The reputed wildlife magazine of India, Sanctuary Asia Sanctuaryasia.com and nature tourism action charity had again come together to present the 3rd Sanctuary TOFTigers Wildlife Tourism Awards 2014. The motive was to acknowledge and reward those businesses, communities, service providers and individuals who were ushering others to the wildlife destinations of Indian Subcontinent.
Last week in New Delhi, the winners of the Sanctuary TOFTigers Wildlife Tourism Awards 2014 were declared at a high-profile event hosted at the British High Commissioner’s residence. Julian Matthews, the honorable Chairman of TOFTigers said, “It is the time to rejoice as the new government is concentrating on the tourism industry and the Ministry of Tourism has recently rolled out guidelines for Sustainable Tourism. All individuals, communities, parks & organizations helping in ensuring safety of forests, as well as travelers will become nature’s greatest advocates. Coming of age, nature tourism is not a niche industry anymore; it is a big and crucial element for funding & supporting conservation, for poverty alleviation and of the ‘Tiger brand’ that is India essentially.”
Matthews also added “As Ministry of Tourism has released Sustainable Tourism guidelines in August 2014, the tourism sector has the plan to sustainability, but a further vision will be required in addition to meticulous governance & monitoring. But what will be needed the most is the far more dedication of individuals, parks, businesses and various communities”.
Billy Arjan Singh Memorial Award for Wildlife Guide of the Year 2014 (prize money Rs 20,000)
Ramesh Suyal, Corbett, Uttarakhand – A passionate local guide who motivates visitors as well as different communities about wildlife and conservation. He advocates the need of Responsible Tourism, and has helped local drivers, guides and businesses in getting decent employment.
Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2014 (prize money Rs 25,000)
David Raju, Forsyth Lodge, Satpura, Madhya Pradesh – A well-published researcher in his specialist fields, he is regarded as one of the most zealous and inspiring Indian naturalists.
Visitor Friendly Wildlife Destination of the Year 2014 (prize money Rs 75,000-worth of kit or equipment to be used in tiger protection/conservation)
Satpura Tiger Reserve, Madhya Pradesh – Satpura has raised the bar in wildlife tourism sector. This tiger reserve plans for tourism early in its opening, partners with tourism owners and look for alternative activities besides the usual game drives. These game drives are canoeing, camping safaris and guided walks in some of the terrific landscapes of Central India.
Wildlife and Tourism Initiative of the Year 2014 (prize money Rs 50,000 towards equipment/services for the benefit of the destination/community)
SAI (Save Animals Initiative) Sanctuary, Karnataka – It is also known as Noah’s Ark; thanks to its biodiversity and the expansion of land from 55 acres in 1991 to over 300 acres today. This not-for-profit sanctuary not only offers protection to the fast waning of biodiversity in the Western Ghats, but also encourages visitors to value nature.
Wildlife Tourism Related Community Initiative of the Year 2014 (prize money Rs 50,000)
Corbett Foundation, Corbett, Kaziranga, Kanha, Bandhavgarh – It is an NGO founded by the owner of Infinity Resorts. This foundation revolves around wildlife conservation, forest dependent communities and environmental sustainability. Carrying its operations from Infinity’s premises in Corbett, Kanha, Bandhavgarh and Kaziranga, the Corbett Foundation has roped in over 350 small & large villages to bring new Ecotourism-related business and generate employment opportunities.
International Wildlife Tour Operator of the Year 2014
Wildlife Trails, UK – Functioning closely with its own NGO, the Tiger Trails Foundation, it stands in support for communities around Ranthambhore and works with expert local guides. Wildlife Trails is immensely appreciated for its attention to detail and local knowledge in organizing tours.
Wildlife Promotion Company of the Year 2014
Pugdundee Safaris – From the day of its foundation, Pugdundee Safaris has been circling around developing a strong Sustainable Tourism foundation. Leveraging its five lodge operations in Madhya Pradesh and a team of over 150 people, it has gained expertise in wildlife camping and safaris into buffer zones. Further, it has been also supporting long-term research through its dedicated Conservation Cell into buffer forest restoration between Panna and Bandhavgarh.
The John Wakefield Memorial Award for Most Inspirational Eco Lodge of the Year 2014
This award has been given to two hotels, which are:
The Aims Behind Presenting These Awards Were –
Tour My India congratulates all the winners of Sanctuaries TOFTigers Wildife Tourism Awards 2014.