WASHINGTON (June 1, 2015)—The World Legacy Awards Call for Entries was announced today. Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 1, 2015, at nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards. The awards showcase leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — from tour operators and resorts to wilderness regions and major cities — that are driving the positive transformation of the travel industry based on sustainable tourism principles and practices.
The awards are a groundbreaking collaboration between two giants in the world of travel: National Geographic and ITB Berlin. The National Geographic Society reaches 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.
In addition to being recognized at ITB Berlin during the March 2016 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.
Dr. Christian Goeke, CEO of Messe Berlin, said: “ITB Berlin remains committed to promoting responsible tourism, and we are delighted to partner with National Geographic on this prestigious award program.”
Costas Christ, World Legacy Awards chairman and one of the world’s foremost travel experts, said: “Sustainable tourism is one of the most significant transformations in the history of modern travel, demonstrating the positive force that well-planned tourism can have for protecting nature, safeguarding cultural heritage and alleviating poverty. The World Legacy Awards are unprecedented in their scope — bringing the message of sustainable tourism best practices and shining a light on award winners and finalists to millions of travelers around the world.”
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 November 2015, and the winners will be announced in March 2016 at ITB Berlin during a special awards ceremony and will also participate on stage in related events.
For more information about the World Legacy Awards and how to apply, visit nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards.
The exclusive destination sponsor for the 2016 World Legacy Awards is Botswana 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 two continuing to support the mission of the World Legacy Awards. Also returning for a second year of sponsorship is Adventure World, a company that has championed responsible tourism for over 35 years and is proud to support an awards program that aims to make the world a better place.
About National Geographic Travel
National Geographic Travel is the travel arm of the National Geographic Society, one of the world’s largest nonprofit scientific and educational organizations, founded in 1888. National Geographic Travel creates authentic, meaningful and engaging travel experiences through National Geographic Traveler magazine; National Geographic Expeditions; National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World; travel books; maps; digital travel content; and travel photography programs. National Geographic Traveler (eight issues per year) is the world’s most widely read travel magazine and has 17 international editions. National Geographic Expeditions, the travel program of the Society, offers a variety of unique travel experiences led by top experts to more than 80 destinations across all seven continents. Travel opportunities include family and student expeditions, active adventures, private jet trips and voyages on the six expedition ships in the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet as well as photography workshops, expeditions and seminars. The National Geographic Travel digital group shares its inspiring and authoritative digital content such as trip ideas, photo galleries, blogs and apps with its @NatGeoTravel community of nearly 8.5 million. National Geographic Travel books bring readers curated travel advice, photography and insider tips. Follow National Geographic Travel on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Google+.
About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin, the leading trade fair for the worldwide travel industry, is held in parallel with the ITB Berlin Convention, a top-notch and visionary convention program with high-ranking speakers from the travel industry, science and politics who address the latest trends and present innovative business models from the global tourism sector. In 2015, ITB Berlin welcomed a total of nearly 11,000 companies and organizations from 186 countries, who exhibited their products and services to over 175,000 visitors. ITB Berlin 2016 will take place from Wednesday, March 9, to Sunday, March 13.