Press Release
 


Ammerland, March 12, 2010
No. 3b / 2010


"And the winner is: Africa!"
TO DO! 2009 - Contest Socially Responsible Tourism:
This year, there are two TO DO! winners from Africa - from the Gambia and from Mozambique. Prize monies were again donated by the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism and the European Travel Insurance Group.


The focus of the criteria of the TO DO! - Contest Socially Responsible Tourism is, among others, on the interests of the local population in the planning and implementation of tourism projects.
This is taken into account through active participation of the local people. The chances and risks of such endeavours as well as the extent and spread of the economic benefit must be transparent to all stakeholders. Other criteria for the contest are: guaranteeing the attractiveness of jobs in tourism and measures to sustain and strengthen the local culture.

On March 12, the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development) announced the winners of the International Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism. The TO DO!2009 award ceremony was held at the 44th International Tourism Exchange (ITB) in Berlin.
The two equal winners are the agricultural and tourism regional network GAMBIA IS GOOD and the GULUDO BEACH LODGE in the North of Mozambique which is backed by a socially responsible project, socially responsible conceptualised in an exemplary manner. "This year, we are pleased to be giving the awards to two exceptional applicants from Africa", said Studienkreis Managing Director Dr. Wibke Reger. Both winners are situated in a continent that has found it difficult to be perceived in Europe by positive headlines. What was striking this year, as Wibke Reger said, "was that some of the projects submitted have been de-veloped by committed young people, and that they are rather new projects. For this generation, social responsibility seems to have become a benchmark."
Meanwhile, more than 80 percent of the winners and almost two thirds of the projects submitted are from developing countries or emerging economies.
"The TO DO! contest shows German tourists what tourism development can look like so as to create win-win-situations," said Dr. Werner Bruns, Direc-torate General, Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Develop-ment, in his speech honouring the TO DO! 2009 winners.



Gambia is Good/
Concern Universal
Ousman Dan Fodio Street
Fajara
P.O.Box 2164
Serrekunda
The Gambia

Phone +220-449-4473
Fax +220-449-4474

E-Mail:
amy.hause@concern-universal.org
cu.uk@concern-universal.org

Web:
www.concernuniversal.org

Gambia is Good (GiG) is the second project from the Gambia to receive a TO DO! award. What is unusual about this project is that it was in the first place meant to contribute to regional development and to the improvement of the income and living situation of the local population. The linkages with the tourism sector only evolved at a later stage. A central idea of GiG is to enhance traditional methods of production in order to move beyond subsistence farming which has been common to date. Between 2003 and 2006, about 1,000 farmers (about 90 percent of them women) were trained with the support of the British charity "Concern Universal." The training helped the farmers to ensure their income, improve their families' living standard and educate their children. All in all, the project affects about 5,000 persons. 35 people are directly employed by GiG.
In the collectively managed village enterprises with six to eight hectares of land, horticulture has now become possible almost all year round. The enterprises have 150 to 200 members working according to a defined organisational system. Fruit, vegetables and other agricultural produce such as honey, eggs or dairy products are not only sold in the various local markets, but also delivered regularly to hotels and restaurants. This significantly reduces imports for tourist consumption. GiG has in the meantime captured a market share of 35 percent for fresh produce - a market that was earlier dominated by imports. The project is now self-sustaining, and its visible success motivated the people involved to do more. Asked what the project had done for her, a female farmer responded: "It's like heaven."
Furthermore, the model farm "Good Farmyard" was established in 2007. It has in the meantime been visited by far more than 2,000 tourists. It is the only farm of its kind in the Gambia and serves to educate interested visitors about this successful case of "best practice."



