Guyana has been named the number one “Best of Ecotourism” destination in the world. The award was presented to Guyana at the ITB global travel trade fair in Berlin, Germany.The second annual “Best of Top 100” Awards is a selection of the finest top 100 destinations selected by a panel of experts who reviewed sustainability success stories submitted by destinations worldwide.The newly created “Best of Ecotourism” category was added in 2019 and puts Guyana up against very well-known and experienced ecotourism destinations, such as Sierra Gorda in Mexico, Tmatboey in Cambodia, and the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.The announcement was made on Thursday evening at Berlin’s Messe Berlin exhibition grounds by Albert Salman, President of Green Destinations Foundation. Brian T Mullis, Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority was in attendance to accept the award on behalf of Guyana.Director of the Guyana Tourism Authority, Brian T Mullis and Nicola Balram pose with the prestigious award“Guyana has expended considerable effort in recent years not only to develop new and innovative eco-friendly tourism products as a part of the national Green State Development Strategy, but also to incorporate sustainable tourism best practices into all aspects of its strategy, planning and programming while educating the world about its deep commitment to maximising the positive socio-economic and conservation outcomes from tourism,” said Mullis. He continued, “It is a tremendous honour for us to be recognised globally alongside our fellow leaders in eco- and sustainable tourism.”Guyana is positioned as the next must-see destination for travellers. With daily non-stop flights already available from New York, Miami and Toronto and direct routes available from Europe through sister Caribbean countries, and it being the only English-speaking country in South America, travellers can experience vibrant Indigenous culture, rich history, and hospitable and friendly people in the language both parties know best. Guyana has also recently become the first country to adopt the Adventure Travel Trade Association’s International Adventure Travel Guide Qualification and Performance Standards.When asked about Guyana’s selection as number one in the “Best of Ecotourism” category, Albert Salman, President of the Green Destinations Foundation said “The Top 100 Awards Jury was impressed by the dossier prepared by the Guyana Tourism Authority for the Top 100-nomination and by the success stories submitted of Surama and Rewa.Both these eco lodges have ambitious and admirable goals and successes, are community-owned and led, and aim at preserving Guyana’s ecosystems and Indigenous traditions. The Jury also liked that Guyana has a policy of a ‘Green, Inclusive and Prosperous Guyana’ that provides a good quality of life for all its citizens based on a sound education and social protection, low-carbon resilient development, green and decent jobs, economic opportunities, individual equality, justice, and political empowerment.’”
Mary Kom was named as the best female athlete at the first-ever ‘Awards for Asia’ ceremony organised by Asian Sportswriters Union (AIPS Asia), which took place on Tuesday. South Korea’s football star Son Heung-min, who plays for Tottenham Hotspur in the Premier League, was adjudged the best male athlete.India’s leading boxer Mary Kom bagged the award based on her exploits in the Asian women boxing scene. The 36-year-old mother of two is the only woman boxer to have won a medal in seven world championships. With the World Championships starting on September 7, Mary Kom is eyeing a record seventh World Championship gold medal, which will take her past the Cuban legend Felix Savon.While Mary Kom general weight category is 48kg, this time at the World Championships she will compete in the 51kg flyweight category – the one that’s chosen for the Olympics next year.Photo Credit: @AIPSmediaOn the other hand, Son was given the award for his contribution to Asian and South Korean football. Son is Asia’s leading face as he plays for Tottenham in the Premier League and the Champions League. Last year, Son also guided South Korea to gold medal at Asian Games.”Son is an amazing football player and we are delighted he has been selected as the first winner of the Asian awards,” said Jung Hee Don, the President of the Korea Sports Press Union.Apart from the individual awards, Japan women’s football team won the best female team award for their 2011 Women’s World Cup victory and runners-up finish in the World Cup in 2015. Having reached the quarter-finals of this year’s World Cup, the team were also winners of the 2014 and 2018 AFC Women’s Asian Cup as well as the 2010 and 2018 Asian Games.Qatar men’s national football team won the best male team award after they won the AFC Asian Cup earlier this year. Qatar also participated in Copa America 2019 and put up strong performances against the South American biggies. Awards for AsiaJapan women’s football teammary komQatar men’s football team First Published: August 30, 2019, 12:10 PM IST Get the best of News18 delivered to your inbox – subscribe to News18 Daybreak. Follow News18.com on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Telegram, TikTok and on YouTube, and stay in the know with what’s happening in the world around you – in real time.