Press Information
 


Seefeld, 21 February, 2012 / Berlin, 9 March, 2012
No. 2b/2012


TO DO!2011 Winners - Contest Socially Responsible Tourism


Berlin - At the 46th ITB in Berlin, the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. (Institute for Tourism and Development) awarded the three winners of the TO DO!2011 Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism. The winners of the 17th contest round are from Bolivia, Italy, and Mozambique. Information: http://www.to-do-contest.org/

Berlin - On 9th March 2012, the Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V. honoured the winners of the international TO DO! Contest for Socially Responsible Tourism which has been organised annually since 1995. The TO DO!2011 awarded projects at the 46th ITB in Berlin/Germany are: The SAN MIGUEL DEL BALA ECO-LODGE in Bolivia, the Sicilian travel agency ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL in Italy and the regional development project MANDA WILDERNESS PROJECT - NKWICHI LODGE in Mozambique. All three equal award winners use their tourism activities as a tool - for the right to self-determination, the right to dignity and the right to a better future.
For the indigenous Tacana community in Bolivia, the Bolivian government's decision to declare a large part of their territory "Madidi National Park" (implemented in 1995) led to the sudden termination of their traditional rights. While earlier they were allowed to hunt and use the land for agriculture, all that remained was the possibility to fish in the rivers for their own consumption. The protected area, which is said to be biologically extremely diverse, stretches from the tropical lowlands in the Amazon basin up to the Cordillera Real on the border to Peru.

Bolivia:
SAN MIGUEL DEL BALA
Calle Comercio entre Vaca Diez y Santa Cruz
Rurrenabaque, Beni
E-mail: info@sanmigueldelbala.com
Website: www.sanmigueldelbala.com
Phone: +591 3892 2394

However, after their futile protest against the national park, the indigenous families of San Miguel del Bala, living on the park's borders, did not admit defeat, but transformed a situation that was disadvantageous for them into the contrary. The majority of the people affected jointly formed a cooperative and - after detailed consultation and with the help of various development and aid organisations - opened SAN MIGUEL DEL BALA ECO-LODGE in 2006. The lodge has its own guides and long boats to go into the jungle. Guided excursions are also offered. In this way, the lucrative tourism business at the national park does not bypass the local people, but happens with their involvement, within a structure chosen and set up by them. The income from tourism also helps to buy teaching materials for the school and to finance the computer. The cooperative also takes care of the transport and treatment of community members who fall ill.

Italy:
ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL BY ADDIOPIZZO COMMUNITY
Via Lazio 7, I – 90040 Capaci (Palermo)
E-mail: info@addiopizzotravel.it
Website: www.addiopizzotravel.it
Phone: +39 380 1544 995

Contact in Germany:
Phone: +49 30 3471 2101
E-mail: reisen@addiopizzotravel.it

Describing what ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL does as "overcoming obstacles" would mean playing it down: It is nothing less than education and reflection on the Mafia structures in Sicily - for example during guided tours with student and tourist groups. As a tourism branch of the ADDIOPIZZO movement ("Goodbye pizzo" [protection money]), founded in 2004, ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL works to support those restaurants, hotels, lodges and agricultural businesses that have joined ADDIOPIZZO and refuse to pay the Mafia (in Palermo it is the Cosa Nostra) for "protection". For, according to the slogan of a poster campaign conducted in 2004 which led to the foundation of ADDIOPIZZO, "A population that pays pizzo is a population without dignity."
In the meantime, about 10,000 citizens of Palermo had the courage to declare publicly that they prefer to buy from shops that don't pay for protection. About 700 (certified) businesses, workmen and craftsmen, restaurants and hotels use the ADDIOPIZZO label to show that they are taking a stand. In their own city map, ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL show Italian and foreign visitors to Palermo how to find these businesses. Visitors who would like to do so may book guided tours and excursion programmes in Palermo and surroundings with ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL for a day or more. This includes - upon request - a visit to the famous-infamous Cosa Nostra place Corleone. Corleone now has a documentation centre on "Mafia - Antimafia". Besides, the ADDIOPIZZO TRAVEL network also includes agro-tourism enterprises operating on farms confiscated from convicted Mafiosi. They not only offer accommodation, but also excellent food.

In the North of Mozambique, on the Eastern shore of Lake Malawi, there are 16 villages with about 20,000 inhabitants which are all directly or indirectly part of a small, regional development concept called MANDA WILDERNESS PROJECT - NKWICHI LODGE.

