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Botswana picked for world tourism award

Staff Writer
The Okavango Delta, the world's largest inland delta, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Destination Stewardship category of this year's Tourism for Tomorrow Awards.

The prestigious Awards, which recognise best practice in sustainable tourism in four different categories - Destination Stewardship, Conservation, Community Benefit and Global Tourism Business, will be held in Beijing, China next month.

The Okavango Delta has been picked alongside China's Mount Huangshan Scenic Site and an unnamed destination in Montenegro.

Botswana Tourism Board (BTB) public relations officer, Thabiso Leshoai confirmed the development.

"Okavango Delta, situated in the northwest part of Botswana, has been shortlisted as a finalist in the Destination Stewardship category of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards," he said.

The World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) recently announced the 12 finalists for the 2010 edition of the awards. According to the WTTC website, over 160 entries were received this year from over 45 countries.

"This is a welcome and exciting development for Botswana and tourism in our country. The Destination Stewardship category

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recognises destinations or countries which show dedication to and success in maintaining a programme of sustainable tourism management at the destination level, incorporating social, cultural, environmental and economic aspects as well as multi-stakeholder engagement," he added. Leshoai reckons being selected as a finalist is testament to the sound conservation policies of the Botswana government.

The 12 finalists were selected by an international team of independent judges in each of the four award categories for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism practices.

This award is for a tourism initiative that has effectively demonstrated direct benefits to local people, including capacity building, the transfer of industry skills and support for community development.

Finalists are required to be able to demonstrate how local people in the destination can become stakeholders and partners in the sustainable tourism efforts and in developing their own business.



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