On May 17, in Florianopolis Brazil, The World Travel & Tourism Council announced that Grupo PUNTACANA, the parent company of the PUNTACANA Resort & Club, located in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, has been selected as the winner of the esteemed 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the Destination Stewardship category. The honor was granted due to the company's dedication and success in developing a program of commitment for sustainable tourism, economic and social wellbeing for their product and surrounding region. The prestigious accolade recognizes the protection of natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people, and environmentally-friendly business practices. Grupo PUNTACANA is the first Caribbean organization to be recognized in this category.
According to Jean-Claude Baumgarten, President & CEO of WTTC, PUNTACANA Resort & Club successfully demonstrates sustainable tourism practices on a daily basis. "We are delighted to present the 2009 Destination Stewardship Award to the Grupo PUNTACANA as a tourism enterprise that has over the years developed exceptional programs in sustainable development. These programs have not only helped the local community by providing jobs but also educational and health resources unmatched by other destinations. Sustainability has been in the Grupo PUNTACANA's DNA since its inception, setting the bar high for other companies conducting business in the region."
"We are honored to receive the 2009 Tourism for Tomorrow Destination Stewardship Award. Grupo PUNTACANA strives to be an example of successful regional environmental and social responsibility development for the world's tourism industry," said Frank Rainieri, Founder and CEO of Grupo PUNTACANA. He added, "Our commitment to the Punta Cana region has always been defined by a deep and humble respect for its breathtaking natural treasures and warm, friendly people."
3 finalists for the Destination Stewardship Award were selected by an international team of independent judges for having successfully demonstrated sustainable tourism development practices in all categories including the protection of the surrounding natural and cultural heritage, social and economic benefits to local people, and environmentally-friendly operations. The property was also judged on its efforts to communicate widely with local and international media, as well as other stakeholders, in order to set an example and promote best responsible business practices in the travel & tourism industry. Grupo PUNTACANA demonstrated exceptional commitment in all of the areas mentioned, driven by the company's Ecological Foundation.