated bottom line" where business and environment, along with safety, risk management, and corporate responsibility is managed.

Daniel Dagget, Ph.D., Director, Product Stewardship and Sustainability attended the 74th Skal World Congress and provided valuable information about significance of sustainability in the tourism industry and presented the outstanding award to the business which excelled in sustainability.

The Diversey Special Recognition Award went to: HERITANCE KANDALAMA (Sri Lanka)
In the category of Tour Operators & Travel Agents: ANDULELA EXPERIENCE (South Africa)
In the category of Rural Accommodation: KINONDO KWETU TRUST (Kenya)
In the category of Urban Accommodation: Q STATION RETREAT (Australia)
In the category of General Countryside: ALLTOURNATIVE, ECOARCHAEOLOGICAL ADVENTURES (Mexico)
In the category of Cities & Villages: LOSINJ - ISLAND OF VITALITY (Croatia)
In the category of Transportation: MERMAID ELECTRIC BOATS (Thailand)
In the category of Major Tourist Attractions: THE GIANT'S CAUSEWAY (United Kingdom)

About Skål International:
Skål, an international association since 1934, is the largest organisation of travel and tourism professionals in the world. It is the only association which embraces all sectors of the travel and tourism industry, in five continents, 85 countries and at 450 locations, with close to 18,000 members from hoteliers to travel agents; airline, maritime, waterways, railway and coach transportation companies, tourism media, tourism academies and official tourism promotion bodies,
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