World Legacy Awards 2017

Visionary travel companies and destination leaders honoured by National Geographic and ITB Berlin

Coinciding with the United Nations International Year of Sustainable Tourism Development, the five winners of the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were announced this week during an awards ceremony held at the ITB Berlin Convention.

The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organisations and destinations — ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges and from wildlife conservancies to entire countries — that are driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry. More than 100 entries, representing 45 countries across six continents, were submitted for these prestigious travel awards. An international panel of 26 judges coordinated by Costas Christ, an internationally recognised sustainable tourism expert and award-winning National Geographic travel writer, scored each entry according to globally recognised sustainable tourism criteria. All 15 finalists underwent a rigorous on-site inspection. Christ said, “Sustainable tourism development is crucial for the future of travel and for the planet. The time is now for action on a global scale. The travel and tourism industry is based on promoting and selling culture and nature holiday experiences and as such, needs to take a bigger role in protecting the very resources that their business depends upon.

THE 2017 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC WORLD LEGACY AWARDS WINNERS ARE: EARTH CHANGERS

recognisingcutting – edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon-emission reduction.

W I N N E R : C a y u g a Collection, Costa Rica and Nicaragua

SENSE OF PLACE

recognising excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

WINNER: City of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

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.

WINNER: North Island, Seychelles

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.

WINNER: The Lodge at Chaa Creek

DESTINATION LEADERSHIP

recognising 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 travellers on the principles of sustainability. WINNER: Slovenian Tourist Board, Slovenia