Basecamp Foundation Film Advances to the World Responsible Tourism Awards Shortlist

We’re excited to announce that our film “Basecamp Foundation: Pioneering Sustainable Tourism in Kenya’s Maasai Mara” has been named to the Shortlist for the 2014 World Responsible Tourism Awards, along with 23 other organizations. The winners will be announced at the World Travel Market in London on November 5th.

Even more exciting than our advancement to the Shortlist of finalists, is the renewed spotlight on a revolutionary role model in the tourism industry. Basecamp Foundation is transforming and championing responsible tourism through their projects in Kenya and India. Their mission is to create added value and support for local communities by strengthening traditional practices, developing entrepreneurship and financial sustainability, and facilitating long-term partnerships between the tourism industry and the local community.

“If we can make a little noise in this market that has a lot of noise, punch through that noise, by winning awards and being visible then maybe we could help create change,” says Lars Lindkvist, President and Chairman of the Basecamp Foundation, in an interview published on Skift last month.

It’s safe to say that Basecamp is making more than just a little noise in the tourism industry, accomplishing their mission through a variety of innovative programs including: the Mara Naboisho Conservancy, the Koiyaki Guiding School, and the Basecamp Maasai Brand.

Mara Naboisho Conservancy

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The Mara Naboisho Conservancy is a 50,000-acre community next to the popular tourist destination, the Maasai Mara National Reserve. The Conservancy was established to meet an urgent need for wildlife conservation and Maasai financial empowerment. Basecamp Foundation partnered with five hundred Maasai landowners to form the Conservancy, and in 2013 Mara Naboisho became the first wildlife conservancy to participate in the GSTC’s Early Adopters Program. In doing so, the Maasai Mara destination has received newfound recognition as a true model for sustainable tourism. The resulting benefits include 100+ new jobs, a guaranteed monthly income for the five hundred landowners, a strengthening of local traditions, the highest density of lions in the world, and more than 50,000 acres protected under conservation for another 15 years.

Koiyaki Guiding School

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The Koiyaki Guiding School offers an opportunity for local Maasai to participate in the tourism industry of the Mara. The knowledge and skills they acquire at the school translate into an authentic safari experience for guests, and further preservation of the Mara eco-system as they commit to become wildlife guides.

Basecamp Maasai Brand

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Basecamp Foundation identified a strong need for the preservation of the local Maasai culture and for women empowerment. The Basecamp Masai Brand promotes the beautifully-crafted Maasai beaded jewelry, arranges for it’s export, and provides a source of income for 118 Maasai women.

Basecamp Foundation is the ultimate example of how a tourism company has the power and responsibility to protect, conserve, and empower the destinations in which they work, to ensure a sustainable future for the destination, its people, and the lasting impact on those who visit. We are proud to have our Basecamp film bring further recognition to an already-incredible organization through the World Responsible Tourism Awards.

For more information on Basecamp Foundation, visit their website at www.basecampfoundation.org.

For information on the World Responsible Tourism Awards 2014, visit www.responsibletravel.com/awards

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