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World Legacy Awards

TreadRight was a Founding Partner and a sponsor of the National Geographic Travel World Legacy Awards, held annually to honour the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations driving positive transformation of the global tourism industry based on sustainable tourism practices.


Project Partners

The Objective

The National Geographic Society is one of the largest non-profit scientific, educational and travel organizations in the world, and believes that tourism, when planned and managed well, can be a powerful force for helping to protect our planet and safeguarding cultural treasures for future generations.

The National Geographic Traveler World Legacy Awards showcased the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations – ranging from large resorts to small eco-lodges to global geoparks – driving the positive transformation of the travel industry based on sustainable tourism principles and practices.

Costas Christ, TreadRight Steering Committee member and an award-winning editor and columnist for National Geographic Traveler, lead the panel of judges for the World Legacy Awards, where over 100 entries were narrowed down to 15 finalists, and five were selected to represent each category, and awarded during a special ceremony at ITB Berlin.

The Impact

Based on the three pillars of sustainable tourism, including environmentally friendly operations, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and support for the well-being of local communities, the five World Legacy Award categories were:

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.

Sense of Place:

Recognizing excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including using vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archeological sites, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions.

Conserving the Natural World:

Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, including 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 stewardship, including cities, provinces, states, countries, and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection for cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local people, and educating travelers on the principles of sustainable tourism.

Costas Christ

Costas Christ is an award-winning editor and columnist for National Geographic Traveler. He is one of the world’s top sustainable tourism experts, whose work and travels have taken him to more than 125 countries across six continents. Costas serves as the Chairman for the National Geographic Travel World Legacy Awards, recognizing leading travel organisations driving positive change
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