Known as Sri Lanka’s premier hospitality brand, Jetwing once again walked away with the prestigious PATA (Pacific Asia Travel Association) Grand Award in the Environment category for the entry titled ‘Man and Nature in Perfect Harmony’ – based on the very concept that made Jetwing Vil Uyana the country’s most iconic eco-luxury resort.
This occasion marks the second consecutive year Jetwing has won a Grand Award; with Jetwing now possessing three out of only six Grand Awards won by Sri Lankan companies.
The PATA Gold Awards put the spotlight on tourism innovation and excellence. This year’s awards attracted 181 entries from 66 organisations and individuals worldwide. Judged by panels of experts, the PATA Awards recognise exceptional achievement in six categories: Marketing, Environment, Heritage and Culture, Education and Training, Marketing Media and Travel Journalism. The award ceremony will take place at the PATA Travel Mart this September, in Cambodia.
Set over an expanse of just over 24 acres, Jetwing Vil Uyana represents the rich potential in sustainable and eco-friendly destinations. Formerly an abandoned land used for sporadic agriculture, Jetwing transformed the property into a man-made wetland featuring two lakes and thirty individual dwellings over distinct habitats such as water, forest, paddy, marsh and garden. Over the years, the resort went on to be home to a variety of flora and fauna, such as the elusive loris, and also counts 20 species of mammals, 112 species of birds, 36 species of butterflies, and 35 species of amphibians and reptiles. Nature is highly respected and provided ample space to flourish – with three acres being designated as a loris conservation site, the first in the country. Jetwing Vil Uyana was also the recipient of the Tourism for Tomorrow Award for the Environment category in April 2014, organised by the World Travel and Tourism Council, and was also listed in National Geographic Traveler’s Best Ecolodges of the World issue in August 2013.
“It brings me much happiness to see Jetwing Vil Uyana winning its second Grand Award, for a concept and an idea that most were sure would fail. We accomplished a lot of what we set out to do almost 10 years ago, to become a resort where nature is not just outside your room – rather, it is a part of the entire experience,” said Jetwing Chairman Hiran Cooray. “I would like to thank the associates of the property, for all their hard work and commitment in making this award a reality,” he continued.