Tropic Journeys in Nature - Ecuador

Tropic Journeys in Nature - Ecuador
Ecuador Ecotours

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Recognition for Huarorani Ecolodge at the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards 2010

MEDIA RELEASE: November, 18, 2010

Huarorani Ecolodge has been highly commended in the Best accommodation for local communities category at this year’s Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards organised by

The Judges said “Huarorani Ecolodge in Ecuador is primarily owned and operated by the Huarorani, with 49% of the adult working population involved in the operation. This rainforest community project has been instrumental in defending the forest against loggers, exploration for oil and slash and burn, and the judges were impressed that the lodge is now working on securing a new 55,000 hectare reserve.”

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, organisers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.

Justin Francis, founder of The Responsible Tourism Awards and managing director,, organisers of the Awards said:
"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.”

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.”

Launched in 2004, the Awards are run in association with partners World Travel Market, Metro Newspaper and Geographical Magazine.

For a full list of finalists, see

- Ends -

Notes to editors

For interviews, images or further information please contact []

About The Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards

The Awards are the most prestigious and competitive of their kind in the world and are a collaboration between online travel directory; 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.

About 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 also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry.

Alex Lyons
+44 (0)1273 648 519

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