Owned and operated by Sri Lanka’s largest blue chip conglomerate, John Keells Holdings PLC and positioned as a star value addition at John Keells Hotels Group, ‘Nature Trails’, the dedicated Wildlife and Adventure Tourism division of Chaaya and Cinnamon Resorts, bagged the award for the ‘Best Nature and Wildlife Service Provider’ at the Sri Lanka Tourism Awards 2011 held at the Water’s Edge on 30 August.
Inaugurated in January 2010, the team’s offerings cover a wide range of wildlife and nature-based excursions and treks, exploring Sri Lanka’s breath-taking biodiversity, spanning from its iconic leopards, elephants and whales, to a myriad of bird, butterflies, reptiles and lesser animals.
Apart from its core business goals, the Nature Trails team is heavily involved in sustainability and conservation with programmes such as ‘Project Leopard’, ‘Primate Watch’ and ‘Reef is Life’ being conducted by the team connecting all stakeholders to join hands in protecting the wilderness that help sustain wildlife tourism. In post-war Sri Lanka, with immense opportunity to showcase Sri Lanka’s natural world to the responsible traveller, the Nature Trails team has also flown-in wildlife celebrities such as Jonathan and Angela Scott from Africa, Amos Nachoum from USA, Roger Hooper and Andrew Chastney from the United Kingdom, and their endorsement of the destination has opened up new markets and leading professional wildlife travellers to visit Sri Lanka.
Eco-tourism Assistant Vice President and Head Chitral Jayatilake said, “All experiences are based on showcasing what’s ours to the world with the least impact on the environment, while such tours strive to generate much needed income to villagers that reside on the periphery of our businesses.” With experience in working with wildlife celebrities and film makers such as the BBC, National Geographic Channel, Animal Planet and Scubazoo, documenting Sri Lanka’s biodiversity, the Nature Trails team is set to take Wildlife tourism in Sri Lanka to the world, with an array of experiences that makes one enjoy Sri Lanka’s natural world while treading lightly on earth.