Mozambique:
MANDA WILDERNESS PROJECT – NKWICHI LODGE
Niassa Provinz
E-mail: info@mandawilderness.org
Website: http://mandawilderness.org/
Skype: nkwichi.lodge
Phone: +44 2032863181

It is a tourism, environmental and developmental concept based on three pillars and can serve as a model. MANDA WILDERNESS stands for the 120,000 ha Manda Wilderness Community Conservation Area which is been declared a protected area by the local people themselves, in cooperation with the Mozambican Government (first pillar). The communities can use and manage it on their own, as they possess secure land title deeds. In order to do so, they founded a communal entity called Umoji (Umoji means: "We speak as one").
NKWICHI LODGE, in turn, stands for the generation of income, jobs, and training (second pillar). Today, the eco-lodge built in 2003 after careful consultation with representatives of the surrounding villages is the only company far and wide. It helps 52 now well-trained local people to earn a regular income. The lodge is situated at one of the most beautiful parts of the beach. Here, the water of Lake Malawi is crystal clear. The lodge is surrounded by a forest that is rich in flora and fauna. It is just like the luxurious safari lodges in East and South Africa, and yet it is not regarded as a foreign object. Just the opposite: for most of the local people NKWICHI LODGE symbolises the promise of a better future. Not only because the management of the lodge decided to rely on the region (staff, sourcing of materials, construction work). What also plays a decisive role is the MANDA WILDERNESS COMMUNITY TRUST - the third pillar - that works here to build infrastructure, e.g. schools, small clinics, and a farm for teaching and demonstration purposes.

The core criterion of the TO DO! - Contest Socially Responsible Tourism is the consideration of 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.

The foundation registered in London and financed by donations is the non-profit branch of the project, set up by the British founders of NKWICHI LODGE whose main job is with international development organisations. Their original motivation: They wanted to help the people living in the North of Mozambique who were affected by three decades of colonial and civil war (1964-1992) to build a better future. This has been achieved.

The speech in honour of the latest TO DO! winners was held by Jürgen Klimke, MP. The representative of the CDU/CSU parliamentary party in the parliamentary committees on economic cooperation and development and on tourism emphasized: "All the three winners have shown in an impressive manner the importance of tourism development being geared towards the people," said Mr. Klimke. "I cannot imagine sustainable tourism without the involvement of local people, without their right to participation, self-determination, and their right to dignity."

The prize money for this year's TO DO! winners was again provided by the Swiss Foundation for Solidarity in Tourism (SST) and by the ERV (European Travel Insurance Corp.).

Organizer of TO DO!-Contest Socially Responsible Tourism:

Studienkreis für Tourismus und Entwicklung e.V.
Bahnhofstraße 8
82229 Seefeld
Germany
Tel. +49-(0)8152-999010
Fax: +49-(0)8152-9990166

E-Mail: info@studienkreis.org
www.studienkreis.org
www.to-do-contest.org

For many years, SST has been one of the supporters of the TO DO! contest and honours the winners of the contest with a prize money of 5,000 Swiss Francs each. SST's board president Hansjörg Ruf emphasized: "This year's TO-DO! winners accentuate the concerns of our foundation in an excellent manner: Solidarity in tourism, social cooperation, combined with sustainable planning for the future. With our prize money for this year's TO DO! winners, we would again like to again express our appreciation for the achievements accomplished so far and would like to contribute to the public debate."
Since 2004, the ERV as one of the supporters of the TO DO! contest has been offering prize monies of more than 2,000 Euro. "We are glad to be able to honour this year's award winners from Bolivia, Italy, and Mozambique and to contribute to the further development of socially responsible tourism", said Daniela Jehle, Head of Sales-Marketing. "With their courage, their assertive-ness and purposefulness, the winners have overcome major obstacles themselves and were thus able to also improve the living conditions of their fellow men, women and children in a sustainable manner."

Studienkreis Chairman Armin Vielhaber made use of the occasion of the 17th award ceremony to convey special thanks to the organisations from the fields of politics, civil society and the tourism industry that are supporting the contest. "We would not be able to organise this contest without their financial support. The TO DO! is recognized and appreciated globally - with 330 projects from 75 countries in five continents submitted so far. In the next round again we would be glad to see applications of projects from countries not yet represented".


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Responsible for the Text: Klaus Betz
English translation: Christina Kamp