Wanderlust (magazine) World Guide Awards ceremony for 2011, was held at the Royal Geographical Society. This is held each year, in recognition of travel guides who carry out their work with passion and care and have been voted for by tourists based on their personal experiences with the guide. A guide can turn your trip into an experience of a lifetime. Sri Lankan tour guide Noel Bruno Dawsan, has been selected as the world's best guide world, has won a £5,000 bursary and was lauded as a 'true cultural ambassador' by the judges. He was also last year's Bronze award winner. Noel Bruno Dawsan says he is delighted and will help disadvantaged people into further education with his bursary. Noel is of Indian origin, who comes from a family of impoverished tea pickers in a remote Sri Lankan town. "The difference with Bruno is that instead of just hearing about his country, he made you feel about it," judge Mark Carwardine, author and wildlife expert, said.
“Being a teacher myself, I sat in awe of his enthusiasm and awareness of Sri Lanka’s past, present and future. He is proactive in keeping his travellers comfortable and happy. We laughed heartily, shed quiet tears of admiration and thoroughly enjoyed his enthusiasm for life and love for his homeland, where we felt we were honoured visitors.”, stated a tourist and supporter.
Italian Gaetano Barone was the runner up who won the silver award winner with a £2,500 bursary and the bronze winner was Kevin Albin from UK with a £1,500 bursary, all of which will be spent on worthwhile projects of their choices. Further prizes at the event were provided by Swarovski Optik, Nomad Travel Store and Powertraveller.
|From left: Winner Noel Bruno Dawson, Sri Lanka (gold), Gaetano Barone, Itlay (silver); Kevin Albin, UK (bronze)|