Month: January 2015

UNWTO award accolade for Taste of Fethiye project

At the 11th UNWTO Awards for Excellence and Innovation in Tourism on January 28th, the Taste of Fethiye project was 1st runner up in the UNWTO Ulysses Award for Innovation in Non-Governmental Organizations category. This a huge achievement, especially given the tough competition, and celebrates the work that has taken place since the projects inception in 2010.

award_001Vicky Erdogan and Semsi Toprak, from the project team based in Turkey, attended the awards ceremony in Madrid.

Semsi, Production and Supply Chain Manager, Taste of Fethiye, said “In the last couple of years we have had great experiences with the Taste of Fethiye project and attending the UNWTO Award Ceremony as a finalist was maybe the highlight of these. Learning more about the other shortlisted projects and meeting with all these inspiring finalists from all over the world were awesome experiences. UNWTO’s Award members of the ceremony organization team were also great hosts. I feel proud that I was able to represent my country and the Travel Foundation at such a respectable event.”

Vicky, Hotels and Marketing Manager, Taste of Fethiye, added “Well it certainly was a night to remember and we were honored to be standing there amongst all those innovative projects from around the world. I felt privileged not only to be representing the Taste of Fethiye project but also the Travel Foundation which is positively striving to be the bridge connecting tourism and sustainability.”

You can see some pictures from the awards ceremony here, and read about the winners of each category here.

More about the project…

Launched in 2010, the Taste of Fethiye project saw collaboration between Travel Foundation, Co-operative Travel, Thomson, First Choice and Thomas Cook. The project was developed primarily to assist farmers in the Fethiye area of Turkey  improve the benefits they gain from tourism and to encourage good farming practise. In practise, the project has seen increased productivity and fresh, local produce being supplied to local hotels, with the benefits being felt by farmers and hoteliers alike. Read more here >

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Rastafari Indigenous Village members upskill to provide unique tourist experience

18 members of Rastafari Indigenous Village (RIV) and two members of the Montego River Gardens community in Jamaica participated in a 10-day interactive training programme in Tour Guide Skills, facilitated by the Tourism Product Development Company. Members will also gain certification in the national tourism training programme Team Jamaica. The training will support the RIV community in further developing and delivering their unique and informative tour.

Below, we hear from RIV members involved in the training programme… 

RIV TG-20141212-Iyara“Good experience! It’s good to share the knowledge with others and I have increased my confidence.” ‘Iyara’ Tamara Prendergast (Craft artisan/fruit prep/Herb garden tour guide)

“The training is very important! It has helped us build our professionalism. It is very informative and has made us more knowledgeable of our country, ourselves and even our Village, because there are some things I didn’t know about the Village, such as the history of the Labyrinth garden and its value to finding yourself and your centre.”  ‘Queen B’ Izeeta Berham (Cuisine/Labyrinth garden tour guide/housekeeping)

RIV TG-20141212-HadoThe training has been very wonderful! It is good to have everyone in the Village participate. It creates a harmony. Makes it easier to ‘wake up’ (yoga term for experiencing an awakening) and you want to be present. Definitely a lot of laughter in every class and everyone is enjoying the sessions.  The Jamaican cuisine day was special..great sharing food with everyone that everyone had created.” ‘Hado’ Mark  McFarlane (yoga wellness coach/cuisine/housekeeping)

RIV members have also participated in a formal tour at the 5-star ‘Croydon in the Mountains’ attraction to experience an existing guided walking tour. This activity helped sharpen their guiding skills and provided an opportunity to critique an established tour based on the new body of knowledge acquired in their training sessions.

It is hoped that the revised RIV tours will be available to customers from early 2015. Keep an eye on the Travel Foundation website for further information.