KOTA KINABALU: Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL) was named as a finalist for the 2013 Wild Asia Responsible Tourism Awards in the Most Inspiring Responsible Tourism Accommodation Provider category.
The winners and finalists were announced at ITB Asia on Friday (October 25) in Singapore. This year, 45 applications were submitted by top responsible tourism operators from across Asia, of which six of them were chosen by judges as winners in six categories respectively, followed by a finalist in each category.
SRL in a statement here yesterday said: “It is another significant milestone for SRL for the lodge’s commitment to sustainable tourism development principle of triple bottom line – economic, social and environment which had earned it a long list of awards in the past decade, including winner of the Tourism for Tomorrow 1997 Award – Best Lodge/Pacific Region, National Geographic Adventure’s 2009 Magazine – 50 Top Ecolodges Jungle Category and winner of the prestigious 17th World Travel Awards – Asia’s leading Green Hotel in 2010.”
Opened in May 1995 by local businessman Albert Teo, SRL adopted a green policy in daily operation and is completely self-sufficient in water and power supply – utilising rainwater and solar hot water heating.
Electric motors are used for river safari tours to wildlife areas to minimise air and noise pollution hence, reducing impact to the wildlife. Other than providing job opportunities for the locals, the lodge has been providing employment opportunities for local staff.
SRL together with sister company, Borneo Eco Tours, run its own non-profit community and environment foundation ‘Borneo Ecotourism Solutions & Technologies Society’, BEST Society to manage its community and environmental projects in Kinabatangan, Kudat and the rest of Sabah.
One of the most successful projects is the Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor Rehabilitation Program or KWICORP and tree planting program to regenerate a piece of degraded land for wildlife corridor.
The lodge also co-organised three major medical projects in the nearby Kampung Sukau, Abai and Bilit to provide free medical and dental treatments, which had benefited more than 2,000 villagers since 2003.
As part of SRL’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, the lodge donates RM4 per adult to BEST Society for every international guest who stays with them. (Borneo Eco Tours also contributes RM8 per guest).
From 1996 to July 2013, SRL has raised RM231,877.08 out of a total of RM1,060,183.57 for BEST Society’s various projects.