During yesterday’s 75th Skål World Congress held at the Sheraton Maria Isabel Hotel in Mexico City, Mrs. Karine Coulanges, International President of Skål International, presented the Skal Sustainable Development in Tourism (SDIT) Awards by Diversey Care to eight winners. Conducted with the help of Sealed Air’s Diversey Care division, a leading global provider of commercial cleaning, sanitation and hygiene solutions, the awards honor tourism initiatives that support environmental sustainability.

Skål, founded in 1934, is the largest organization of travel and tourism professionals in the world. To encourage the conservation of the environment and help promote the development of responsible and sustainable tourism, Skål International initiated an awards program in 2002, during “The Year of Ecotourism and the Mountains” as declared by the United Nations.

Since their launch in 2002, the awards have received strong ongoing support and attracted a high level of participation, with a total of 506 entrants. This year, a total of 24 projects from 12 countries entered the eight different categories. Click here to view the full list of projects.

To evaluate the projects, Skål International selected the panel of three independent judges from important institutions/organizations and experts in Eco and Sustainable tourism. The primary criteria for the evaluation is based on points such as contribution to the conservation of nature and cultural heritage, community involvement, educational features, business viability and innovation.

Skål International wishes to express its gratitude to the three independent judges for accepting to carry on the evaluation and for the meticulous and laborious work conducted by them:

Lubna Edwards
Director Global Sustainability and Partnerships, SEALED AIR

Dirk Glaesser
Director of Sustainable Development of Tourism, UNWTO

Daniella Sachs

Diversey Care has a longstanding partnership with Skål and offers a total solutions approach to building care by combining chemicals, equipment, tools and services to improve customer operational efficiency. Diversey Care produced the trophies and certificates for the winners, and for the fourth consecutive year, presented the Skal Special Recognition Award by Diversey Care to one of the projects. This award acknowledges a new and innovative project that truly captures the meaning of sustainability and integrates it into the business just as organizations do with safety, risk management, and corporate responsibility.

Stefan Phang, Regional Director, Sustainability & CSR, Diversey Care, attended the 75th Skål World Congress to share valuable information about the significance of sustainability in the tourism industry and to present the Special Recognition Award to the winner.

The Skal Special Recognition Award by Diversey Care, handed out by Stefan Phang, went to ATDC's - Baramati Agri & Rural Tourism Training, Research & Development Center in India.

The winners of the 2014 Skal International Sustainable Tourism Awards by Diversey Care include:

•       Tour Operators: Rios Tropicales: Sustainable Adventure Tourism/Cost Rica
•       Urban Accommodation: Chiva-Som International Health Resorts/Thailand
•       Rural Accommodation: ATDC’s – Baramati Agri & Rural Tourism Training, Research and Development Center/India
•       Transportation: Viking Grace/Finland
•       Countryside: The Rainforest EcoLodge/Sri Lanka
•       Marine: Mepsec Hua Hin (Mangrove Ecosystem Preservation & Scientific Education Center)/Thailand
•       Community and Government Projects: Naalumanikkattu/India
•       Major Tourist Attractions: The South African Animal Sanctuary Alliance/South Africa