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LONDON – Earthwatch Institute, Singita and Google were presented with the 2014 World Tourism Awards today, Monday, November 3, 2014, in a ceremony at World Travel Market, ExCeL Centre, London. The award presentation was hosted by Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor and world renowned travel expert.
The World Tourism Awards, celebrating its 17th Anniversary, are co-sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, International New York Times, Reed Travel Exhibitions, and – this year for the first time – United Airlines. Inaugurated in 1997, the World Tourism Awards were established to recognize “the extraordinary initiatives by individuals, companies, organizations, destinations, and attractions for outstanding accomplishments in the travel industry.”
The three distinguished 2014 Honourees were recognized for their commitment to conservation, sustainable tourism development, as well as providing opportunities to assist local communities in overcoming challenging times.
Presenting the Awards on behalf of the sponsors were Fiona Harris, Director of International PR, Corinthia Hotels; Kate Macbeth, Head of Marketing & Communications, WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions; Patrick Falconer, Managing Director – UK, The New York Times; and Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, United Kingdom and Ireland, United Airlines.
The first award honoured Earthwatch Institute, “in recognition of its mission to promote a sustainable way of life through education and field research, enlisting more than 100,000 people, in nearly 1,400 conservation projects in more than 120 countries, so that future generations may enjoy all the natural wonders the planet has to offer”. Accepting the Award on behalf of Earthwatch Institute was Sue Holden, Executive Director, Earthwatch Institute.
The second award honoured Singita – Place of Miracles, “in recognition of its vision and dedication to environmentally conscious hospitality, through the development of sustainable conservation programs and successful community projects resulting in the empowerment of local communities living and working around the twelve Singita lodges in Africa.” Accepting the Award on behalf of Singita was Elle Reinink, European Sales & Marketing, Singita.
The third award honoured GOOGLE, “in recognition for developing the cutting edge global social network platform and technology, GOOGLE GLASS that enabled committed photographers around the world to share their travel experiences in real time, directly into the homes of people whose mobility is limited”. Accepting the Award on behalf of Google was Lasse Wassermann, Senior Program Manager, Google.
The World Tourism Award, Inspire, is a specially handcrafted design by Mdina Glass, made on the Mediterranean Island of Malta, to celebrate the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to reach new heights.