Ecotourism Kenya together with her partners’ hosted the14th Edition of the Eco Warrior Award Ceremony & Gala Night on the theme – ‘Tourism Jobs and the Green Economy: A Better Future for All’ on Thursday 26th September 2019 at the Nairobi Serena Hotel. The theme had been drawn from UNWTO’S 2019 theme, it is in this regard that the event was scheduled on the eve of World Tourism Day.

Speaking at the colorful themed event – black with a touch of gold, the Cabinet Minister of Tourism and Wildlife Hon. Najib Balala was optimistic that the private sector in the tourism industry will take up the responsibility of the ban on single use plastics and implement it. The ban which was sensitized by His Excellency the president of Kenya, Uhuru Kenyatta on 5th June 2019, to eradicate single use plastics from our protected areas; beaches, national parks, forests and conservation areas effectively June 5th 2020.

 

Sustainable Development Goal 8 aims at empowering the livelihoods and prosperity in rural communities through providing access to decent employment and through reviving traditional local industries.” CS, Hon. Najib Balala.

 

 

He added that stakeholders involved should come up with innovative solutions and Eco-friendly alternatives to the single-use plastics.

 Over 250 guests from different walks of the tourism industry graced the occasion. Sectors like hotels, accommodation facilities, tour operators, travel agencies, government bodies and sustainability enthusiasts were all represented. After a successful nomination process 46 facilities had been longlisted to contest, this was later reduced to 27 shortlisted candidates that went through the judging process to have 10 winners, 9 runners –up and 1 overall winner.

 

 

Uniglobe Let’s Go Travel Leisure travel manager Ms. Angela Njehia receiving the overall winner trophy from CS Hon. Najib Balala(left), EK board chairman Dr. Christopher Gakahu(middle) and CEO AFEW Ms. Christine Odhiambo(right).

 

UNIGLOBE Let’s Go Travel emerged the overall winners of the night having scoped an award earlier as the 2019 Green Tourism Champion in Tour Operations. Other winners were:  Mugie Conservancy, Basecamp Explorer Kenya, Gamewatchers Porini, Lake Elementeita Serena Camp, Ngare Ndare Forest Trust, David Marenya, Kicheche Mara Camp, Sunworld Safaris, Kichwa Tembo and Mara Bush Camp. To see the break down categories and other runners –up click HERE.

On behalf of the Ecotourism Kenya Executive Committee, receive our sincerest gratitude for attending the 2019 Eco Warrior Award. We thank you for sparing time from your busy schedule to come and celebrate with us the Eco Warriors who continually champion for the actualization of Sustainable Development in Kenya.

We are grateful for your continued support and we are looking forward to hosting you again during the 15th edition of the Eco Warrior Award.

 

 

For further information about the Eco Warrior Award and/or Ecotourism Kenya contact:
Public Relations and Communication Officer
Email: pr@ecotourismkenya.org Website: www.ecotourismkenya.org
Phone: 0726366080

 

Theme: Tourism, Jobs and the Green Economy – A Better Future for All
(we shall post the images of the award gala dinner, soon)

Ecotourism Kenya has released the winners list for the 14th edition of the Eco Warrior Award that recognizes innovation and leadership in responsible tourism.  The winners consist of Kenyan tourism operators, accommodation facilities, community tourism enterprises, conservancies and individuals with initiatives that demonstrate a linkage and commitment to responsible tourism and that promotes the transition to a green economy.

Ecotourism Kenya members have been at the forefront of promoting a green economy through initiatives as energy efficiency, water efficiency and waste management including PET plastic bottles.  This year, the Eco Warrior Award theme and dates coincided with the UNWTO World Tourism Day 2019 celebrations being held today, the 27th of September in New Delhi, India.

Winners in the 6 categories were announced on Thursday 26th September 2019 in a red carpet Gala Dinner hosted by Ecotourism Kenya and partners at the new-look Nairobi Serena. The Gala Dinner which was held yesterday on the eve of the World Tourism Day was graced by Hon. Najib Balala EGH Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Tourism & Wildlife and other key industry players.

