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Laos Wins Planeta.com 2009 Ecotourism Spotlight Award

SPOTLIGHT AWARD WIKI

Publication date: September 2009

Ecotourism Spotlight Award 2009
View more presentations from Ron Mader.

SLIDESHARE: Ecotourism Spotlight Award 2009


Planeta.com - Votes for the 2009 Ecotourism Spotlight Award have been counted and the winner of the 2009 Ecotourism Spotlight Award: for the third year in a row, the winner is Ecotourism Laos!

Ecotourism Laos recently overhauled its growing activities section, expanded the monthly What's New page and added a Virtual Tour of Laos. A hotel booking engine along with greater use of Web 2.0 tools are in the pipeline.

"Locals and visitors are seeking ways to interact via ecotourism experiences," said Planeta.com founder Ron Mader. "The Ecotourism Spotlight Award encourages government leaders. The 2009 Award nominees use the Web in highly creative and innovative ways that engage locals and visitors and inspire us all."

Thaviphet Oula, Deputy Director of the Lao National Tourism Administration’s Department of Planning and Cooperation said “we are very happy to have the honor of being awarded the 2009 Ecotourism Spotlight Award because of the recognition this award brings to our efforts to promote Lao PDR as a top ecotourism destination in Asia.” Thanks to Planeta.com for establishing the Ecotourism Spotlight Award and a special thanks to everyone that supported Ecotourism Laos and the other great sites nominated this year."

Other nominees for this year's award included Quito Visitors' Bureau, Responsible Tourism Guide to the Mekong and Failte Ireland.

The nomination of Mexico's National Commission of Natural Protected Areas was withdrawn when the website ceased operation in mid August.


2009 SNAPSHOT

It takes some time for awards to be recognized among likely candidates and the interested public. Competition was strongest this year as many government sites have spent considerable time and resources improving their coverage of ecotourism.

Best practices include Failte Ireland's Ecotourism Handbook distribution to all 16,000 Irish tourism businesses and Quito's documentation of eco activities include eco bike rides. Web 2.0 is showcased on the Mekong guide. Ecotourism Laos has been revising its site and shows how any good website must be regularly updated to maintain its effectiveness.

2009 Ecotourism Spotlight Award Winner

ABOUT THE AWARD

Government websites that educate visitors about ecotourism and responsible travel options are eligible to win Planeta.com's third annual Ecotourism Spotlight Award. Complete details are online the Planeta Wiki.

The winner is announced in celebration of World Tourism Day (September 27) as way of spotlighting best practice in responsible travel and ecotourism. The award was developed to create incentives for communication, opportunities for conversation and a reward for participation among government leaders working toward ecotourism and responsible travel.

"Nominees are asked to review each other's websites. "Connect with each other," advises Mader. "While this is a competition, we also encourage collaboration. Learning from other leaders makes sense. All of these nominees are winners."

COMMENTS

The award always makes us analyze the site anew from an ecotourism perspective, and always gives us fresh impetus in our endeavours to cover ecotravel. For that, we're very grateful to enter and to be considered!
- Dominic Hamilton, Quito Visitors' Bureau


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