Hong Kong’s Tai O Heritage Hotel has received a UNESCO award for their involvement in the eco tourism program, ‘I Love Tai O’.
Aimed at promoting heritage conservation, sustainable living and tourism through the program operated by Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation, the Tai O Heritage Hotel was awarded the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation Award of Merit in the recent 2013 awards ceremony.
Initiated in 2008, the NFP Hong Kong Heritage Conservation Foundation’s objectives to promote the conservation and appreciation of heritage and historic places and their importance in the life of the community, at the same time as maintaining and revitalising heritage buildings.
Situated on Lantau Island, the Tai O Heritage Hotel is one the Hong Kong SAR government’s ‘Revitalising Historic Buildings Through Partnership Scheme’. The 111-year-old colonial building now operates as a nine-room boutique hotel after its successful transformation from the Old Tai O Police Station.
“Through a pioneering public-private initiative undertaken through the Hong Kong SAR Government’s Revitalisation Scheme, the once abandoned Tai O Police Station has been given a new lease on life as a heritage hotel. The project is particularly commendable for its involvement of local community members and former occupants of the building through an extensive cultural mapping effort that has greatly informed the restoration work and helped reinvigorate the distinctive character of the heritage property. Enhanced social and economic opportunities provided by the building’s new use ensure the long term viability of this historic landmark,” said Tim Curtis, Chief of Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok.
“We often tell ourselves that, this is not a hotel project. We are the stewards of this historic site and we put our hearts into managing the hotel for the community. What is important to us is, this project contributes to the sustainability of the Tai O fishing village and the conservation of the village’s rich cultural heritage.”