Wilderness have been in business for over 26 years and currently operate 59 safari camps in six countries that straddle southern Africa.
Their approach to operations has always been at the cutting edge of sustainable tourism through the early adoption of the 3 ‘strategic pillars’ of Tourism, Conservation and Awareness. They have raised the bar even higher with their approach to sustainability through a strategy encapsulated in the ‘4 C’s’, a concept adopted from the Zeitz Foundation. This concept suggests that no organization will be truly sustainable unless it addresses the four dimensions of Conservation, Community, Culture and Commerce.
During the course of this year’s judging and inspection trip for the World Travel & Tourism Council’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards I’ve had the pleasure of learning how a range of global destinations have taken advantage of their World Heritage site status in order to boost their visibility and increase visitors interested in sustainable tourism.
I must say it made me think about how little Belize utilizes its UNESCO status especially with the high levels of interest being generated in Belize’s cultural tourism product through the 2012 celebrations (end of the current Maya Long Count Calendar).
Belize should use its UNESCO World Heritage status as a key driver for tourism to Belize and it should sit proudly at the heart of the a much deeper and more meaningful sustainable destination development plan for the country.