KULA Eco Park in Sigatoka scooped top honours alongside six other outstanding tourism projects around the world for the Society of American Travel Writers 2012 Phoenix Awards.
Honouring efforts in the travel industry, the international recognition was announced in Indianapolis, Indiana in the US recently.
It was awarded to the park in recognition of conservation, preservation, beautification, and environmental accomplishments related to travel.
Park director and general manager Ramesh Chand said major programs included a breeding program for endangered Fijian wildlife to help save the species from extinction. "We have so far worked on our endangered Fijian ground frogs and tree frogs, our Fijian crested and banded iguanas plus the peregrine falcons — which is almost extinct," he said yesterday.
"Our main focus at the moment is our Monuriki Island crested iguanas. Experts believe that there may be less than 30 adult Monuriki iguanas alive today.
"In three years we have captive bred 21 babies. Most of the captive bred iguanas will be released back onto Monuriki Island once the island is ready to receive them possibly by 2015."
The award was sent to the Kula Eco Park team at Outrigger on the Lagoon by general manager Peter Hopgood, chairman of the Coral Coast Fiji Hotel and Tourism Association.