Director of National Parks
Booderee National Park - already going for gold in London
8 November 2010
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Booderee National Park has been named as one of the finalists in the internationally renowned Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards for 2010.
The winners of these prestigious international awards will be announced at a gala function at the World Travel Market in London tomorrow (10 November 2010).
Booderee is competing for the 'best conservation of cultural heritage' award.
Traditional owner and the curator of Australia's only Aboriginal-owned botanic garden, Bernie McLeod said it was a great honour to be shortlisted for the award.
"We know that people from around the world want to see and understand Australia's beautiful landscapes through the eyes of Aboriginal people," he said.
"The land and waters of Booderee have always held special significance for the Aboriginal peoples of this region. We want people to love this place like we do - to learn about, enjoy and respect this place."
Booderee's Visitor Services Manager John Harvey said the judging panel received more than 1,700 nominations from over 600 organisations around the world.
"This is the first time in the seven-year history of this award that an Australian organisation has been shortlisted in any category, so we are very proud of that breakthrough achievement," he said.
In another coup for the South Coast tourism industry, the Kangaroo Valley Tourist Association has also been shortlisted this year in the best destination category.
The Responsible Tourism Awards aim to 'recognise leaders in their field who inspire others about sustainable travel and to raise awareness of sustainable tourism principles which will help drive long term change across the tourism industry'.
Mr Harvey said that Booderee had been recognised for its partnership between the park and the Wreck Bay Aboriginal community.
"Booderee is committed to celebrating Aboriginal culture, promoting Indigenous businesses, providing local jobs and protecting cultural heritage," he said.
"Today nearly 80 per cent of Booderee's staff and contractors are local Indigenous people, working in the park and helping visitors connect with their culture."
Booderee offers visitors a range of unforgettable holiday experiences with camping, swimming, bushwalking, diving, whale-watching and cultural heritage all part of the package.
Media contacts: To talk to Bernie McLeod or John Harvey ring Martin Fortescue, Booderee National Park Manager on 02 4442 2207 or 02 4442 1006 .