Kenya celebrated the 2017 UNWTO World Tourism Day on 27th September 2017 by showcasing the innovative leaders in sustainable tourism that were recognized in an Eco Warrior Award Gala dinner theme Magical Night Experience. The dinner was hosted by the Ministry of Tourism at the Radisson Blu, Nairobi, in an event that was graced by Hon. CS Najib Balala EGH, Tourism Cabinet Secretary, Fatuma Hirsi Mohamed CBS, Principal Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, Ecotourism Kenya Board members, Chairpersons of Tourism State Corporations and private sector among other invited guests, dignitaries and the tourism/conservation fraternity.
In line with the theme of the year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, “Sustainable tourism – a tool of development” the winners of the 12th Ecowarrior Award were recognized and celebrated for their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as demonstrated in their application and as assessed by the judges led by the responsible tourism expert Judy Kepher-Gona.
The following are the winners of the 2017 Eco Warrior Award:
- Overall winner: Ol Pejeta Conservancy
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy emerged the winner in SDG 8: Decent Work & Economic Growth which was sponsored and presented by Kenya Association of Tour Operators. Northern Rangelands Trust (NRT) came in second and in the third place was Sirikoi Lodge
- El Karama was the winner of SDG 12: Responsible Consumption and Production which was sponsored and presented by Tourism Finance Corporation (TFC). Rekero Camp in Maasai Mara was second and Kilima Camp clinched the third place.
- Campi ya Kanzi with 2 million carbon credits clinched this categories award under SDG 13: on Climate Action. The award was sponsored and presented by Kenya Wildlife Trust. In second place was Tawi Lodge for their innovative use of renewable energy (Solar). Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge took the third place.
- Serena Beach Resort & Spa took a tight grip on the category of SDG 14: Life below Water. The team at Ecotourism Kenya had the honors of sponsoring as well as presenting this award.
- Ol Pejeta Conservancy for the second time took home the award for the category under SDG 15: Life on Land. This category was sponsored by Kenya Wildlife Conservancies Association (KWCA). Safari Link Aviation took second place followed by Gamewatchers Safaris in the third place
- Lets’ Go Travel emerged winner for supporting communities realize the benefits under SDG 4: Quality Education. Tourism Fund was the sponsors of this category.
- Air Kenya Express Ltd followed in second place and Kenyatta University was recognized in third place.
- Turtle Bay emerged a winner for implementing SDG 3: Good Health & Well Being. The category was sponsored and presented by SATIB-Laison Group. The 1st runners up were Amboseli Institute of Technology
- Paul Kirui took away the trophy for exemplary work in implementing SDG 15: Life on Land in the individual category. He is a celebrated tour guide and African Fund for Endangered Wildlife (AFEW) was very pleased to be the sponsor for this category.
To get an actual taste of what went down last night, follow this link to our website for images.
The Eco Warrior Award is an annual event hosted by Ecotourism Kenya. With the aim to celebrate ecotourism best practices in different tourism sectors and tourism set ups in Kenya it was an amazing experience to receive applications that showcased effort in the localization of the SDGs.
Ecotourism Kenya and this year’s sponsors appreciate and acknowledge the great work the tourism industry is doing for the economy and people of Kenya because when we all pull together for conservation, communities and tourism, everyone becomes a winner.