February 18th, 2015In just a few weeks National Geographic will announce the World Legacy Award winners at ITB Berlin. The Finalists were unveiled this past October and the impressive list includes a variety of organizations and destinations that are helping to foster a responsible and sustainable travel and tourism industry.

With TreadRight sponsoring these prestigious awards as a Founding Partner and Adventure World supporting as a Leading Sponsor, The Travel Corporation is proud to see these awards recognizing the positive transformation of the travel industry.

With our very own Steering Committee member and Editor at Large for National Geographic Traveler, Costas Christ chairing the Awards, TreadRight has been able to gain tremendous insight into what the future of sustainability will look like.

To better comprehend what these Awards are about and more completely understand how these values fuse with TreadRight’s core principles, we look to the pillars of sustainability, on which the categories are based.

The World Legacy Award categories are: Earth Changers, Sense of Place, Conserving the Natural World, Engaging Communities and Destination Leadership.

Pillar 1: Environmentally Friendly Operations (Environment)

Including the categories of Earth Changers, Conserving the Natural World and Destination Leadership, those Finalists supporting this pillar have established cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and look to support the preservation of nature.

From its earliest iterations, TreadRight has made it a crucial part of its mission to identify and aid projects that support natural preservation. From our most recent partnerships with the likes of WildAid and The Wilderness Foundation - South Africa, to our commitment to the Sea Turtle Conservancy, Australia Zoo Wildlife Warriors, Shark Savers, MAR Leaders and Phillip Island Nature Parks, supporting the preservation of nature has been part and parcel to our activities.

As this mission lies so close to our hearts, it is truly inspiring to see travel and tourism industry organizations in destinations from Indonesia, to Spain, and the United States developing innovative ways to put the environment first.

Pillar 2: Protection of Natural and Cultural Heritage (Social)

Considering that in the past year TreadRight has launched its Wildlife and Heritage Initiatives, it should come as no surprise that this is one pillar of sustainability on which the foundation places a lot of value.

Touching on the categories of Earth Changers, Sense of Place, Destination Leadership and Conserving the Natural World, the World Legacy Award Finalists in these categories are dedicated to the protection of cultural and natural heritage through the preservation of natural and cultural touchstones, such as historical monuments, archaeological sites, artistic traditions, endangered species and natural habitats.

As we've illustrated though our support of projects such as The National Trust in the UK, the Hotel Carbon Measurement Initiaitve, Venice in Peril and Save Vernazza, TreadRight and The Travel Corporation have long identified this pillar as an essential element in building a sustainable and responsible travel and tourism industry. 

The Finalists identified in these related categories dot the map from Canada to Australia and are a testimony to the possibility of positive development travel can help bring to destinations around the globe.

Pillar 3: Support For The Well-Being of Local Communities (Economic)

When we introduced the Heritage Initiative we did so with support for local communities in mind. We believe the Finalists in the Engaging Communities, Destination Leadership and Sense of Place categories are formidable examples of travel organizations putting an emphasis on this same worthy cause. 

Recognizing direct and tangible economic and social benefits for locals and supporting cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions serve as the backbone to sustainability through travel.

Destinations and organizations in North America, South America, Europe and the Middle East have all been named Finalists in these categories. It is quite simply beyond encouraging to see that support for “local” is so international.

Through each and every one of the World Legacy Awards Finalists it is evident that there truly is a global community dedicated to helping support the pillars of sustainability on which the award categories were built.

As Costas Christ noted in our recent interview, the National Geographic Society has made it its mission to inspire people to care about our planet. The list of Finalists and the myriad more organizations and destinations considered for these Awards are a true testament to the growing success of that mission. A mission TreadRight and The Travel Corporation’s family of brands are endlessly proud to be a part of.

A heartfel congratulations to all Finalists. We can’t wait for their winners to be announced in early March! 

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Related Project(s): National Geographic Society