RiverIndia Now Seeks Votes to Be Named Top Innovator in Geotourism

WASHINGTON (July 15, 2009)—RiverIndia, based on India's Siang River, is one of 10 siang_fest_nov1-30_2009_hires
finalists named today from more than 600 entries in the second annual "Geotourism Challenge"
sponsored by the National Geographic Society and Ashoka's Changemakers. The competition,
focusing on "Power of Place — Sustaining the Future of Destinations," reaches out to identify
individuals and companies worldwide that have introduced the most innovative practices in
geotourism: tourism that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place — its
environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Entries were
received from 81 countries and represented tour operators, guide companies, hoteliers, local
businesses, conservation organizations, industry leaders and community organizers.

A distinguished panel of judges — Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Wangari Maathai,
founder of the Green Belt Movement; Keith Bellows, editor of National Geographic Traveler
magazine; Erika Harms, executive director of Sustainable Development, United Nations
Foundation; Tony Wheeler, founder of Lonely Planet; Ben Keene, founder of Tribewanted; and
Dr. Yang Yuming, vice president of Southwest Forestry University, China — reviewed the entries
and selected RiverIndia for its Bamboo Eco-Lodge River Trips on the Siang River.

RiverIndia (http://geotourism.changemakers.com/en-us/node/19044) will now compete
with the other finalists to be selected as one of three winners. The public is invited to vote online
at www.changemakers.net/geotourismchallenge until Wednesday, Aug. 12. The winners, to be
announced Wednesday, Sept. 9, will each receive a cash prize of $5,000.

The Geotourism Challenge is one of the key programs of National Geographic's Center
for Sustainable Destinations. For more information on geotourism and destination stewardship,
visit www.nationalgeographic.com/travel/sustainable.