New Award Will Honor Excellence in Ecotourism


Washington, DC - Conservation International (CI), a global leader in biodiversity conservation, is accepting nominations for the first annual CI Ecotourism Excellence Award. The award will honor both a company and an individual in the tourism industry who have made a significant contribution to biodiversity conservation, and whose actions can serve as a role model for others.

Through science, economics, policy and public awareness, CI protects global biological diversity, focusing on biodiversity hotspots, major tropical wilderness areas and key marine ecosystems. CI's approach balances conservation with the needs of local communities by creating economic alternatives to environmental destruction.

CI believes that ecotourism can be a promising tool for protecting the earth's endangered ecosystems. By recognizing those leaders who are succeeding at using ecotourism to protect their surroundings, CI hopes to inspire the broader tourism industry to take action to conserve the areas where they work. This award seeks to promote those companies and individuals that are truly the best in ecotourism.

Nominations are being accepted for two categories: company and individual. Those working in all geographic regions are invited to apply, however special consideration will be given to those working within the global biodiversity hotspots and wilderness areas, which are located primarily in the tropics. The nominees will be evaluated based on their commitment to conservation, environmental impact of their project, leadership, vision and innovation, and sensitivity to local environmental and cultural issues.

Award winners will be flown to Toronto, Canada and honored at an award ceremony at the Travel & Leisure Show, North America's leading travel trade show. The Award winners will be announced during the show, on April 28th, 2000. In addition to receiving media promotion, the winners will be featured prominently in the CI Guide to Ecotourism Excellence, to be distributed internationally.

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