Winners list:

    1. 2019 Tourism and Green Jobs Eco Warrior – Sponsored by Kenya Utalii College – KUC

  • Mugie Conservancy – Winner
  • Peak East Africa – Runner- up 

   2. 2019 Social Impact Eco Warrior – Sponsored by Kenya Wildlife Trust – KWT

  • Basecamp Explorer Kenya – Winner
  • Gamewatchers Porini – Winner
  • Lake Elementeita Serena Camp – Winner
  • Ngare Ndare Forest Trust – Winner
  • Amboseli Serena Lodge – 1st Runner- up
  • Il Ngwesi Eco Lodge – 2nd Runner- up

   32019 Sustainable Tourism Change Makers – Sponsored by African Fund for Endangered Wildlife – AFEW Kenya

  • David Marenya – Winner
  • Rahmina Oyugi – Runner- up
 4. 2019 Green Tourism Champion in  Resource Use Efficiency- Sponsored by Kenya Tourism Board – KTB
  • Kicheche Mara Camp – Winner
  • Escapades – Kilima Camp – Runner- up

  5. 2019 Green Tourism Champion in Tour Operations – Sponsored by Kenya Association of Tour Operators – KATO

  • Sunworld Safaris – Winner
  • Let’s Go Travel – Uniglobe – Winner
  • Gamewatchers Safaris Ltd – Runner- up
  • Twiga Tours and Travel – Runner- up

   6. 2019 Green Tourism Champion in Minimization of Single Use Plastic – Sponsored by Tourism Fund – TF

  • Kichwa Tembo –  Winner
  • Mara Bush Camp – Winner
  • Safari Collection – Runner- up
  • Angama Mara – Runner- up

Read more about the Eco Warrior Award here.

National Steering Committee in session at the Nairobi City County Government Boardroom

Ecotourism Kenya has been partnering with National Environment Management Authority(NEMA) at various levels over the years. We had the opportunity to participate in the preparatory stage of this years’ World Environment Day which was a great success.

Ecotourism Kenya is a member of the National Steering Committee which organises the event. The theme for this year was “Air Pollution a silent killer” with the slogan “Clean Air Our, Responsibility” (“Hewa safi, Jukumu Letu”). The National celebration which was spearheaded jointly by NEMA and Nairobi County Government was held at the Railway Training Institute in Nairobi County on the 5th June 2019.

The day involved rallying the government, industries, communities and individuals to combat air pollution. According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) statistics, it is estimated that annually about 7 million people are adversely affected by both indoor and outdoor air pollution. The public were urged to stop using energy resources such as charcoal that contribute to emission of carbon into the atmosphere.

 

 

Ecotourism Kenya CEO Ms. Grace Nderitu playing golf at the golf tournament

 

 

 

Prior to the day and on the day of the event, various activities had been organised to encourage public awareness and action against air pollution. The activities included: environmental cleanups, tree planting, panel discussion, golf tournament, and online competition for children and youth in schools, Education for sustainable development model centres, Universities and TVET institutions.

We would like to thank the National Environment Management Authority for involving one of our officers in the National Steering Committee. Let’s strive to work and partner further together in matters environment.

 

Ecotourism Kenya PR Team

pr@ecotourismkenya.org

 

AquaVita has partnered with Ecotourism Kenya for this year’s Eco-warrior awards by being the sole provider of plastic-free water solutions. The awards which seek to recognize organizations, businesses, and individuals that are promoting green jobs and the green economy will be held on 26th September at the Nairobi Serena Hotel.

The partnership is aimed at raising awareness among the tourism industry stakeholders on the need to reduce plastic pollution, promote sustainability, conserve and protect the ecosystem. This is part of the wider efforts Ecotourism Kenya has been taking to manage and reduce the Industries environmental impact. “We are very happy with the steps Ecotourism Kenya has been taking to encourage sustainability in terms of tourism practices”, Barack Odhuno, COO Aquavita. “We are thrilled to continue this sustainability journey and help minimize the industries plastic footprint by providing alternatives to plastic bottles.”

The focus of the 2019 Eco Warrior Award is on four main categories that have been carefully selected to exemplify how tourism creates significant economic, environmental, social and cultural benefits on local people and places. The categories include:

  1. Change Makers Category- It involves actions, projects, initiatives, best practices or campaigns inclined towards promoting and influencing natural and cultural environment preservation, and restoration. The category is open to individuals may include Journalists, Safari guides, bloggers & students
  2. Green Tour Champions – Involves a demonstration of best practices in responsible production and consumption of resources linked to SDG 12
  3. Social impact Category – This category seeks to recognize tourism organizations that mobilize resources to eradicate poverty, implement social protection systems, support local community investments, enterprises and create jobs for local communities linked to SDG 1
  4. Promoting Decent Work & Reducing Inequalities at the workplace – This category is linked to SDG 8 and 10. It involves reducing inequalities (internally) within the business or organization by ensuring equal opportunities and promoting inclusive and sustainable economic growth, productive employment and decent work for all.

