The World Legacy Awards Call for Entries was announced today. Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 1, 2015, at nationalgeographic.com/
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.