North Island, Seychelles, December 2016 – National Geographic has unveiled the finalists for the 2017 World Legacy Awards, with North Island being listed in the Conserving the Natural World category, recognising outstanding support for the preservation and restoration of nature and the protection of rare and endangered species. Winners will be announced at a prestigious ceremony to be held at the Palais am Funkturm, the new official awards venue of ITB Berlin, on 8 March 2017.
Since 1997, North Island, Seychelles has demonstrated that it is possible to operate a commercially successful, high-end tourism business in a remote and fragile environment in a way that not only actively rehabilitates the Island environment, but makes a difference to conserving the natural world. “We are extremely proud to be a finalist in the Conserving the Natural World category and to be recognised for our ongoing commitment to operating sustainably whilst delivering a world-class private island experience”, said North Island MD, Bruce Simpson.
“North Island has been deeply committed to driving the Noah’s Ark Rehabilitation Programme and we are thrilled to have received this prestigious recognition for our efforts”, added Simpson. Removing alien plant and animal species from North Island, once used as a plantation island, and replacing them with indigenous flora and fauna has helped return the Island to its original pristine state. The increasing Seychelles White-eye population and the numbers of Green and Hawksbill turtles nesting on the Island’s beaches each year are testament to North Island’s continued commitment to conserving the natural world.
The National Geographic World Legacy Awards showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organisations and destinations driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry. This year’s award entries spanned the planet, representing 45 countries and six continents, showcasing how sustainable tourism has no boundaries. The 15 finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of more than 20 judges. A multi-step judging process also included on-site inspections of each finalist.
Costas Christ, Chairman of National Geographic World Legacy Awards, said, “We have reached a tipping point as more of the travel industry understands that there can be no future for tourism without sustainability, including environmentally-friendly business practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, and tangible social and economic benefits to local people in travel destinations. Those countries and companies that understand this today will be the travel leaders of tomorrow. These 15 World Legacy Awards finalists are showing the way forward to a brighter future for people and the planet.”
For more information on the World Legacy Awards and thisyear’s finalists, click here.
NOTES TO THE EDITOR
About North Island:
North Island is Africa’s most exclusive private island, situated 30km from the main island of Mahé, Seychelles. Extremely secluded with only 11 spacious guest villas, North Island is renowned for its luminous white beaches, filigree reefs and azure Indian Ocean.
North Island offers an unrivalled experience where luxury, bespoke service and a generous all-inclusive offering combine to give guests the ultimate privacy and exclusivity. On land or in water, the choices on North Island are many and varied – from cool forest trails and mountain biking to snorkelling, diving, kayaking, fishing expeditions and romantic sunset boat cruises.
North Island is a sanctuary where natural habitats, long neglected, were rehabilitated so that endangered Seychelles fauna and flora could be reintroduced and given a place to grow and thrive.
About Wilderness Safaris: WWW.WILDERNESS-SAFARIS.COM
Wilderness Safaris is Africa’s leading authentic and sustainable ecotourism operator, specialising in memorable wildlife experiences in some of the most remote and pristine areas in Africa. In this way it offers its guests private access to almost three million hectares of Africa’s finest wildlife reserves, while remaining fiercely committed to protecting our planet’s precious natural and cultural resources.
Wilderness Safaris operates camps and safaris in some of Africa’s best wildlife and wilderness reserves across eight countries: Botswana, Kenya, Namibia, Rwanda, Seychelles, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Wilderness Safaris is deeply committed to its 4Cs sustainability ethos of Commerce, Community, Culture and Conservation. It firmly believes that its single most important achievement to date is to have built a sustainable business model that does not compromise environmental principles and which provides jobs, training, skills, careers, adjusted horizons, hope and a realistic alternative to less sustainable development.
Recognising that conservation is as much about people as about the environment, the company has pursued important goals through its Children in the Wilderness programme, as well as through the Wilderness Wildlife Trust, which have helped change the face of nature-based tourism in Africa.
Wilderness Safaris is part of Wilderness Holdings, a group of responsible ecotourism companies that together endeavour to use responsible tourism to build sustainable conservation economies in Africa.