Gold Apple for Innovative Scots in Albania
For the third year running, Dunira Strategy has received a ‘Green Apple Award for Environmental Best Practice’ from The Green Organisation, an independent body dedicated to recognising, rewarding and promoting environmental best practice around the world. Competing against more than 500 other nominations, Dunira Strategy is the National Gold Winner for Innovation in the Scottish Green Apple Awards 2015.
Having won awards in 2013 for a Scottish Government funded project on co-operative tourism development in India and in 2014 for a Comic Relief funded project on heritage tourism in Somaliland, the award in 2015 is for an adventure tourism project in Albania.
Working with the Albanian Rafting Federation and Government of Albania, Dunira delivered a feasibility study and comprehensive business plan for an innovative adventure tourism centre on the site of a former military base in the magnificent and environmentally sensitive Osumi Canyon in southern Albania. Drawing on previous assignments that included an ecotourism strategy for the Cultybraggan Military Camp in Scotland, a plan for a ranger training centre in Belize and a destination management plan for the Durmitor UNESCO World Heritage Site in Montenegro, Dunira was able to devise a plan that embraces local cultural and natural heritage, whilst creating highly marketable world class products.
Remarked Dunira’s programme director Tobias Hewitt: “Known only by aficionados and the most pioneering operators, Albania has the potential to become the adventure tourism capital of the Balkans. This incredible new centre in Osumi will put Albania on the map.”
The project creates a fully functioning recreation centre that is both an international adventure tourism destination and a regional vocational training centre for Albanians eager to learn about adventure tourism and leadership.
Initially focused on the development of rafting in the Osumi Canyon, other opportunities identified include hiking, kayaking, horseback riding, mountain biking, rock climbing and many other outdoor activities. The project will help Albania emerge as a world leader in adventure tourism and vocational training. Guided by Dunira, the resulting development will be as sustainable as possible and be enjoyed by many generations to come.
Commented Dunira’s managing director Benjamin Carey: “Scotland has considerable expertise in the sustainable development of tourism, especially in sensitive environments, and it is an immense privilege for the work of Dunira Strategy to be recognised as the gold standard in this area.”