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Maris Hotels-Traditional Apartments - International Ecotourism Club - International Ecotourism Club celebrates 7th Anniversary by holding annual Ecolodge Awards and funding eco-projects in Ecuador, Guatemala and Malaysia.

Athens, Greece, July 1, 2006

To celebrate its 7th anniversary, - International Ecotourism Club announced today the results of its third annual eco-project competition, the " Ecolodge Awards 2006" which aim to fund community and environment-supporting projects, organised and implemented by genuine Ecolodges around the world.

The project details were posted online in May 2006, scrutinised by Members, and the three winners were chosen democratically by Member vote in June 2006.

Presenting the Awards at a live on-line ceremony, Founder, Antonis B. Petropoulos, said: "Building on the success and experience of previous years and thanks to the enthusiastic support of our growing Membership, this year we were able to increase the grant amount to Euros 2,000 (U$ 2,560) so as to fund a third, additional eco-project. stands for thinking globally and locally, and for acting locally and globally"

Voting took place by email throughout June, and following a tightly run contest between seven worthwhile projects, results are follows:

The 1st Prize, (Euros 850), will fund the Building of a Rural Andean Recycling Centre, by Black Sheep Inn of Ecuador, who received 28.9% of the vote.

The 2nd Prize (Euros 650) will fund the Rescue of Fishermen's Small Boats in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala by Eco Hotel Uxlabil Atitlan (26.7%).

The 3rd Prize (Euros 500) will fund a Tree Planting Project by Sukau Rainforest Lodge of Malaysia. (13.3%).

First PrizeThe First Prize Winners, Black Sheep Inn proposed to help the village of Chugchilán high up in the Andes, turn its waste into a resource by creating a sustainable Recycling Centre.

Accepting the 1st Prize, the proprietors, Andres Hammerman and Michelle Kirby, said: "Chugchilán and Black Sheep Inn want to thank and voting Members for making this recycling centre possible. Step-by-step, working together, we can sustain our planet and our minds. People inherently need land, but must work to sustain it, so that land in turn will sustain them. As promised, we will keep Members informed of the projects' progress."

Second PrizeThe Second Prize Winners, EcoHotel Uxlabil Atitlan, proposed to improve 30 old and unsafe cayucos, fishermen's small boats, to preserve a Lake Atitlan tradition and an income source.

Accepting the 2nd Prize, Manager Francisco Sandoval, stated: "Thanks to the confidence of members, at the end of August, cayucos – the small fishermen boats of San Juan La Laguna, in Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, will be safer and colourful. With this project we seek to rescue a tradition, increase the pride of its carriers. In August we will hold a two-day feast with local painters and fishermen restoring and painting 30 cayucos. With pictures and transparent bills we will document the process."

Third PrizeThe Third Prize Winners, Sukau Rainforest Lodge, proposed to rehabilitate a section of the river bank near their Lodge, by planting a diverse range of tree species, to provide corridor for migrating wildlife and fruiting trees to attract more birds and animals.

Accepting the 3rd Prize, Mr Willie Ki, Marketing Coordinator, said: "We are very blessed to have had this wonderful support from Implementing a Tree Planting Project is not hassle-free and there is always obstacles, including financial support. We truly appreciate this reward of Euros 500 and we shall make full use of these funds to continue our project which we consider imperative to conserve our dear environment".

The winning projects implementation and completion is closely monitored and details, including photos, will be made available on-line at, the world's most popular ecotourism portal. The full completion of the projects is a pre-condition for 50% of the Award funds. The funds for the Awards are exclusively sourced from Membership dues and ecoproduct sales at the Shop

For details on the Ecolodge Awards

For Press Enquiries & Interviews with the Winners

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