Serena Beach Resort & Spa located in Mombasa won the “Best in Protecting Marine Heritage” Award and Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge located within the Amboseli National Park won the “Best Accommodation Facility in Promoting Culture and Heritage” Award at the Kenya Eco-Warrior Awards 2018 Gala Dinner. Hosted by Eco-Tourism Kenya, the awards recognize industry players’ that embrace sustainable responsible tourism practices in their day-to-day operations.
The theme for this year’s Eco-Warrior Awards was “Tourism; Protecting Culture and Heritage” with the aim to celebrate organizations that have preserved the sociocultural aspects of the environment. Complemented by the Swahili architectural opulence as seen on the buildings, distinct décor, carvings and magnificent symbols of its time, Serena Beach Resort & Spa won the award through its Sea-Turtle conservation project and community engagement founded over two decades ago.
To date 475 endangered sea turtle nests have been protected, 52,098 turtle hatchlings have been released into the Indian Ocean, and through our conservation journey, we have educated staff, guests and the local community to play their part in protecting the Countries Marine Heritage. From the heart of the planning and development exercise over four decades ago, Serena Hotels has been a “silent” pioneer of cultural and heritage promotion. Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge physically marches the Maasai Manyattas set-up and serves as a critical exemplar for demonstrating as part of its day-to-day operations the cohesive interaction between humanity, local culture and architecture, and landscapes that are lacking in typical modernism.
The Lodge, just as other Serena properties continues to give priority to the local communities living around its areas of operation so as to ensure economic independence with the end goal to better navigate uncertainty and thrive towards a sustainable livelihood in the future. As a result of the need for integration, cultural and natural heritage, this formed a core part of the business model of the Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge and Serena Hotels in general.
Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director of Serena Hotels said that “the announcement of the two eco-awards during the World Tourism Day is indeed momentous. We believe that through the Company’s responsible and innovative day to day operations, the local sustainable architecture, promotion of local cultures, national heritage, conservation and empowerment of the local community are our expression about pluralism, a major potential source for economic and social development that tends to anchor Civil Society.” Grace Nderitu, CEO, Eco-Tourism Kenya, said that “Globalisation is slowly eroding the values in the wealth of our culture and heritage. The theme of this award is to remind us that we are a sum of cultural identities and our living expressions were inherited from previous generations. Preserving our heritage is meaningful for future generations and can have a positive impact on tourism development.”