Guludo Beach Lodge

E-Mail:
amy@guludo.com

Pemba Office:
Phone +220-449-4473
Fax +220-449-4474

Web:
www.guludo.com

UK office:
Phone +44 (0)20 7127 4727
tony@guludo.com

The second winner of the TO DO! 2009, Guludo Beach Lodge in the North of Mozambique, has a very different structure. The objective of this project is to use tourism development to reduce poverty in rural communities and at the same time to protect the environment. The project was developed by a young British couple, Amy and Neal Carter-James, who, after their first experiences of working in developing countries, were determined to do something in the poorest parts of the world. After the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002, they followed the advice of WWF and went to the North of Mozambique, where the Quirimbas National Park is located (newly founded at that time). 30 years after the Portuguese had left and after the civil war that ended only in the mid 1990s the region suffered from high unemployment. Life expectancy was about 38 years, 30 percent of the children did not reach age five.
In 2002, after obtaining permission from the people of Guludo, Amy and Neal Carter-James (aged 22 and 24!) founded both Bespoke Experience Ltd. and the Nema Foundation. Even if the initial idea for development did not originate in the village community itself, the local people were involved as equal partners from the very beginning. No decisions were taken without consulting them. There is a very high degree of participation, the initiators "only" created the framework conditions. Guludo Beach Lodge was opened in 2005. When the resort was planned and built, it was made sure that local materials were used and that the bungalows ("bandas") were built in such a way that would minimise resource consumption. Up to 24 people can be accommodated in the nine "bandas". The lodge now offers about 45 permanent and more than 20 seasonal jobs. The income generated also serves to develop the projects supported by the Nema Foundation. The foundation works in twelve villages with about 15,000 people. Most of the villages are located in the Quirimbas National Park. Apart from profits generated by the lodge, the Nema Foundation receives donations by tourists or through "Global Angels," an international foundation working on improving the living conditions of children worldwide.
Tourist activities include diving and snorkelling, sailing excursions to the islands, wildlife watching (including whales). At a craft centre, the guests can create traditional pottery and can purchase handicraft items.

The Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST) has been supporting the TO DO! contest for six years and has provided prize money of 5,000 Swiss Francs for each of the winners of the contest. Board member Esther Ineichen explains the engagement for the TO DO! contest: "With the TO-DO! award, projects like 'Gambia is Good' and 'Guludo Beach Lodge' in Mozambique are getting an important publicity platform, which is one of the objectives of the foundation. The prize money is meant in recognition of their commitment so far, but also as an encouragement to continue their work."
Since 2004, the European Travel Insurance Group (Europäische Reiseversicherung AG), a member of the TO DO! support group, has been giving prize money of more than 2,000 Euro. In his speech in honour of the TO DO! winners, Hans Stadler, tourism sales manager at Europäische Reiseversicherung, said: "We are pleased that this year even two projects from Africa are receiving an award. The people in Africa need our full support in order to meet the challenges in these times of economic difficulty. New, creative paths will have to be taken. With their innovative projects, this year's award winners have demonstrated their courage to do so. We wish the winners all success in continuing their projects and all the best for the future."
Studienkreis Chairman Armin Vielhaber made use of the occasion of the 15th award ceremony to convey special thanks to the organisations from the fields of politics, civil society and the tourism industry who are supporting the TO DO!: "We would not be able organise this contest without financial support. The TO DO! is recognized and appreciated globally - with more than 288 projects from 69 countries in five continents submitted so far. In the next round, we would again be glad to see projects applying from countries not yet represented."

______________________________________
Responsible for the text: Astrid Kösterke
English translation: Christina Kamp

The TO DO!-Contest is organized by:

Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V.
Kapellenweg 3, D-82541 Ammerland/Starnberger See
Tel. +49-(0)8177-1783, Fax: +49-(0)8177-1349
E-Mail: info@studienkreis.org
Websites: www.studienkreis.org
www.to-do-contest.org
www.tourador-contest.org
www.tourguide-qualification.org
www.sympathiemagazin.de

in cooperation with long-term supporters:

German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development
Europäische Reiseversicherung AG (European Travel Insurance Group)
German Church Development Service (EED) - Tourism Watch
ITB Berlin
Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST)
Studiosus Reisen München GmbH

Prize money from: