The Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) awarded Nyungwe National park for its tourism project – Nyungwe Nziza aimed at raising environmental awareness in Rwanda. The award was received by Rwanda on October 21, 2013.
The 2013 awards recognized the projects that aimed at preserving nature among them Nyungwe Nziza.
The project has helped to generate local jobs by bringing tourists from all over the world to visit Nyungwe National Park’s spectacular rain forest canopy.
In 2010, the Nyungwe Nziza Project helped open a 90-meter long canopy walk, one of only three of its kind in Africa.
The USAID-supported Nyungwe Nziza Project which worked with local communities and schools to raise environmental awareness.
Since 2010, the Strengthening Sustainable Ecotourism in and around Nyungwe National Park (SSENNP) Program, known in the Kinyarwanda language as “Nyungwe Nziza” or Beautiful Nyungwe, has been working with the park to promote and sustain Rwanda’s ecotourism and conservation.
SATW’s Co- chair Cheryl Hargrove said that SATW Phoenix committee and the board of Directors selected Nyungwe Nziza Project after studying many projects from many countries.
“They voted for the project because it is a great example of the type of the project that should be replicated around the world,” said SATW’s Co-chair.
Peter Malnak, Mission Director of USAID/ Rwanda said that Nyungwe National Park is one of the most spectacular natural landscapes in the world.
Malnak said USAID is proud to be working alongside Rwandan partners in the rain forest since the 1980’s.
“Nyungwe is now transforming into an eco tourism destination that attracts visitors from all over the world. Most importantly, the Rwandan government, the private sector and local communities understand the value in the park,” remarked Malnak.
He said the community is working alongside USAID to protect the forest not only for its remarkable beauty, but also for the economic benefits and ecological services it provides.
Other four outstanding tourism projects that received 2013 Phoenix Awards included Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Wilderness Lodges (Maine), Glenfern Sanctuary (Kotuku Peninsula, New Zealand), Pearl Brewery (San Antonio, TX), The Old Mill and Old Mill Square (Pigeon Forge, TN).
The Phoenix Awards were created by SATW in 1969 to recognize conservation and preservation efforts of individuals and organizations as they relate to travel.
Society of American Travel Writers comprises “Travel’s Most Trusted Voices.” Headquartered in Milwaukee, WI, SATW is a nonprofit professional association.
SATW members strive to maintain the industry’s highest professional and ethical standards, and their dedication and experience represent the Society’s commitment to journalistic integrity and credibility.