Cinnamon Wild Yala, the luxury eco hotel adjoining Sri Lanka’s best-known wildlife reserve, has been shortlisted for a World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) ‘Tourism For Tomorrow award‘.

Yala National Park is one of the world’s best places to spot leopards—but the border is also home to hundreds of dairy farmers, who are sometimes driven to kill leopards to protect their cattle.

Step in the Sri Lanka hotel chain Cinnamon, which has manufactured and donated more than 70 steel cages to enable the farmers to protect their cattle at night.

Says WTTC: “It’s meant the farmers have not lost any cattle—and so have not killed any more leopards. The farmers’ income has also increased by over 20 percent.  

“More leopards means more sightings, which makes for better safari experiences. Yala has also shared the project with guests, who can spend a morning with a farmer. The cage may keep leopards out, but in so doing it has brought communities together.”

Cinnamon Wild Yala is now vying for WTTC’s Community Award, with the winner to be officially announced during the Awards Ceremony in Bangkok, Thailand, on April 26.


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