Recognition for Matava at the
Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010
The Judges said “Matava is a beacon for responsible tourism and an example to other dive sites. They maintain a strong commitment to both the conservation of the marine environment and the development of the local Fijian community. All staff and dive guides are from local villages, they have signed an agreement with local villages designating 3 established marine reserves as 100% no-take zones, across large geographic areas, and even succeeded in assisted in getting marine conservation on to the Fijian National Curriculum.”
At a ceremony hosted at World Travel Market (WTM), Docklands, London, on Wednesday 10th November, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, managing director of responsibletravel.com, organisers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.
“This year I have been heartened by the depth of commitment and connection our winners have shown to the local communities in their destinations. Their successes and pioneering spirits are remarkable and the very real and authentic experiences they have created, set responsible tourism apart. They also remind us that holidays can be both luxurious for visitor and enhancing for local people – helping build schools, water pumps, clinics and conserving cultural and natural heritage.”
Lorna Young accepting Matava’s Award at WTM 2010
Richard Akhtar, Director of Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort said:
“At Matava, we are of course both happy and proud to receive this prestigious global award. We find it even more important that the industry, by rewarding similar efforts, choose to take a stand for the environment we depend on. We also see it as an important continuing signal to the community which at the same time can serve to inspire the numerous individuals and companies who have been doing so much, and continue to do even more in the field of environmental enlightenment and conservation. This award has highlighted Fiji’s leading role and efforts in this regard especially.”
Amanda Wills, managing director, Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards said:
“I’m once again humbled by the commitment, drive and ingenuity of today’s winners. They have shown us all what can be achieved by the people and places seeking to benefit from tourism, even when the economic climate continues to challenge us all. Their’s is truly an example for the rest of the industry to follow, and I’m delighted that Virgin Holidays is again able to be a part of this celebration.”
Over the years the Awards have celebrated the best in responsible tourism, and attracted some of the best celebrity supporters, including Michael Palin and Paul Theroux!
In 2010 Simon Reeve, best-selling author, presenter and broadcaster launched the Awards with an exclusive interview in Metro Newspaper:
“The Responsible Tourism Awards focus attention on travel firms that are providing us all with amazing trips that make a difference to a local community while still protecting the environment and our planet. And they remind us that responsible travel is not only better for our world, it’s also more interesting and memorable. Responsible tourism is the future of travel.”
Liz Bonin, Wild Animal biologist, biochemist and presenter of ‘Bang Goes the Theory’ on BBC1 also lent her support to the Awards with an exclusive interview on wildlife and responsible tourism in Metro Newspaper:
“If we make the effort to respect our holiday destinations and contribute responsibly to the local economy by staying in local farms or homestays and exploring the local wildlife through eco-tourism, we benefit by getting a real sense of local culture and discovering hidden treasures we could never get from a faceless resort holiday, all the while knowing that we have our done our bit to keep this planet happy and healthy. The Responsible Tourism Awards are doing a fantastic job at reminding us of our duty to travel in this responsible way.”
For a full list of finalists, see www.responsibletourismawards.com
– Ends –
Notes to editors
About Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort
Matava – Fiji’s Premier Eco Adventure Resort, is an eco adventure getaway offering you a fun and unique blend of cultural experiences and adventure activities in the environmentally pristine and remote island of Kadavu in the Fiji Islands. Matava – Fiji Premier Eco Adventure Resort is a PADI 5 Star Dive Resort as well as a Project AWARE GoEco Operator. With more than 14 years experience in the Fiji Islands, Matava is recognized as a leading educational dive centre. Matava offers accommodation for up to 22 guests in lush tropical surroundings in traditional thatched Fijian ‘bures’ with hardwood polished floors, louvre windows and private decks offering privacy, comfort and superb ocean views.
For interviews, images or further information please contact Stuart Gow, Stuart@Matava.com, t: 679-997-5416
The Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world and are a collaboration between online travel directory responsibletravel.com; UK media partners Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine and World Travel Market who host the ceremony. The central tenet of the Awards is that all types of tourism – from niche to mainstream – can and should be operated in a way that respects and benefits destinations and local people.
responsibletravel.com is the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays. The site offers over 3,500 richer, deeper and more locally distinctive travel experiences that are better for destinations and local communities.
Whether you’re after an action-packed adventure, a relaxing beach escape or a charming countryside getaway closer to home, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets.
Co-founder, Justin Francis had the original idea for the website on his travels through Africa having completed his MSc in Responsible Tourism. He launched the site with backing from Dame Anita Roddick in 2001 and since then has been included in Courvoisier’s The Future 500, Thames and Hudson’s 60 Innovators Shaping Our Creative Future and taken his place on the Advisory Board of The International Centre for Responsible Tourism at Leeds Metropolitan University. Based in Brighton, England responsibletravel.com also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.