Ten Knots Group, operator of four island resorts in Palawan, bagged awards for the Philippines from the first-ever Asian Ecotourism Network-International Ecotourism Awards (AEN-IEA) held on the fourth day of the International Ecotourism Travel Mart (IETM) and Selling Fair in Cavite.
According to the Department of Tourism (DOT), the island resort operator by Ayala Land was accorded the Biodiversity Conservation Award and the Ecotourism Promotions Award from the AEN-IEA. Lio Tourism Estate also earned the Waste Management Award.
Mariglo Laririt, director for Environment and Sustainability of Ten Knots, received the awards.
“We dedicate these wins to our guests who believe in what we do and continue to choose us. We thank our colleagues for the work that they do-this story is yours, we are merely telling it,” Laririt said in a post.
AEN-IEA “recognizes nature-based accommodations and lodging in destinations across Asia for their exemplary balance of nature and culture in their infrastructure design, innovation, and management, while also addressing sustainable development challenges. “
AEN Chair Masaru Takayama and DOT officer-in-charge Undersecretary for Tourism Development Verna Buensuceso, led the conferment of 20 awards during the inaugural AEN-IEA 2023.
“The stars of tonight are actually our esteemed awardees and recipients of the ecotourism awards; you are the living gems of our ecotourism industry. And it is our fervent hope that this would encourage more tourism enterprises all over the world to take on our shared responsibility to grow a more sustainable tourism industry and become game changers in the way we do business today,” Buensuceso said during her congratulatory message.
The AEN-IEA 2023 also recognized national tourism organizations (NTOs), accommodation establishments, and non-government organizations (NGOs) from Taiwan, Malaysia, Jordan, Korea, and Japan, that have complied with the AEN Ecotourism Standards for Accommodations and Destinations recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
The award categories include Destination Governance, Sustainable Building, Community Benefit, Climate Action, Biodiversity Conservation, Waste Management, Ecotourism Promotion, Environment Leadership, Innovative Ecotourism, and Community Champions.
Other officials present at the awarding ceremony are IETM 2023 chair and former DOT Secretary Dr. Mina Gabor, Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) Chief Operating Officer (COO) Maria Margarita Nograles, and DOT Assistant Secretary Maria Rica Bueno.