WASHINGTON, June 22, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The World Legacy Awards Call for Entries was announced today. Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 20, 2016, at nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards. Celebrating National Geographic's mission of inspiring people to care about the planet, the World Legacy Awards honor today's leading sustainable tourism destinations, organizations and businesses, and share their stories with travelers around the world. Any travel and tourism company, organization or destination—ranging from airlines to hotels, from cities to countries, and from luxury tour operators to adventure travel outfitters—is eligible to apply for the awards in one of the five categories.
The World Legacy Awards are a groundbreaking collaboration between two giants in the world of travel: National Geographic and ITB Berlin. The awards are unprecedented in their international visibility and promotion, reaching National Geographic's global audience of 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 and, for the third year, will host the 2017 awards ceremony.
In addition to being recognized at ITB Berlin during the March 2017 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 platforms.
"For many companies, campaigning for sustainable tourism has become an indispensable part of their work," said Dr. Christian Goeke, CEO of Messe Berlin. "By presenting the World Legacy Awards, together with National Geographic, we wish to underline how important social responsibility and protecting nature and wildlife are in today's tourism industry. As the world's leading travel trade show, we are proud to help raise awareness for sustainable tourism and to draw attention with these awards to the impressive work of hotels, destinations and travel."
"One day there will be no need for awards that recognize sustainable tourism best practices. Care for local people and the planet will become part of the everyday fabric for how travel businesses operate and destinations thrive. Until then, the World Legacy Awards are shining a light on the travel leaders of today who are transforming tourism in positive ways to help protect cultural and natural heritage for future generations," said Costas Christ, National Geographic Traveler Editor at Large and Chairman of the World Legacy Awards.
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 December 2016, and the winners will be announced in March 2017 at ITB Berlin during a special awards ceremony and also participate 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 2017 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 three, continuing to support the mission of the World Legacy Awards. Also returning for a third year of sponsorship is Adventure World, a company that has championed responsible tourism for more than 35 years and is proud to support an awards program that aims to make the world a better place.
About National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC, a joint venture between National Geographic Society and 21st Century Fox, combines National Geographic television channels with National Geographic's media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic Studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children's media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, catalog, licensing and e-commerce businesses. A portion of the proceeds from National Geographic Partners LLC will be used to fund science, exploration, conservation and education through significant ongoing contributions to the work of the National Geographic Society.
About ITB Berlin and the ITB Berlin Convention
ITB Berlin 2017 will take place from Wednesday to Sunday, 8 to 12 March. From Wednesday to Friday ITB Berlin is open to trade visitors only. Parallel with the trade show the ITB Berlin Convention, the world's largest tourism convention, will be held from Wednesday, 8 to Saturday, 11 March 2017. More details are available at www.itb-convention.com. ITB Berlin is the global travel industry's leading trade show. In 2016 a total of 10,000 companies and organisations from 187 countries exhibited their products and services to 180,000 visitors, who included 120,000 trade visitors.
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SOURCE National Geographic