Selena Travel LLC has won in the Best for Conservation of Cultural Heritage category at this year's Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards organised by responsibletravel.com. At a ceremony hosted at World Travel Market (WTM), Docklands, London, on Wednesday 11th November, the Awards were handed out by Justin Francis, managing director of responsibletravel.com, organisers and founders of the Awards, and Amanda Wills, managing director of Virgin Holidays, headline sponsor of the Awards.
This unique, privately-held Mongolian tour operator has gone where no Mongolian travel organization has gone before: In 2002, Selena Travel forged a partnership with the nomadic community and the Mongolian government - a first. Then it established the Gun-Galuut Nature Reserve, creating an environmentally sustainable tourist destination not only to give visitors a sense of life on Mongolia's massive open plain, but to protect the reserve's ecosystem and conserve the area's traditional nomadic culture. Gun Galuut not only provides environmental protection and job opportunities for Mongolia's storied Nomadic people, it is a source of pride and a validation of their ancient heritage. In many parts of Mongolia, the lives of Nomads have hardly changed since the days of Genghis Khan. But today, globalization and Mongolia's rapid transition from a socialist to a free-market economy threaten their traditional way of life, which is deeply dependent on the health of the environment.
For a full list of finalists, see www.responsibletourismawards.com