Selected by a panel of 13 judges from 1000s of tourism organisations worldwide, Blue Ventures' work in Madagascar was recognised because of its commitment to using responsible volunteer tourism to support grassroots marine conservation and community development projects in some of the world's poorest countries.
"It's a huge honour for our work to have been celebrated in this prestigious award for six years running" said Kathleen Edie, Blue Ventures' volunteer coordinator. "This global recognition shows the extent to which Blue Ventures continues to lead the field of volunteer tourism. Our expedition programmes, working year round in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, demonstrate the power that responsible tourism can bring to addressing some of the world's most critical marine conservation issues."
Blue Ventures is an award-winning international marine conservation organisation dedicated to conservation, education and sustainable development in tropical coastal communities. Through its marine expedition programmes, volunteers from around the world join conservation programmes as part of career breaks, student gap years and internships, working closely with field research teams in partnership with local communities.
At its core, Blue Ventures is a social enterprise - constantly innovating new approaches to financing marine conservation, and generating almost all of its own conservation funding independently through its non-profit volunteer tourism programmes. Managed from headquarters in London, this funding supports a team of over 50 full time conservationists working on grass-roots conservation programmes in Madagascar, Belize and Malaysia.
Commenting on Blue Ventures' record success in the awards, the judges announced “Blue Ventures is an example of how social initiatives can contribute to local livelihood diversification, and support community resilience in the face of upheaval. In 2009 their project in Madagascar was threatened by the political crisis and many organisations chose to pull out of the country. Testament to their principles, Blue Ventures stayed committed to the project, with head office staff in London taking a 25% pay cut to ensure the maintenance of the jobs in Madagascar.”
Since 2004 the Responsible Tourism Awards, organised by responsibletravel.com, have called on travelers to nominate the very best organisations, the most dedicated individuals and the most committed destinations in the tourism industry to be recognised for the most prestigious Awards of their kind in the world.
*For more information about the awards, please visit
*For more information about Blue Ventures expeditions, please see http://www.blueventures.org/expeditions.html
*For more information about Blue Ventures research, please see http://www.blueventures.org/research.html