In recognition of its position as a leader in responsible tourism and conservation, luxury experiential travel company &Beyond has been honoured with the Conservation Award at the prestigious 2013 Tourism for Tomorrow Awards. This category is awarded for a direct and tangible contribution to the preservation of nature, including the protection of wildlife, expanding and restoring natural habitat, and supporting biodiversity conservation.
“This award belongs to the nearly 2 000 employees of &Beyond whose passion, commitment, expertise and dedication over 21 years lies behind our every conservation story. Conservation lies at the very heart of our brand and is enshrined in our mission statement,” says Joss Kent, &Beyond CEO.
The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards are one of the highest accolades in the global travel and tourism industry, recognising sustainable tourism best practices in travel businesses and destinations worldwide. This year, 133 award applications were received from 46 countries, representing six continents. Three finalists were selected in each of four categories, with &Beyond scooping the Conservation Award at a prize-giving ceremony held in Abu Dhabi.
&Beyond’s submission for the award was based on its pioneering model of low-impact, high-yield wildlife tourism, as well as its efforts to aid in the reversal of local extinctions in wildlife areas throughout Africa and in India. In more than twenty years of operation the company has notched up an impressive list of conservation firsts. These range from the relocation methodologies that it perfected at &Beyond Phinda Private Game Reserve to its commitment to the preservation of rhino, including the donation of six white rhino for translocation to Botswana.
Notable successes include &Beyond’s research studies, which have led to changes in South African provincial legislation. The company’s successful breeding projects, designed to boost the populations of threatened species, include the rare suni and highly endangered Ader’s duiker, which thrive on &Beyond Mnemba Island, situated off the tip of Zanzibar. In partnership with conservation authorities in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, &Beyond has spread its conservations reach beyond Africa, carrying out the first successful relocation of gaur and reversing a local extinction.
“While we are honoured to have been recognised for everything that &Beyond has achieved up to this point, for us this is just the beginning. Our aim is to remain an industry pioneer at the forefront of conservation. We have clear plans for what we want to achieve in the next few years. The success of these projects will continue to reinforce our standing as undisputed leaders in conservation and sustainability, as well as adding to the positive impact we have on the wildlife areas and communities in which we operate,” adds Joss Kent.