 Applications are now closed and the judging process is ongoing for long-listed applicants. Interested individuals can get their tickets for the Eco-warrior award gala dinner here

Link to AquaVita website HERE

 

 

The economic vision and strategy of Kenya to add value to our products and services, prioritizes tourism as one of the key sectors and growth drivers in the journey to 2030. As a result, Homestays have been identified to hold a great potential based on the niche products initiative. This is anchored on the fact that homestays serve as an alternative and affordable accommodation for any tourist interested in enjoying the experiential kind of immersion tourism.

Mr. Timothy Ouko – Director of Tourism Kisumu County addressing the stakeholders

On Friday 24th May 2019, about 50 stakeholders from the tourism industry gathered at Sarova Panafric Hotel in Nairobi to discuss 2 progressive documents whose development was informed by the recommendations expressed by stakeholders in 3 regional consultative forums  held  in November last year. Jointly organized by Ecotourism Kenya and KECOBAT, the workshop was to ensure stakeholders participated in shaping their views and position on the homestays licensing issue. The documents discussed comprised a comprehensive technical report and the policy position paper that shall further be used to influence the relevant government organs like Tourism Regulatory Authority and the County Governments to review the licensing requirements of homestays.

Gracing the occasion was a commendable number of County Government key tourism officials and representatives; a sign of government support and cooperation. The dialogue got even more exciting when Ms. Achie Alai (CEC Tourism Kisumu County) recommended and acknowledged the capability of Homestays in being alternative accommodation that shall be considered as Kisumu City gears towards hosting 10,000 strong delegates for the Africities Summit in November, 2021.

 

Ecotourism Kenya delights in being part of the team that well thought-out this worthy course to promote homestays as an innovative tourism product and it is our joy to continue promoting sustainable tourism practices through sustainable product diversification and innovation.


Compiled by: The Research and Advocacy Programs Team

programs@ecotourismkenya.org

<Promoting Innovation in Tourism Products Development through Advocacy Programs>

 

In the spirit of realizing the role of youths in promoting sustainability in tourism, the Standards and Best Practice Program of Ecotourism Kenya trained six students on the Travelife Certification for 2 days (13th and 14th May 2019). The selection and recruitment was done in collaboration with the Leadership and Mentorship Program of Ecotourism Kenya.

The students were given specific job descriptions and tasks pertaining to integrating sustainability in an organization. Completion of the Travelife Report to Partner level is one of the sustainability ambassador’s key deliverables.

The six have been placed as in-house sustainability ambassadors for host tour operators to support their engagement with Travelife and also get some industry experience. This initiative in line with GREENTOUR Project objective of integrating Sustainable Consumption and Production Practices within Kenya’s tour operators.

Ecotourism Kenya is glad to be part of team working tirelessly to promote sustainability in tourism and it shall be an honour to see the whole tourism industry in Kenya embrace responsible practices.

 

 

Compiled by: EK Project Team

programs@ecotourismkenya.org

 

Discussion on the Developed Policy Position Paper for the Review of Homestays Licensing Requirements in Kenya

Following extensive stakeholder engagements in November last year, Ecotourism Kenya and Kenya Community Based Tourism Network (KECOBAT) have organized a workshop to discuss the recommendations expressed by homestay operators during the regional consultative forums and wrap up the discussions. The process led to the development of a policy position paper that shall move us further to engage relevant government organs like the Tourism Regulatory Authority and County Governments to push for the review of licensing requirements for homestays.

The workshop shall take place in Nairobi on Friday 24th May, 2019. Any practicing homestay operator or stakeholder within Kenya’s tourism industry that may be interested in participating is encouraged to send us an email through programs@ecotourismkenya.org with a copy to info@kecobat.org by 4:00 pm on Monday 20th May 2019.

Below are some highlights of the 2018 Regional Forums:

Coast Region Forum held at Plaza Beach Hotel, Mombasa

Lake Victoria Basin Region Forum at Imperial Hotel, Kisumu

 

 

 

As we begin this Easter holiday, we wish to thank you for all the support you have accorded us. The celebrations of Easter are all about spreading love and happiness to your family and loved ones, May your hearts be filled with new hope and faith.

Please note our offices will remain closed from 19th April 2019 to 22nd April 2019.

Have a Happy Eco – Friendly Easter!