Winners of 2010 TOFT Wildlife Tourism Awards
The TOFT Wildlife Tourism Awards 2010 were a great success on the lawn of The British High Commissioners Residency in New Delhi on Thursday 30th September. A large gathering of the wildlife tourism trade members, together with a range of park managers, experts and conservationists gathered together to celebrate the first ever awards designed to highlight the very best operators, providers, experts and individuals making a difference in support Forest and Tiger conservation through the use of responsible and sustainable Wildlife Tourism.
The 2010 HSBC – TOFT Wildlife Tourism Awards are intended to:
- Highlight the important work being done by the tourism industry in support of tiger and forest conservation
- Increase awareness of responsible tourism as a force in conservation and habitat renewal
- Reward and encourage best practice operations
- Encourage sustainability in tourism enterprises
- Promote community enterprises and initiatives around Tiger Parks.
Click here to view the TOFT Awards 2010 Press Release
The Winners and Runners up in each Award Categories for 2010 are:-
Lodge Naturalist of the Year 2010
(The Award includes a prize of INR 15,000) Award sponsored by Abercrombie & Kent India
WINNER: Kartikeya Singh Chauhan - Mahua Kothi, Bandhavgarh, MP
The judges commented: Kartikeya is an exceptionally gifted naturalist and biologist, one in which any lodge would be privileged to have. Even though he is quietly spoken, he is often assigned as the guide to special visitors to the Tajsafaris lodge from where he operates.
JOINT RUNNERS UP: Jagat Narain Chaturvedi – Tiger’s Den Resort, Bandhavgarh – MP
The Billy Arjun Singh Memorial Award for best Wildlife Guide of the Year 2010
(The Award includes a prize of INR 15,000) Award sponsored by Greaves Travel of UK, US & India
WINNER: Rajesh Kumar Dwivedi, Bandhavgarh, MP
Judges Comments: Rajesh is his own man and is a forceful representative for the park and his community. He is tenacious in seeking the truth of what is happening in ‘his’ park, taking the authorities in court in one poaching cover up in 2000. He won the case and was reinstated as a guide. This tenacity apart, he is a very good naturalist, well liked amongst his colleagues, always leads by example, is knowledgeable and still by the gate each day to take visitors through the park. He is today the embodiment of what a park guide should be.
JOINT RUNNERS UP: Mujibur Rehman (Salim Ali) , Ranthambhore, Rajasthan
The John Wakefield Memorial Award for most Inspirational Eco Lodge of the Year 2010
Award sponsored by Polar Quest of Sweden
WINNER: Camp Forktail Corbett - Utterakhand
Ritish and Minakshi pioneered a great approach to their lodge, with their simplistic, personally run mud hut and tented camp over eight year ago. The whole concept of design, wildlife friendliness and involvement with their local community can be seen and felt as soon as you come into camp.
Visitor Friendly Wildlife Destination of the Year 2010
(The Award includes a prize of INR 50,000 worth of equipment to be used in tiger protection/conservation) HIGHLY COMMENDED Satpura National park, Madhya Pradesh
Judges comment. We were looking for a Tiger Reserve of Wildlife Sanctuary that can be an inspiration to others in the way that it had used tourism and tourism activities to effect better conservation measures, enhanced wildlife viewing experiences and supported local communities. Satpura National Park, is in the process of doing this.
If the Park authorities can work with tourism in such a proactive way, offer a range of wildlife watching activities and imbue responsible practices and operations from the very start of Satpura’s growth as visitor destination, then Satpura has a good chance of avoiding the high volume/high impact scenarios we see in most other parks today.
Wildlife and Tourism Award of the Year 2010
(The Award includes a prize of INR 25000 towards equipment/services for the benefit of the winning community)
Award sponsored by Steppes Discovery of the UK
WINNER: Help Tourism - North East and Bengal
udges comments: Help Tourism is a fascinating ecotourism business, with both private and NGO aspirations. It supported community owned tourism lodges in many places including Manas National Park with the Bodo tribal leaders. Since 1992 their efforts have reaped rewards and now include such lodges and carefully constructed itineraries in Assam, North Bengal and Arunachal Pradesh.
JOINT RUNNERS UP: Mangalajodi Ecotourism Project Orissa
Wildlife Promotion Company of the Year 2010
Judges Comments. Increasingly Indian agents are reacting to the demands of worldwide nature travellers to ensure more responsible and insightful itineraries, with top experts. These three companies have taken measurable steps to effect such an approach as ‘middlemen’, developing insightful relations with lodge owners and service providers that go beyond mere cost, but also demanding and then offering new and more ecofriendly nature and community based experiences for their clients to enjoy.
Wildlife Tourism Community Initiative of the Year 2010
(The Award includes a prize of INR 25,000) Award sponsored by The Blue Yonder of Bangalaru
WINNER: Village Ways - Binsar Wildlife Sanctuary, Utterakhand
Judges comments: This is an superb example of a private business setting up real ecotourism enterprise in a Himalayan Wildlife Sanctuary, in which the mountain village communities have a real stakehold in the community rest homes that are carefully designed, built and services by each village community.
JOINT RUNNERS UP: Eaglenest, Kaati Trust Arunachal Pradesh
Details on the next 2011/12 TOFT WILDLIFE TOURISM AWARDS & how to nominate – details will be published in January 2011.