The Tamarind Tree Hotel & Restaurant has been awarded the British Guild of Travel Writers Annual Tourism Award for Best Tourism Project in the Wider World Category for their project “Clearance and Restoration of Segment 11 of the Waitukubuli National Trail in Dominica.
The Hotel was awarded on Sunday, November 4th 2018.
Many of Dominica’s natural sites and hiking trails were badly damaged or destroyed following the passage of Hurricane Maria in the night from September 18 to September 19, 2017.
According to a Co-Owner of the Hotel, Annette Peyer Loerner, when it was realized that all the hiking trails in the national parks as well as the entire Waitukubuli National Trail had been heavily compromised, management of the hotel was very concerned about Dominica’s land-based tourism activities.
“The Discover Dominica Authority launched a VolonTourism initiative and we decided to partake by adopting a segment of the WNT and to create a VolonTourism package” said Peyer-Loerner,
She noted that being a guide since 2003 and having specialized in hiking, she is very passionate about the only long-distance hiking trail in the Caribbean, that leads across the entire Nature Isle on 185 kms in 14 segments or 14 day-hikes respectively.
“We launched a fund raiser among our past and even future clients, family, friends and well-wishers via e-mail and Facebook and were able to raise a remarkable amount of money, the biggest donation coming from “Walter und Louise M. Davidson-Stiftung” in Switzerland,” Loerner noted.
After careful preparation in collaboration with the Division of Forestry, Wildlife and National Parks and the Waitukubuli National Trail Management Unit works started in February 2018.
The British Tour Operator MotMot was the first to promote the VolonTourism package and this drew Mr Nigel Tisdall’s attention to the project, a travel writer for National Geographic and a member of the BGTW. He visited Dominica in early April and actively participated in the clearing of segment 11 of the WNT.
The clearance and restoration work on segment. 11 are still ongoing with roughly 4.5kms of the 13kms being cleared to date.
A fundraiser has been launched on GoFundMe. Donations to support the project can be made on: