Here at the BIRD’s nest, we love a chance to celebrate. It’s all about the little things, right?
Sometimes, however, news comes along which calls for a real celebration. Last week, Ecuador’s visionary travel entrepreneur (and chairman of our very own Metropolitan Touring) Roque Sevilla scooped the award for Contribution to Experiential Travel at PURE Life Experiences 2016.
Voted for by PURE’s community of travel experts, media and suppliers, the award celebrates the daring vision of a true pioneer in the experiential travel industry. Roque has demonstrated a life-long dedication to protecting Ecuador’s fragile and spectacular natural environment: from working with WWF Ecuador and the Charles Darwin Foundation, to acquiring Metropolitan Touring back in the 1960s, when it was pioneering sustainable tourism in the Galapagos Islands, revamping and repositioning the eco-friendly Finch Bay Galapagos Hotel, and sensitively restoring the historic buildings which now form Casa Gangotena in Quito.
In 2012, Roque unveiled his crowning glory, Mashpi Lodge: a sculptural glass-and-steel cocoon in the heart of the 1,300-hectare Mashpi reserve. Built almost entirely off-site and dropped into place to minimise disturbance to wildlife, the hotel allows guests to explore the region’s incredible biodiversity, whilst a team of naturalists work to map, study and protect the critters that call this verdant wonderland home.
Throughout his career, Roque has time and again proved his dedication to showcasing the many incredible travel experiences available in Ecuador, working alongside local communities, protecting the environmental and using experiential travel to fly the flag for Ecuador’s natural and cultural heritage.