Winning is sharing. That was Sukau Rainforest Lodge (SRL)’s immediate response when it was voted as Asia’s Leading Green Hotel in the 17th World Travel Awards in October 2010. On 26th November 2010, SRL Founder and Managing Director, Albert Teo and his award winning team organized an appreciation cocktail reception at the Magellan Sutera, Kota Kinabalu for 128 tourism industry partners from private sectors, government and the ministry of tourism for a joint celebration of the Lodge’s achievement, and to mark Borneo Eco Tours’ 20th Year of Service Excellence.
The auspicious occaion was graced by Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment Sabah, the Honourable Datuk Masidi Manjun who emphasized the significance of winning this award – a remarkable compliment for the tourism industry in Sabah and Malaysia. SRL was also featured in Authentic Ecolodges Book earlier this year, earning the recognition as one of the top 36 ecolodges in the world by ecotourism advocate, Hitesh Mehta.
In his speech, Albert Teo thanked the NGOs who work in the Kinabatangan area, including WWF Malaysia, the Wildlife Department, the scientists who did much research, provided the knowledge and created much awareness on the uniqueness of this area.
“Tonight, I wish to acknowledge the contribution of all these organizations as we celebrate our achievements and the support of the scientists. By naming some of our rooms in Sukau Rainforest Lodge after some of thm as a way of recognising them, we hope that their contributions will be remembered”, Albert said.
The success of SRL is alos attributed to the Lodge’s consistent practice of triple bottom line business model (which is economic, social and environmental sustainability). Since opening in 1995, the SRL introduced Green Policy in its operations to ensure the sustainability of the fragile environment that it operates in.
The use of silent electric motors during our daily river cruises, promoting environmental friendly features such as the Elephant Passes at Hornbill Boardwalk and recently the utilization of the Sukau River mugs to minimize usage of plastic bottles are among our policies which remain as our unique selling points.
SRL is alos actively engaged in conservation and community projects in the Kinabatangan area, dating back to 1995, mainly through its own in-house non-profit organisation Borneo Ecotourism Solutions & Technologies Society (BEST Society) (formerly known as SERDC) and WWF Malaysia.
The ongoing tree planting project at the 65-acre Tenegang Kecil site, Kinabatangan Wildlife Corridor Regeneration programme (KWICORP) was launched in 2000 to rehabilitate the degraded riverine forest. SRL together with Borneo Eco Tours contribute RM50,000.00 a year to BEST Society for its projects.
In 2010 guests of BET also started to make contribution through Voluntary Conservation Fee (VCL) and the amount of contribution for the year increased to RM81,530.00 for the first ten months of 2010, where a subsequent mock checque handover to BEST Society was highlighted in the cocktail reception program.
SRL’s achievement is also timely with the completion of the extensive room face-lifting since early 2010. Rooms upgrade and new facilities such as conference hall, rooms and toilet for the disabled, handicraft centre and lounge are the new surprises installed for our valued clients. In spite of expansion and upgrade, the eco and safety aspects were taken into careful consideration.
Towards this initiative, the new rooms feature louver windows, cross air ventilation and K-Block wall which is termite proof, fire retardant and pro-sound insulation, complemented by an increase in room size 270 square feet, mainly by the addition of a sun room which affords guests their own provate view of the rainforest.