Regional Body recognizes Belize’s Lamanai Outpost Lodge with a Sustainable Tourism Award

Belize City, June, 2004- Lamanai Outpost Lodge and Lamanai Field Research Centre, which focuses on the soft adventure and educational travel market segments, was awarded as the 2nd Runner Up in the Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO’s)/Islands Magazine Sustainable Tourism Awards for 2004.

The Caribbean Tourism Organization’s (CTO) mission is to provide the services and information needed for the development of sustainable tourism for the economic and social benefit of the Caribbean people. In this light, the CTO Sustainable Tourism Awards are aimed at identifying and showcasing Sustainable Tourism Best Practices in the Caribbean. The award recognizes persons, organization or company in any Caribbean Tourism Organization Member Countries that have developed a unique and attractive tourism product embracing sustainable tourism concepts and core values, and which help to enhance the country’s tourism product offerings.

The criteria used for the award required that the product should contribute to a better quality of life in the destination and provide a unique visitor experience as defined by the CTO. The areas considered for a sustainable tourism product are Environmental Management, Land Use Planning and Management, Tourism Management, Local Community Involvement, Heritage Protection, Education, Safety and Security, Financial Sustainability and Partnership.

The Award was judged by the Award Selection Committee comprised of a panel of experts selected by CTO, representing both public and private tourism sectors including NGO’s at the national and regional levels. As Second Runner Up, Lamanai Outpost Lodge & Field Research Center received a Certificate of Recognition and special mention at the CTO Annual Conference on Sustainable Tourism Development, recently held in April 2004 in Cuba.

For Sustainable Tourism to be meaningful, one must adhere to the integrity of conservation and Lamanai Outpost Lodge has certainly done so by assisting to ensure the long-term protection and preservation of Belize’s natural resources. The Belize Tourism Board is cognizant of this and also relies on the environment for its success.

“We are proud to learn of the international recognition given to Lamanai Outpost Lodge & Field Research Center for their efforts in conservation and tourism,” commented Tourism Minister, Mark Espat.” “This is an ideal example that success in the industry requires vision, diligence, and dedication. We congratulate Mark & Monique Howell and their staff on their success and encourage others to continue supporting the sustainable development of the tourism industry in Belize.”

It is the common goal of both CTO and Islands Magazine to promote environmental and socially
responsible tourism in the Caribbean. The merger of the Islands Magazine Eco-tourism Award
and CTO’s Product Innovation and Sustainability Award took place to form the Island
Magazine/CTO Sustainable Tourism Award. Islands Magazine sponsors the Award on an annual
basis, profiles the winner and finalists in their magazine and prepares a video presentation on the
awardees. An awards luncheon will be held at the 27th Annual Caribbean Tourism Conference in
Aruba October 17th to 20th.