Kelling Heath In Finals Of B.A. Awards
Kelling Heath Holiday Park in North Norfolk, already the United Kingdom Winner in the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards and a recent recipient of the prestigious TOURFOR European Environmental Award, joined a marine park in Tanzania, a five star resort on a remote Fijian Island and a Hungarian village in going through to the Tourism for Tomorrow global finals.
A total of 115 projects from 41 countries were considered for this year's prestigious awards which recognise an environmentally and culturally sensitive approach to tourism. British Airways chairman, Lord Marshall, said:
"As we enter the next millennium, environmental issues must be at the top of the global agenda. These awards, which have been running for a decade, continue to highlight the importance of sustainable tourism projects for the survival of our planet."
The regional winners are: United Kingdom - Kelling Heath Holiday Park, Norfolk; Europe - Gomorszolos Village, Hungary; Pacific - Turtle Island, Fiji; Southern - Chumbe Island Coral Park, Tanzania.
Highly Commended in the UK section of the awards were the Glenlivet Estate in Tomintoul, Scotland and Country Lanes in Hampshire. In America, the Aspen Skiing Company wins the Longhaul Special award - an award given to a project which receives more than 200,000 visitors per year while still fulfilling all the criteria of the Tourism for Tomorrow awards.
The judging panel is chaired by Professor David Bellamy and includes Ross B Simons from the Smithsonian Institution, Professor Paul Eagles from IUCN (The World Conservation Union) and Sir Crispin Tickell. This year, Amanda Burt, a 15 year old judge from Kinlochbervie in Sutherland has also been chosen to sit on the panel, representing future generations.
Professor Bellamy says the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow awards are leading the tourism industry into the future:
"Tourism for Tomorrow looks for projects which can be best used to provide a global example of how the tourism industry can have minimal impact on the natural and cultural environment. The quality improves every year as projects aim to meet the criteria needed to win these prestigious awards."
Kelling Heath is the only holiday park in the country to employ a full time countryside manager, Kevin Hart, who prepared the submission to the British Airways awards panel and presented it together with the Park's marketing director, Michael Timewell. Mr. Timewell says that the accolade reflects the huge amount of investment, both financial and physical, that his company, Blue Sky Leisure; have put into the conservation of Kelling Heath's stunning natural environment:
"Winning such a prestigious award such as this one is a wonderful fillip but it reflects a huge commitment in terms of cash by Blue Sky Leisure and sheer hard work by Kevin and all our team at Kelling Heath. It is a huge honour for us to have won the British Airways Tourism for Tomorrow UK award and it will please the very many customers who return time and time again to this delightful environment."
Past global winners include a Conservation International Project in Ghana, C2C cycle route in the North of England, Coral Cay Conservation in Belize, a Himalayan conservation project in Nepal and a Nature Reserve in Hawaii.
Kelling Heath, near Holt in North Norfolk, is a holder of a silver award in the tourism industry's 'Oscars', the England for Excellence Awards, holds a Gold conservation award and has also won a special award from the Norfolk Society - a branch of the Council for the Protection of Rural England - for promoting tourism in an environmentally sensitive way.