Slumped at your desk and looking for a shot of experiential inspiration? You’re in the right place, because it’s finally time to reveal the shortlist for this year’s PURE Awards, brought to you by Tourism Australia.
The PURE community sent in their entries from across the globe in order to win one of these coveted spots, and after a lengthy discussion between a few of the world’s most experienced and respected travel journalists (read about the shortlisting event here and watch them in action in the video below), the finalists have been decided.
Now, it’s over to you to tell us who you think deserves to take home a golden P at the Awards Party at Sofitel Palais Impérial Marrakech on Tuesday 13 September. Meet the shortlist, read about each category in focus and cast your vote below to decide 2016’s most maverick experientialists.
Butterfield & Robinson
Helping traveller Daphne Pirie return and reconnect to her birth country of Myanmar some 70 years after fleeing.
Congo Conservation Company
Exploring the world of gorillas through the eyes of travellers and gorilla researchers, acting as a catalyst for conservation.
Great Plains Conservation
Returning to an age of exploration with the Selinda Adventure Trail in a 320,000-acre private reserve in Botswana.
Origen Extraordinary Escapes
Accessing an extinct volcano crater used for research and not open to public visits, introducing the traveller to a unique conservation effort.
Ensuring the survival of the Tasmanian devil through a surprising, genuine and luxurious experience.
CONSERVATION AND SUSTAINABILITY
Cheli & Peacock Safaris
Providing toolkits to local farmers to reduce life-threatening conflict with elephants in Tanzania.
Desert & Delta Safaris
Launching Africa’s first fleet of electric-powered, CO2 emission-free safari vehicles and boats.
Fregate Island Private
Integrating Seychellois students passionate about nature and their country’s ecosystem into Fregate’s conservation work.
Facilitating the first attempted cataract surgery on an Eastern Black Rhino in Kenya.
Funding and facilitating a collaborative project to ensure better patrolling and monitoring of tigers.
argos in Cappadocia
Establishing the Uchisar Culture and Women’s House to support village women by production and education.
Building Camp Hope and Our Dream Village to provide temporary shelter and rebuild homes for those affected by the 2015 Sindhupalchowk earthquake.
Running a schoolbus for children in the village of Sexaxa to allow them to continue their education in tough environmental conditions.
Creating the Bwindi Bar and Training Café to provide practical training and skills for disadvantaged youth aged 15-26.
INNOVATIVE AND ENGAGING MARKETING
African Bush Camps
Guides were taught to use 360-degree video technology to take viewers on a virtual safari with the elephants at Somalisa Camp.
Great Plains Conservation / Great Plains Foundation
GoPro were invited to document a live rhino relocation with the Rhinos Without Borders team, resulting in 1.6m views and future fundraising.
A surfing competition saw six former world champions be pampered at Four Seasons Resort Maldives whilst competing for $25k, reaching over 3m viewers.
New build villa Seascape was built and decorated with locally sourced materials and capitalises on outstanding views of the bay.
Loisaba Tented Camp was created to maximise the view of the Laikipia landscape after a fire destroted the previous Loisaba Lodge.
Homoki Yurts started from scratch and was completely built by locals, taking luxury glamping to the next level to mediate mindful interaction.
This extension was designed to fit in with Comporta, bring guests more privacy and increase the intimacy of the hotel.
CONTRIBUTION TO EXPERIENTIAL TRAVEL
Keith Vincent – CEO, Wilderness Safaris
Keith has played a vital role in pioneering authentic and sustainable ecotourism in Africa, from launching new camps in Namibia and Zimbabwe to opening a new lodge in Rwanda in 2017 to promote gorilla tourism.
Louisa ‘Choppy’ Patterson – Founder, Over The Top Ltd
Having started Over The Top 30 years ago, Louisa has spearheaded high-end tourism excursions that use helicopters to provide access to remote and pristine areas.
Mei Zhang – Founder & CEO, WildChina
In 2016 Mei changed the way the Chinese travel in their own country by launching the website Newugo, the Airbnb of experiential travel.
Paul Strachan – Founder, Pandaw Expeditions Ltd
For 21 years Paul has been one of the most innovative and influential figures in the river boat cruising market in Asia, enabling thousands of travellers to experience rural Southeast Asia up close.
Roque Sevilla – Chairman of the Board, Metropolitan Touring – ETICA
Roque realised his dream of expanding 1400 hectares of primary forest in Ecuador’s Choco region by successfully lobbying for the creation of a 17200-hectare protected area.
Andrew Dixon – Owner, Nikoi Island and Cempedak Island
Nominated by Gisela Williams for his innovative environmental infrastructure and practices, including building the upcoming Cempedakx Island almost entirely out of bamboo.
Ben Goldsmith and Luca del Bono – Aeolian Islands Preservation Fund
Nominated by Maria Shollenbarger for setting up the Fund to raise money that is issued directly to locals and local organisations in the form of grants, resulting in several significant benefits for the community.
Kris McDivitt Tompkins
Nominated by Jen Murphy for her dedication to creating six new national parks in addition to the five that she and her late husband Doug have already implemented, making them the two private individuals who have protected more land than any in history.
Renato Machado – Owner, Reserva do Ibitipoca
Nominated by Catherine Fair-weather for his conservation, community and cultural projects in the Brazilian back of beyond.
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