The 2019 Travel Daily Sustainability Summit award recipients for excellence through sustainability.
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Culture & Communities
Intrepid Travel has won this award for its Myaing Community Based Tourism initiative, a pioneering tourism enterprise in Myanmar created in partnership with Action Aid. The program gives villagers near Myaing the opportunity to earn an alternative income and grow as a community while giving travellers a genuine rural Burmese experience. Intrepid helped develop local traditional accommodation in partnership with the community, and the program is a best-practice template for the creation of six similar initiatives across the globe by 2020.
Accepted by, Brett Mitchell, Regional Director APAC, Intrepid Group
Best sustainable travel initiative – Airline
KLM Royal Dutch Airlines
KLM was one of the first airlines with a climate action plan which it launched in 2005. The carrier aims to have reduced its CO2 emissions by 50% per passenger kilometre by 2030 through initiatives including fleet renewal, lower fuel consumption, replacement of fossil fuels and compensation for CO2 emissions. All passengers can optionally fly CO2-neutrally and contribute to a reforestation project in Panama. And corporate clients can participate in the carrier’s Biofuel Programme which enables the airline to run flights on biofuels while corporate partners reduce the carbon footprint of their business travels.
Accepted by, Quentin Voss, Country Sales Manager, KLM
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Land, land-based supplier or hotel/resort
Nanuku Auberge Resort
Fiji’s Nanuku Auberge Resort operates a program called “Planet Auberge” reflecting a commitment to leadership in conservation, social and sustainable tourism. The comprehensive program has seen almost 9,000 mangrove trees planted, work on the maintenance of wildlife populations, the replacement of resort carts with bicycles, an on-site rice paddy, vegetable gardens and beehives, replacement of plastics and on-site waste treatment. The resort operates a host of community outreach programs and employs almost all local Fijian residents, with the overall strategy demonstrating a commitment to sustainable luxury to allow future generations to experience the same Fiji as visitors enjoy now.
Accepted by, Sarah Knight, Sarah Knight Consulting for Nanuku Auberge Resort
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Ecotourism
Hands On Journeys
Hands On Journeys aims to leave each place where it operates with more than it had when the company arrived, not less, through empowerment tourism initiatives. Projects have been developed in Fiji, Cambodia, Vietnam, India and Queensland, with the end goal of assisting local communities to build sustainable businesses that can be operated without external help. In 2018 Hands On Journeys trips injected almost $60,000 into local community projects while helping over 1,000 travellers connect to the locals through jewelry making classes, food carts, cooking classes and cultural interactions. Founder Simla Sooboodoo is looking at new projects in Mexico and Southern Africa, and has a vision to expand the concept of empowerment tourism across the wider travel industry.
Accepted by, Simla Sooboodoo, Founder Hands On Journeys
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – River or river-based cruise operator
Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection
Uniworld has pioneered a host of sustainable practices in the river cruise sector, leading the way five years ago with the creation of the widely adopted Sustainable River Cruise Guide which recommends best practices on energy consumption, solid waste, water and environmental management systems. Single use plastics have been removed from the fleet since 2013, while chemical waste has been reduced by 80% over the last two years. Simple innovations include removing paper maps from the lobbies of ships and replacing them with a single map that guests can photograph for navigation, which will have a significant annual impact on paper usage. Uniworld has partnered with innovative social enterprises in some of its destinations to connect guests with local life, and supports the TreadRight Foundation founded by parent company The Travel Corporation which has completed more than 40 projects benefiting the environment and local cultures.
Accepted by, Lina Trimarchi, Marketing Manager – Trade
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Coast, Coastal business or operation
Chiva-Som International Health Resorts
Chiva-Som, based in Hua Hin, Thailand, operates a host of initiatives in support of its principles of Quadruple Bottom Line of Corporate Responsibility, relating to its local environment, integrated stakeholder wellness, staff/community development and economic sustainability. In 2018 a six month renovation saw all staff continue to be employed and engage in initiatives in the local community, including the Krailart Niwate mangrove preservation project where the resort has funded a public boardwalk. Chiva Som organises the annual Hua Hin marathon, while resort staff have led medical missions to underprivileged villagers, and in-house physiotherapists provided treatments for monks at temples in the local community. Ongoing projects include the construction of a science education centre at the mangrove area, as well as the final phase of renovations this year which will once again see staff continued to be paid as they engage in sustainability initiatives during another six month shutdown.
Accepted by, Andrew Millmore, Director for Travel the World (representative for Chiva-Som)
Best sustainable travel or tourism initiative – Ocean or ocean-based cruise operator
PONANT Yacht Cruises and Expeditions
PONANT’s commitment to sustainability comes from the top, with the company’s CEO Jean Emmanuel Sauvee personally chairing monthly meetings of the cruise line’s Sustainable Development Steering Committee. Company-wide PONANT is implementing systems to reduce pollution and minimise environmental impact, including the complete elimination from January 2019 of heavy fuel oil. Itinerary development includes environmental and social impact assessments, and PONANT is working alongside the Aldabra Clean Up Project to eliminate tonnes of plastic waste washed up in the remote Aldabra atoll. Ongoing initiatives include active participation in a new sailing cruise-vessel project which will reduce energy consumption, and the new polar ship Commandant Charcot has a dedicated laboratory area set aside for environmental research.
Accepted by, Sarina Bratton, Chairman APAC PONANT