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Published on March 12, 2015

Situated off the northeastern coast of Bintan Island in the Riau Islands Province, the secluded small island of Nikoi has been named as one of the three finalists in the category of Earth Changer in the World Legacy Awards 2015 presented by the National Geographic Magazine.

 The World Legacy Awards 2015 itself consists of 5 categories: Earth Changers, Sense of Place, Conserving the Natural World, Engaging Communities, and Destination Leadership. Winners of all categories were announced on 5th March 2015, at the ITB Berlin Tourism Fair.

The World Legacy Award is an acknowledgment for companies, organizations, and renowned destinations ranging from hotels, ecolodges, small islands, to countries that boost positive transformations of the travel industry. Evaluations are based on the efforts that have been undertaken to preserve the natural environment.

Over 150 contestants representing 56 countries in 6 continents participated in the competition. The winners and finalists of all 5 categories were carefully selected by Costas Christ,  Editor of National Geographic Traveler Magazine and head of the World Legacy Award. The judging process also involved an onsite inspection to document the sustainable and environmentally friendly practices.

“Sustainable tourism is the development trend which is currently being conducted by travel and tourism industries towards global transformation. This also include awareness about the impacts on local communities and areas visited by tourists. World Legacy Awards is presented to celebrate that transformation. The 15th finalists have represented the spirit to build a better sustainable tourism development” explained Costas Christs.

Long regarded as one of the most stunning islands on the relatively unspoilt coast, Nikoi is fortunate to have retained its pristine condition. It is ringed with white sandy beaches and coral reefs of spectacular color and diversity. Today the island resort features beach houses that reflect both traditional Indonesian architecture and contemporary form.  Using driftwood and ‘alang alang’ grass roofing to blend into the environment, each beach house incorporates a modern ensuite bathroom.  Thus, providing a “simple barefoot luxury” in a superb setting.

Here are the Winners and finalists of National Geographic World Legacy Awards 2015:

1. Earth Changers

Making breakthroughs in green technologies and businesses which are environmentally friendly, innovating new sources of energies,  and water conservation to maintain zero carbon waste as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Winner: Orange County Resort (India)

Finaslists: Nikoi Island (Indonesia) and The Brando (Tahiti)

2.  Sense of Place

Realizing the importance of the authenticity of a site including historical monuments, archeological sites, culture, legacies, customs, and traditions.

Winner: Cavallo Point Lodge (USA)

Finalists:Fogo Island Inn (Canada) and Gai Haanas National Reserve (Canada)

3. Conserving the Natural World

Realizing the importance of supporting natural preservation, restoring natural habitats and protecting rare and endangered species.

Winner: Huilo Huilo Biological Reserve (Chili)

Finalists: And Beyond (East and South Africa) and Conservation Ecology Centre (Australia)

4. Engaging Communities

Emphasizing the economy and social benefits by raising the welfare of the local communities by engaging in training and quality improvement, fair and effective remunerations, community developments, and health and education services.

Winner: Tropic Journeys in Mature (Ecuador)

Finalists : Feynan Ecolodge (Jordania) and Mukul Resort (Nicaragua)

5. Destination Leadership

Dedicated to cities, provinces, countries, and regions which play an important role as the pioneer of environmental friendly practices, natural and cultural heritage preservations, giving benefits to local communities, and ones that follow the principle of sustainable natural preservation.

Winner: Aruba Tourism Board (Caribbean)

Finalists: Delaware North Yosemite (USA) and Val d’Aran (Spain).

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