National Geographic Launches World Legacy Awards In Collaboration with ITB Berlin

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The World Legacy Awards were launched today at ITB Berlin, a groundbreaking collaboration between two giants in the world of travel. With a mission of “inspiring people to care about the planet,” the National Geographic Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its magazines, television, documentaries, radio, books, maps and more. ITB is the largest travel gathering on the planet, attended annually by nearly 200, 000 delegates.

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The World Legacy Awards will showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations – ranging from airlines to ecolodges and from cities to countries – that are driving the global transformation of the travel industry based upon sustainable tourism principles and practicies.

The awards are in five categories, namely,  Eco Innovation Award, Cultural Heritage Award, Biodiversity Conservation Award, Community Engagement Award and Sustainable Destination Award.

Keith Bellows, senior vice president and editor in chief of  National Geographic Travel Media, said, “For more than 100 years, National Geographic has supported more than 11, 000 scientific, conservation ans exploration projects around the world. We believe that travel, when planned and managed well, provides a powerful opportunity for protecting and preserving the world’s most valued treasures. The World Legacy Awards are about recognizing the visonaries who are leading the way forward, and we cannot think of a better partner to do this with than ITB Berlin.”

The Call for Entries for the World Legacy Awards will start on June 1, 2014, when applications can be submitted for review by an ecpert judging panel led by Costas Christ, chairman of the World Legacy Awards and one of the world’s foremost experts on sustainsble tourism. The awards ceremony will be held at ITB in March 2015.

Dr Christian Goke, chief executive officer of Messe Berlin, said, “As the world’s largest travel trade show, with a strong commitment to promoting corporate social responsibility and sustainable tourism best practices, we are delighted to psrtner with National Geographic Travel on the launch of the World Legacy Awards at ITB Berlin.”