Innovative Travel Companies, Organizations And Destinations Put Sustainability Into Action
The 15 finalists of the 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled today. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry.
This year’s World Legacy Awards entries spanned the planet, representing 45 countries and six continents, showcasing how sustainable tourism has no boundaries. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of more than 20 judges. A multi-step judging process also included on-site inspections of each finalist. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html
The 2017 National Geographic World Legacy Awards finalists are:
Conserving the Natural World — Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat, protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.
- Mark Thornton Safaris, Tanzania — This guide-owned outfitter works to protect endangered wildlife habitat by establishing indigenous community partnerships on the Simanjiro Grazing Easement of the Maasai Steppe, a critically important wildlife migration corridor and wildebeest calving ground.
- Misool Eco Resort, Indonesia — Misool actively works to protect marine habitat, influence policy, and empower local communities. They manage more than 350 square miles of marine protected area in the heart of the Coral Triangle – the global center of marine biodiversity.
- North Island, Seychelles —Hailed as the Galapagos of the East, this eco-resort’s innovative Noah’s Ark project has successfully reintroduced some of the Seychelles’ rarest species back to nature as part of their restoration of native habitat on the former plantation island.
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-emissions reduction.
- Cayuga Collection, Costa Rica and Nicaragua – Reduce, reuse, recycle is a daily mantra at this ultra-green hospitality company. Innovative practices include a program to eliminate plastic waste (even drinking straws are reusable bamboo) and guests join back-of-the-house tours to learn how sustainability touches their vacation experience.
- Finch Bay Eco Hotel, Ecuador – Finch Bay’s closed-loop sustainable technology produces organic food for their guests with a high-yield process that conserves water, eliminates pesticides, and reduces carbon food miles. Their success is now being replicated by other Galapagos hotels.
- ITC Hotels, India – Demonstrating that large luxury urban hotels can set a new standard for going green, ITC’s 11 iconic city properties, spread across India, are all LEED Platinum certified – the highest level recognized by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.