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Pan Park Foundation launches first travel guide of Europe’s wilderness series

PAN Parks Foundation, the leading organization for protecting Europe’s last remaining wilderness, has recently launched the first travel guide of Europe’s wilderness series. In the first volume, the Foundation presents two national parks from its network – Majella National Park (Italy) and Peneda-Geres (Portugal). Between June 4-6, 2013, the travel guide (eBook format) can be downloaded for free from Amazon.

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SOST signs media partnership agreement with The International Ecotourism Society (TIES)

We are pleased to announce that SOST has signed a media partnership agreement with The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) for the Ecotourism and Sustainable Tourism Conference 2013 to be held in Nairobi, Kenya, from September 24-27, 2013. Organized by TIES and co-hosted by Kenya Tourist Board and the African Wildlife Foundation, the ESTC13 will highlight best practice examples and industry case studies addressing social, economic and environmental sustainability.

In its seventh year, as a leading platform for industry stakeholders engaged in ecotourism and sustainable tourism, the ESTC aims to strengthen commitment to the recent UN resolution, “Promotion of ecotourism for poverty eradication and environment protection”, which recognizes tourism’s role in sustainable community development efforts.

In honor of the UN International Year of Water Cooperation and of World Tourism Day to be celebrated on 27 September on the theme of “Tourism and Water – Protecting Our Common Future”, the ESTC13 program will also highlight the opportunities for tourism to promote sustainable water management, support education and cooperation around issues related to water, and improve access to safe drinking water in communities around the world.

The conference will bring together 500+ experts, industry leaders and community stakeholders.
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SOST signs media partnership agreement with Wild Asia 

We are pleased to announce that SOST has signed a media partnership agreement with Wild Asia for its 2013 Responsible Tourism Awards, one of the first tourism awards in Asia specifically focused on sustainable tourism best practices.

Launched in 2006, the Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards are back for 2013 with an extended selection of categories to honour innovative businesses that have excelled through the practice of responsible tourism.
Now in their seventh year, the Awards are open to accommodation and tour operator businesses across Asia in all shapes and sizes, budgets and locations.

Grounded in the UN World Tourism Organization’s Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria, the Awards have helped to shape international standards for environmentally and socially sound tourism. The Wild Asia Awards remain the only Asia wide awards committed to recognizing sustainable tourism and to date have seen more than two hundred entries.

Rewarding Responsible Practices
For Finalists of the Responsible Tourism Awards, the accolade and recognition validates business’s efforts in responsible tourism. The Awards give these enterprises an international platform to showcase their achievements in environmental best practices and support for local communities, demonstrating to the world that their businesses care.

The 2013 Awards’ Winners will be announced at Asia’s biggest business-to-business travel trade show ITB Asia in Singapore this October, as part of the international responsible tourism networking events.

Transparent Judging
Each year, Wild Asia works to improve the judging and transparency of the Awards. As a result, the 2013 Awards see an exciting international panel of judges, all with a minimum of 10 years responsible tourism experience from all corners of Asia. The 2013 Panel includes representatives from prestigious platforms such as the International Ecotourism Society, the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, Sustainable Travel International, and PATA.

Furthermore, each one of our Finalists will undergo rigorous judging and have a full report published on the Wild Asia website highlighting their achievements and why they were selected. These insightful reports will act as practical tools for inspiring other tourism operators to adopt their methods of best practice.

2013 Categories

Best in Community Engagement and Development
This award recognizes exceptional commitment to supporting the local community and economy in which your business operates.

Best in Cultural Preservation
This award recognizes engagement and efforts by tourism businesses in preserving, enhancing and promoting local cultures and heritage.

Best in Protection of Natural Areas and/or Wildlife Conservation
This award recognizes tourism businesses’ consideration of their local environment and biodiversity by actively supporting and protecting their natural assets.

Best in Resource Efficiency
This award recognizes excellence in waste, water and energy management and sustainable architectural design in order to minimize your business’s environmental impact.

Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Accommodation Provider
This award recognizes the accommodation provider that excels in all of the above categories by taking into consideration all the key principles of responsible tourism (maximum positive impacts to the local community and minimum negative impacts to the environment) and awards innovation for this most inspiring accommodation of the year.

Most Inspiring Responsible Tour Operator (NEW)
This award recognizes the tour operator that excels in all of the above categories by taking into consideration all the key principles of responsible tourism (maximum positive impacts to the local community and minimum negative impacts to the environment) and awards innovation for this most inspiring responsible tourism business of the year.

Already, over 400 downloads on application forms in the first 3 weeks; applications received from India, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam! If you believe you should be rewarded because you are making a difference, download your application form from the Wild Asia website tourism.wildasia.org, to get the international recognition you deserve. Deadline: May 23, 2013