A&K Selected as Finalist for WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Community AwardLuxury travel company Abercrombie & Kent (A&K) has been selected as one of three finalists for the Tourism for Tomorrow “Community Award,” sponsored by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
This award is one of the highest accolades in the global Travel & Tourism industry, recognizing sustainable tourism best practices. This industry recognition highlights Abercrombie & Kent’s leadership and community development in Kenya’s Masai Mara and the localized, grassroots philosophy behind Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy (AKP).
Kenya is the birthplace of Abercrombie & Kent and home to the Greater Masai Mara Ecosystem where the traditionally pastoralist Maasai people are facing dramatic changes, including a growing population, diminishing natural resources and increasing conflicts between people and wildlife. The survival of this key conservation area is essential,not only for the ecological stability of the entire region, but also for the economic stability of Kenya and the Maasai people.
“For over five decades, A&K has been involved in efforts to help alleviate poverty by creating jobs, expanding educational opportunities and working with local communities to preserve cultural traditions,” explains Abercrombie & Kent Vice Chairman Jorie Butler Kent, founder and President of Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy. “We are grateful for this recognition of our efforts and hope it will inspire others to support sustainable tourism that provides economic and social benefits to indigenous communities.”
The Tourism for Tomorrow Community Award recognizes a commitment to capacity building for Travel & Tourism in destination areas and leadership in the region to promote and encourage best practice. The award recognizes tourism initiatives that have effectively demonstrated direct benefits to local people, including capacity building, the transfer of industry skills, support for community development, and enhancement and support for cultural heritage in the area.
Finalists were selected by an international panel of independent judges chaired by Costas Christ, an internationally recognized expert on sustainable tourism. In the first stage of a comprehensive three step judging process, judges carefully evaluated and selected award entries that best demonstrate the protection of natural and cultural heritage, delivering social and economic benefits to local people, and engaging in environmentally friendly operations, as well as other established sustainable tourism criteria.
Unique among global sustainable tourism awards, the second phase of judging includes an on–site evaluation of each finalist carried out by international sustainable tourism experts who make in–depth first hand assessments of the organizations and businesses in practice.
“Each year, the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards recognize sustainable tourism best practices in action, helping to transform the Travel & Tourism industry based upon the principles of environmentally friendly operations, support for the protection of cultural and natural heritage, and direct benefits to the social and economic well–being of local people in travel destinations around the world,” explained Christ. “This year’s Finalists continue to demonstrate that when carefully managed, tourism can be a powerful force for improving livelihoods and protecting our planet for future generations.”
About Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy
Abercrombie & Kent has pioneered a 21st century approach to sustainable community development by building partnerships between local grassroots initiatives and compassionate travellers who want to give something back to the places they visit. Today Abercrombie & Kent Philanthropy supports more than 30 projects on all seven continents that reflect the company’s commitment to conservation, education, health and community. AKP project visits have become a highlight of many Abercrombie & Kent itineraries and inspire additional donations from guests, who generously support projects they were introduced to while travelling with A&K.
The Los Angeles Times describes A&K as “a highly respected company dedicated to conservation and environmentally intelligent tourism.” Working in partnership with local communities has earned A&K the Condé Nast Traveler World Savers Award for “Doing It All” and a Global Vision Award from Travel + Leisure.
Find more information on the projects Abercrombie & Kent supports through A&K Philanthropy at www.akphilanthropy.org. Further details on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards can be found at http://www.wttc.org/tourismfortomorrow/winners-finalists/2014-winners-finalists/abercrombie-and-kent/.