World Legacy Awards
International (CI) and National Geographic Traveler magazine have
created the World Legacy Awards to recognize outstanding businesses,
organizations and places that have made a significant contribution
toward promoting the principles of sustainable tourism, and whose
actions can serve as a role model for others. These standards include
the conservation of nature, economic benefit to local peoples and
respect for cultural diversity.
The newly-formed alliance between National Geographic Traveler and
CI launches a global campaign to promote environmentally, culturally
and socially responsible tourism practices across a wider spectrum
of the tourism industry, with the goal of protecting the earths
natural and cultural heritage.
Too often, tourist resorts and destinations have focused on
short-term gain with little regard for the environment or the people
who live thereoften the very things that attracted visitors
in the first place, said Costas Christ, senior director of
CIs ecotourism department. With the creation of the
World Legacy Awards, we intend to raise the bar and encourage more
businesses, organizations and destinations to incorporate sound
environmental and social policies into their practices.
Tourists are looking for experiences that are rewarding and
memorable, but the tourism industry can only be sustainable if the
natural and cultural assets of the destination are protected, and
if local people receive economic and social benefit from tourism
activities, said Jonathan Tourtellot, geotourism editor of
National Geographic Traveler. By placing a value on a locales
natural, historic, and cultural attributes, we provide an incentive
to protect them. This partnership ensures that future generations
may enjoy the same attributes present today.
Winners will be chosen in three categories:
- Nature Travel: This award
honors a business, organization or attraction making a positive
contribution to the conservation of natural areas and biodiversity.
Eligible nominees include ecolodges, ecotourism operators and community-
or privately-owned nature reserves whose existence through tourism
revenue helps ensure protection for wilderness areas, marine environments
and rare and endangered species.
- Heritage Tourism: This category
recognizes a business, organization or attraction making a positive
contribution to cultural heritage and diversity. Community-based
tourism projects, preservation of archeological sites and activities
that revive and enrich cultural traditions are eligible for the
- Destination Stewardship: This
award recognizes a business, organization, local community or even
regional government protecting the natural and cultural heritage
of a destination. Eligible nominees include marine environments,
wilderness areas, a unique province or a region of a country rich
in nature and cultural traditions committed to the highest standards
in embracing the principles of responsible tourism.
Nominees will be evaluated based on the contribution a project or
overall destination makes to nature conservation and cultural heritage;
generation of local economic benefit; promotion of these principles
through education and awareness; and success in providing enriching,
authentic travel experiences. They will be expected to show that
their organization or destination achieves a significant and measurable
positive impact on the surrounding ecosystem, the local culture
and the region as a whole.
To learn more about the World Legacy Awards, visit www.wlaward.org