Linz, 10th November 2012
On Saturday, 10th November 2012, the winners of the Naturefriends International Photo Championship “Picturing Fair Travel“ were awarded at the Photo+Adventure fair.
The motto of this year’s Naturefriends International (NFI) Photo Championship was “Picturing Fair Travel“ and the winner photos were taken by photographers from Austria, Madagascar and France. The awards ceremony was held on the 10th of November 2012 at the Photo+Adventure fair in Linz.
“In order to establish a form of tourism which is socially, culturally, ecologically and economically viable on a long-term basis, it is fundamental to have intact natural spaces and landscapes, to consider local cultures and to connect with other branches of business typical for the region. Besides showing positive examples of sustainable tourism, we need to point out the down sides of conventional mass tourism. All around the world, photographers contribute to display both sides and thus raise the awareness of the public. The winners of this year’s photo championship have also played a major role in doing this,” Anita Pinter of Naturefriends International explained.
The winner photos of the four categories and the photographers are “Mit Beduinen singen” (“To sing with Bedouins”) by Maria Estella Dürnecker (Austria) in the general category “Sustainable tourism (colour)”; “Grand pavois Majunga” by Onja Andriniaina Ramarokoto (Madagascar) in the general category “Sustainable tourism (black/white); “Laissez-le vivre” (“Let it live”) and “Liqueur Cobra” by Gabriel Egron (France) in the category “Sustainable tourism vs. conventional tourism” and “Canyon Lodge” by Michael Vit (Austria) in the category “Sustainable tourism in developing countries”.
The competition was organised in cooperation with Naturefriends Austria and Naturefriends Germany, kindly supported by the high-tech photo laboratory Cyberlab and the Photo+Adventure fair.
The awards ceremony and presentation of the winner photos were held by Anita Pinter of Naturefriends International, Karl Frais, president of Naturefriends Austria and Herbert Rainer, who is in charge for the photo department at Naturefriends Austria.
The prizes were sponsored by Seelentium, a region for total relaxation in the Oberes Innviertel (Upper Inn Quarter) as well as the Grosse Walsertal Biosphere Park in Austria; the Westfjords Region in Iceland, the region Plunge together with the national park Samogitia in Lithuania and the Northern Velebit National Park in Croatia. These are all excellent tourism regions and pioneers in sustainable tourism development. In cooperation with the network ‘European Destinations of Excellence’ (EDEN), they have offered multi-day stays for the winners of the Photo Championship. Additional prizes were weekend-trips to “Europe’s Wild Heart”, the Bavarian Forest National Park in Germany, and subscriptions of the Austrian magazine LEBENSART – Das Magazin für Nachhaltige Lebenskultur.
1st place “Mit den Beduinen singen” („To sing with Bedouins“) by Maria Estella Dürnecker/Austria
In the opinion of the jury, this picture is captivating, both photographically and because of the theme. This being together of guests and hosts, which represents a fundamental element of sustainable tourism, is particularly well expressed.
2nd place „Marmots listen to fairy tales“ by Neda Racki / Croatia
Travelling is possible and enriching, even if one is physically limited. It can lead to new, often unexpected, encounters. This might be the message of this humorous eye catcher by Nenad Racki.
3rd place „Bazar 1“ (“Bazaar 1”) by Reza Golchin / Iran
For a long time, Bazaars and local markets have been meeting points and places of exchange between travellers and the local population. A bargain that is fair and beneficial for all parties has always been an art. This is also true for today's tourism. The dynamic photo taken by Reza Golchin convinces through the visual element of contrast between motion and static.
1st place „Grand pavois Majunga“ by Onja Andriniaina Ramarokoto / Madagascar
On one of the most beautiful beaches of Madagascar, a man offers tourists to take a picture so as to create a memory of their stay. The photo makes the importance of local sources of income through tourism, which this man uses by his own initiative, a subject by using an unusual perspective.
2nd place “Kiss me” by Franz Hammer / Austria
A powerful reason to travel is the wish for a direct encounter with the culture and the nature of the host country. This humorous image of a traveller on a camel tracking shows him having one of those direct encounters with his mean of transportation.
3rd place „Bergotur“ („Mountain Tour“) by Bernhard Karner / Austria
The most frequent whish, when it comes to journeys, is often for an unforgettable nature experiences. This skilful photo was taken during a mountain tour in Italy. Theme trails, which make it possible to experience protected areas that include stations to observe, represent only one of the many offers of hiking tourism.
1st place „Let it live” (“Laisser le vivre“) und „Liquer Cobra“ by Gabriel Egron / France
These two pictures illustrate how tourism can affect biodiversity and the protection of species. While sustainable tourism contributes to an understanding, an appreciation and the protection of nature and biodiversity, mass tourism downgrades natural biodiversity to being only a souvenir and in worst case even destroys it.
2nd place „Hotel Beach“ („Hotelstrand“) and „Canoe Tour“ („Paddeltour“) in Florida by Norbert Breuer / Austria
These two photos by Norbert Breuer demonstrate perfectly how differently tourism can develop in one region, in this case Florida. On one hand you have obstructed and crowded beaches, on the other relaxation in a nature-left landscape. Quantity and quality.
3rd place „East versus West“ and „With his Grandfather” by Rashid Un Nabi / Bangladesh
„East versus West“ shows a street scene on the Phi Phi Islands (Thailand) with Western and Asian beach vacationers. While „Westerners“ enjoy the sea wearing revealing bikinis, Asian families content themselves with a walk on the beach being fully clothed. „With his Grandfather“ shows an Asian man having a heartfelt connection with his grandson. A Western tourist is delighted by the sight but is keeping a respectful distance. Without judging, Rashid Un Nabi is emphasizing the different attitudes of different cultures when it comes to clothing and leisure time.
1st place „Canyon Lodge“ by Michael Vit / Austria
With the emergence of tourism, especially mass tourism, also the traditional architecture of a land can change. This picture convinces with its impressive visual properties. It shows a Lodge in Namibia which is perfectly integrated into the scant, natural landscape that surrounds it.
2nd place „The Clay Artist“ by Hasan Mahfuzul Rana / Bangladesh
Traditional, regional handcraft needs customers. In times of global and industrial mass production, it is often tourists who buy traditional handcraft and so help to maintain local workplaces.
3rd place „An unusual encounter“ („Ungewöhnliche Begegnungen”) by Helena Oswald / Germany
Sustainable tourism often is seen as an equivalent to “ecotourism” which is not correct. Nevertheless, the longing for a direct contact with nature and animals is a strong motivation for many “ecotourists”. With the right guidance this longing can be satisfied through projects of species protection like in the Mexican Rio Lagartos, as you can see here.