Serena Hotels and Lodges have been listed among the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards finalists whose winners will be announced in April.
The group will compete for top honours in the Global Tourism Business category of the awards that are organised by the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).
Contenders in this category are assessed for their sound environmental operations and management, including educating guests about areas visited, supporting cultural and historical preservation and collaboration with other private and public sector players.
Serena will be competing against two other nominees; the Scandic Hotels of Sweden and Six Senses Resorts and Spas of Thailand.
Costas Christ, a leader in sustainable tourism and one of the judges, said sustainable tourism practices had risen beyond basic recycling programmes.
“There is a more sophisticated effort happening now at greening tourism operations and delivering tangible returns for conservation and community development,” he added.
The WTTC is a global body that raises awareness on the importance of travel and tourism, protecting natural, social and cultural environment in a bid to develop a blueprint for New Tourism.
Finalists are subjected to an intense site inspection by a conservationist before the reports are submitted to the panel or judges and have come to be seen as one of the most significant international eco-tourism initiatives.
Other categories in the competition include the Destination Award, Conservation Awards and Investor in People Award. In 2006, the tented Campi ya Kanzi, located between Amboseli and Tsavo, won the Conservation Award. No Kenyan company was nominated last year.
Tourism Promotion Services, under which the brand name Serena trades, owns and manages 15 outlets in East Africa and Asia.
The company opened its first hotel in 1970 in Kenya and has grown to be one of the most recognised brands in the tourism sector.
The 12 finalists were chosen out of a 150 applicants who entered the competition.
The winner with be honoured at a gala dinner to be held on 21st April 2008 in Dubai.