Michael Horton’s Siem Reap-based NGO ConCERT has won the Best Overseas Tourism Project award, given annually by the British Guild of Travel Writers.
The other two finalists on Sunday night were the Al-Ayoun Trail in Jordan, and the Magritte Museum in Brussels.
Last year’s winner was the Loango National Park in Gabon, with runners-up Highland Paradise, the Cook Islands, and Palazzo Falson, Malta.
On September 15 a jubilant Horton was notified that his organisation had been voted one of three 2009 finalists, after being nominated by Hilary Bradt, one of Britain’s most distinguished travel authors, and member of the guild.
In February this year Bradt visited the ConCERT office in Siem Reap.
She was “sufficiently impressed” that she nominated ConCERT for the award, given for the best new (less than two-year-old) overseas tourism project, which not only has tourist potential but is of benefit to the local community and environment.
Horton discovered his organisation won the gong during announcements at a gala dinner on November 8 at the Marriott Hotel, Grosvenor Square, in London.
Horton emailed 7Days saying, “Well, we won last night – and by a mile apparently. Really good night as Hilary Bradt, who nominated ConCERT, also won the British Guild of Travel Writers lifetime achievement award, which was a complete surprise for her.”