Cardamom Tented Camp ecolodge in Cambodia has been announced by Green Destinations as one of the 2021 Top 100 Destination Sustainability Stories in the world.
The announcement was made 5 October in the online annual conference of Green Destinations, a non-profit organisation for sustainable tourism, based in The Netherlands. The annual programme has been in existence since 2014.
Cardamom Tented Camp was chosen by the judges among 28 tourism experiences around the world in the Nature and Ecotourism category. The other 72 winners were in the categories of Localisation and Decarbonising the Local Supply Chain; Communities and Culture; Environment and Climate; and Tourism Reset and Recovery.
“Since Cardamom Tented Camp opened in 2017 we’ve helped protect 18,000 hectares of forest by channelling income from the camp to support 12 forest rangers who have done a terrific job of reducing illegal logging, wildlife hunting and sandbank dredging,” said Willem Niemeijer, CEO of YAANA Ventures, the camp operator.
“Right from day one our slogan has been, ‘Your Stay Keeps the Forest Standing’. The Green Destination judges saw those details of our work. They recognised that our sustainability story as a world-class and inspirational conservation tourism project could be emulated in other places,” he said.
In an earlier Q&A session for the online conference on 5 October, Niemeijer told Green Destination online conference attendees that Cardamom Tented Camp was based on three principles: a belief in visitor dispersion to off-the-beaten-track places away from over-touristed hubs; a commitment to work with experts, such as NGO Wildlife Alliance; and a full-hearted belief in the triple bottom line of people, planet and profit, which had to be unwavering if the project was going to be truly sustainable, said Niemeijer.
In an official statement announcing the Top 100, Green Destinations said: “With the tourism sector facing very challenging times in the past year or so, the resilience and hard work of these destinations to become more responsible should be celebrated. The 2021 selection was determined by the quality, transferability, and, more than ever, by the level of innovation of the stories.”
Albert Salman, the President of Green Destinations told the audience that the objective of the top 100 sustainability stories programme was to “inspire responsible tourism leadership around the world”.
Further information on Cardamom Tented Camp, including its back story, its other awards and guest experiences, is available here.