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Published on : Friday, July 15, 2016
National Geographic announces the World Legacy Awards Call for Entries. Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 20, 2016. Celebrating National Geographic’s mission of inspiring people to care about the planet, the World Legacy Awards honor today’s leading sustainable tourism destinations, organizations and businesses, and share their stories with travelers around the world. Any travel and tourism company, organization or destination—ranging from airlines to hotels, from cities to countries, and from luxury tour operators to adventure travel outfitters—is eligible to apply for the awards in one of the five categories.
The World Legacy Awards are a groundbreaking collaboration between two giants in the world of travel: National Geographic and ITB Berlin. The awards are unprecedented in their international visibility and promotion, reaching National Geographic’s global audience of more than 700 million people worldwide each month through its media platforms, products and events. ITB Berlin is the largest travel gathering on the planet, attended annually by nearly 200,000 delegates and, for the third year, will host the 2017 awards ceremony.
In addition to being recognized at ITB Berlin during the March 2017 awards ceremony, winners and finalists of the World Legacy Awards will be featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine and across other National Geographic global media platforms.
“For many companies, campaigning for sustainable tourism has become an indispensable part of their work”, said Dr. Christian Goeke, CEO of Messe Berlin. “By presenting the World Legacy Awards, together with National Geographic, we underline how important social responsibility and protecting nature and wildlife are in today’s tourism industry. As the world’s leading travel trade show, we are proud to help raise awareness for sustainable tourism.”
“One day there will be no need for awards that recognize sustainable tourism best practices. Care for local people and the planet will become part of the everyday fabric for how travel businesses operate and destinations thrive. Until then, the World Legacy Awards are shining a light on the travel leaders of today who are transforming tourism in positive ways to help protect cultural and natural heritage for future generations,” said Costas Christ, National Geographic Traveler Editor at Large and Chairman of the World Legacy Awards.
Applications are being accepted in five categories:
• Earth Changers — Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emission reduction.
• Sense of Place — Recognizing excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including using vernacular architecture and design, and support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.
• Conserving the Natural World — Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.
• Engaging Communities — Recognizing direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care and education.
• Destination Leadership — Recognizing destination leadership, including cities, provinces, states, countries and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local communities and educating travelers on the principles of sustainability.
Finalists will be announced by National Geographic in December 2016, and the winners will be announced in March 2017 at ITB Berlin during a special awards ceremony and also participate in related events.
The exclusive destination sponsor for the 2017 World Legacy Awards isBotswana Tourism. Botswana is best known for its rich cultural heritage and contrasting ecosystems of the white sands of the Kalahari Desert and the lush Okavango Delta and offers an authentic wildlife and cultural African experience. The TreadRight Foundation, a not-for-profit working to ensure the environment and communities it visits remain vibrant for generations to come, returns for year three, continuing to support the mission of the World Legacy Awards. Also returning for a third year of sponsorship is Adventure World, a company that has championed responsible tourism for more than 35 years and is proud to support an awards program that aims to make the world a better place.