After months of applications and hours of deliberation from the judges to decide on the 2017 PURE Awards shortlist, last night was finally the moment of truth: the Awards Party at Sofitel has become a firm fixture in the PURE show calendar – and for our ninth edition it didn’t disappoint.
Arriving to the fire-lit driveway, PUREists were greeted with heart-shuddering drumming and a glass of champagne – the only thing fitting to toast such an occasion. The atmosphere was electric as they mingled by the glimmering pool, sampling tasty morsels and clinking glasses with friends by candlelight.
Suddenly the stage, floating in the centre of the pool, came to life and MCs Max and Mike brought the atmosphere up to fever pitch. One by one, the people’s winners were announced to cheers from the crowd over the pumping music, those golden Ps shining in the lights. The crowd, too, had gone all out on the ‘Touch of Gold’ theme – in part thanks to our friends at The Mermaid Cave, whose biodegradable glitter and gems adorned the faces of the crowd.
Ceremony over, toasts made and congratulations shared, it was on to SO Night Lounge to celebrate the only way PURE knows how: by dancing on tables until the wee hours. Who said work can’t be fun?!
Check out our 2017 PURE Awards winners…
CASCADA EXPEDICIONES/ECOCAMP PATAGONIA
The Dientes Trek is a “back to your roots” wilderness experience. There is virtually no trail infrastructure; it’s un-crowded and the immersion in nature and disconnect from the world is absolute. There is only you, silence, and the mighty peaks and legendary waterways of Tierra del Fuego. Trekkers leave with a greater appreciation and understanding of the power of nature, as well as themselves as humans in the world, where our actions have real consequences for the future of the planet.
- BOLIVIA MILENARIA – Digging Deep in La Paz City
- CHURCHILL WILD – Arctic Glamping in the Barren Lands of Northern Manitoba
- SPLIT APPLE RETREAT – Taking Ultra-Luxury Wellness to a New Level
- WILDCHINA – Travels Through Dali with a Leg of Ham: Connecting with Yunnan’s Culinary Artists
Conservation & Sustainability
Ground-breaking Solar Technology Introduced at Singita Kruger National Park
The solar projects aim was to reduce reliance on fossil fuels by harnessing energy from this sun-rich part of the world to provide solar power. In 2015, 1188 photovoltaic solar panels were installed and connected to state-of-the-art batteries and inverters to power the lodges. In 2017, the Tesla Powerpack system was introduced. The combination of solar and Powerpack enables sustainable energy generation, consumption and storage. The system has already reduced diesel generator usage by over 70% and is forecast to reduce annual carbon emissions by 1,000 tons.
- THE BRANDO ON TETIAROA PRIVATE ISLAND – A Unique Sustainable Vision Becomes Reality
- THE PAVILIONS HIMALAYAS – Innovation, Sustainability and Nature’s Love, The Pavilions Himalayas
- ULTIMATE SAFARIS NAMIBIA – Saving Namibia’s Micro Desert Adapted Black Rhino Populations
Karawara culture on a secluded island
Guests swap their current reality for life on a secluded island, under the guidance of the neighbouring Karawara people, in the tropics of Papua New Guinea. Karawara Islanders visit guests daily on Kabakon island, supplying their extensive knowledge, time and rich customs, teaching how to forage, hunt, weave, connect and play. Guests are then left to their own devices until the next visit. The project offers an additional income stream for the local community and re-ignites pride in the continuation of local traditions and cultures.
- THE LODGE AT FELINE FIELDS – Community Engagement for the Next Generation with the Feline Fields Trust
Innovative & Engaging Marketing
GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION
Great Plains’ Vinyl Revival
Prior to the modern, slick, digital-era PURE, there were old-school trade shows that were like lifting a needle carefully onto a vinyl record to be heard. That’s what a Berlin show is still like, where you need to manually grab your target listeners by creative packaging to get the listen. A campaign of four pre-show emails followed a vinyl theme of new tracks on Side 1 and classic hits on Side 2, inspired by everything from Bowie’s Berlin Trilogy to Great Plains’ classic tracks. The result? A sell-out show; maverick brand awareness; great feedback from the non-trade show audience.
- BUTTERFIELD & ROBINSON – Fifty Years of Sabering, Celebration and Suds
- TERRAMUNDI VIAGENS, BRAZIL – Terramundi Creators, Peru
Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge
Bisate’s sophisticated architectural and interior design is rooted in Rwandan building tradition. The spherical, thatched structure echoes the thousands of hills that dot the Rwandan landscape, while the richly-detailed interiors exhibit surfaces and screens made from a variety of woven materials with strong resonance in Rwandan culture. Bisate not only offers guests something completely unique to the Rwandan landscape but a lodge that is steeped in local design, culture and traditional architecture.
- ANDBEYOND TRAVEL – Contemporary Safari Lodge Imbued with Local Tradition and Zambezi Spirit
- GREAT PLAINS CONSERVATION – Duba Plains Camp
- NAMIBIA EXCLUSIVE – Desert Minimalism at Sorris Sorris Lodge
Contribution to Experiential Travel
Mike Reimer, co-founder of Churchill Wild, is a true entrepreneur and adventurer. The first to offer walking safaris through polar bear inhabited regions of northern Manitoba, he’s always one step ahead, planning new experiences for guests. From safe, on-the-ground polar bear encounters to an innovative way for people to snorkel with wild beluga whales to a remote Tundra Camp set up in the Barren Lands for an Arctic glamping experience, Mike’s insatiable curiosity for what’s possible keeps guests intrigued and engaged.
- CHARLES MCDIARMID – Wickaninnish Inn
- MEI ZHANG – Wild China
African Bush Camps
Lewis Mangaba is not only a guide, he is a man whose pulse beats in time with the heart of Africa. He is a storyteller, a poet- a man who inspires passion for preserving our wildlife heritage to all who encounter him. Lewis’s intuition in the bush ensures a fantastic experience for his guests. He’s affectionately known as the medicine man, and once trekked deep into the wilds of Mana Pools to find a plant to treat mosquito bites because a guest, who had been bitten, was averse to the repellents.
- ENOCK SAYAGIE – Cottar’s 1920s Safari Camps
- JOHN BASTON – Mountain Travel Sobek
- GEORGE NJUNJA JAMES – Wilderness Safaris