Nepali Destination Resilience Honored By GTTRC and IIPT
Kathmandu – The Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council ended its first Asian Resilience Summit with a Hollywood style awards dinner and ceremony. Awards were presented to five companies whose businesses exemplify resiliency either through the community in which they operate, the business itself or a specific entrepreneur and his innovative approach to travel. The Institute for International Peace through Tourism partners with GTTRC to identify and honor organizations fostering betterment.
The four categories of resiliency awards offered in partnership with the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) received over 40 nominations of companies in or doing business with Nepal. A panel of 8 international, well-respected individuals associated with the travel industry for decades worked through an automated evaluation process based on the UN directives for sustainable tourism. Twelve finalists were announced on May 25th and asked to submit their latest photographs, videos, and writeups.
The Summit itself, a one-day event, was designed to highlight the successful recovery of Nepal after the 2015 earthquakes and identify current challenges to be addressed. With the backdrop of Mt. Everest, a distinguished line-up of government officials, emceed by Ms. Shradha Shrestha of the NTB and IIPT Board members delivered the much-anticipated awards to the recipients. The Resilient Tourism Community Award went to 3 Sisters P Ltd., a company which identified the great potential for women in the adventure tourism sector and proceeded to open pathways for rural women through offering extensive training in safety, health, business, tourism. Training is followed by an apprenticeship program which has now benefited more than 1,000 Nepali women. The award recognizes a business or NGO that has had a considerable impact in their community, 3 Sisters has certainly done that while creating substantial social impact through job creation, training, and community development. The award was presented to two of the three sisters Dicky and Nicky Karki by Mr. Mohan Krishna Sapkota, Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation (MoCTCA) and Chairman of the Executive Committee, Nepal Tourism Board.
The Resilient Tourism Business Award was awarded to the company that has sustainable long-term exponential growth or practices that involve and invest heavily in people. Mr. Karna Sakya of KGH Group, alongside his two daughters, received the award from the former NTB CEO, Mr. Prachanda Shrestha who also was also a judge for these awards. The company handed down through three generations was established in 1968, is considered Nepal’s leading hotel chain with 7 eco-friendly hotels and its founder is hailed as the father of tourism in Nepal. His properties helped usher in a new era of adventure tourism while the business is also known for its significant role in supporting social and developmental activities within communities across the country.
“Change Maker in Tourism” Award deservedly went to Mr. Darrel Wade, Co-Founder of the Intrepid Group, an Australian based, totally immersive, experiential travel company that operates for and on behalf of the destinations it works with by paying forward as well as being there in a crisis. This award is offered to the person who has made a significant change towards tourism either from within or outside the travel sector. An individual who has gone beyond the call of duty and spear-headed a new idea or product that brings change to the tourism industry inside and outside of Nepal. With Darrell Wade, the award found the perfect home. Accepting the award was Natalie Kidd, the Managing Director of PEAK DMC and her team on the ground, most of whom worked alongside Darrell and Natalie in recovery efforts in Nepal within hours of the devastating 2015 earthquakes.
Finally, there was further excitement as the award for Resilience Efforts Through Cultural Diversity resulted in a tie. Community Homestay Network (CHN) of Nepal, part of the Royal Mountain Group of companies owned by Shiva Dhakal and Wild Guanabana of Egypt, founded by Summiteer, Omar Samra were both honored. Presented by Mr. Deepak Joshi, Ceo of the Nepal Board of Tourism and Dr. Taleb Rifai, former Secretary-General of UNWTO, Chairman of the IIPT and Chairman of the GTTRC the award recognized This award is given to the company or enterprise that celebrates their cultural diversity through a proven approach incorporating human interaction and promoting relationships nurtured through sustainable tourism.
Upcoming Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council events include the African Resilience Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa on July 24th and the Global Resilience Summit in London on November 7th, 2019.
Further information on the Asian Resilience Summit and on the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, go to [CLICK HERE].