Tony Potter, CEO and managing director, CHI Hotels & Resorts, the management company for Corinthia Hotels, announced that Tourism Cares, Gap Adventures, and Cyrene, Libya are the 2009 World Tourism Award Honorees. Corinthia Hotels, together with American Express, International Herald Tribune, and Reed Travel Exhibitions, co-sponsor this prestigious award, which will be presented at World Travel Market on Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at Excel Centre, London. The announcement was made at a Corinthia Hotels Press Breakfast on September 10, 2009 at Tavern on the Green in New York City.

The World Tourism Award, inaugurated in 1997 and celebrating its 12th Anniversary, was established to recognize “the extraordinary initiatives by individuals, companies, organizations, destinations, and attractions for outstanding accomplishments in the travel industry.”

The 2009 Honorees are being recognized for their dedication to sustainable tourism and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. The first award will honor Tourism Cares, in recognition of “its extraordinary work to preserve the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites worldwide, as well as awarding scholarships to the future tourism workforce and organizing volunteer projects to help restore tourism-related sites.”

The second award will honor Gap Adventures, in recognition of “its exemplary commitment and vision to ‘give back’ by creating and supporting Planeterra, matching all donations to this foundation dedicated to sustainable community development worldwide through travel and voluntourism.”

The third award will honor Cyrene, Libya in recognition of “Libya’s unique approach in establishing an integrated model for North African Archaeological and Heritage Preservation and Management with an emphasis on the education and training of local nationals for employment in the development and maintenance of this site and for Engineer Saif Shahat’s initiatives taken to ensure the protection of Libya’s Heritage Sites and the quality of its tourism.”

Representing the 2009 World Tourism Award Honorees at the Corinthia Hotels Press Breakfast were Bruce Beckham, executive director, Tourism Cares, and Brad Ford, director, Business Development, Gap Adventures.


1997 Award: “World Peace Through Tourism.” Honorees: Member countries of MEMTTA (Middle East Mediterranean Travel & Tourism Association): Cyprus, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Malta, Morocco, the Palestinian Authority, Tunisia, and Turkey.

1998 Award: “Outstanding Economic Development Through Tourism.” Honorees: “The new emerging Europe – Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland”

1999 Award: “Outstanding Impact of Travel and Tourism on Generating Employment Growth.” Honorees: China National Tourism Administration and the Hong Kong Tourist Association

2001 Award: “The newly forged public/private sector partnership and the dramatic increase in tourism.” Honorees: the Mexico Ministry of Tourism and the Mexico Tourism Board

2002 Award: “Training the Next Generation in Travel & Tourism.” Honorees: The New York Academy of Travel & Tourism, Virtual Enterprises, International™ (career programs within the New York City Department of Education), and the Institute for Virtual Enterprise at Kingsborough Community College of the City University of New York.

2003 Award: “In recognition of its leadership role in the rescue and preservation of imperiled works of art and architecture, and its devotion to onsite conservation of monuments and sites worldwide, crossing geographic, cultural, and national boundaries to preserve the world’s diverse and rich heritage for generations to come.” Honoree: World Monuments Fund

2004 Award: “Its extraordinary vision and pioneering work in opening the door to ‘the world’ for travelers with disabilities, the mature, and elderly, through educational programs for all sectors of the travel industry on how to cater to the special needs of this lucrative and rapidly-expanding niche market.” Honoree: Society for Accessible Travel & Hospitality (SATH)

2005 Award: “Their extraordinary vision in forging a historic Asia-Africa Bridge of Tourism, Friendship, and Collaboration” announced at the 3rd IIPT Global Summit on Peace Through Tourism in Pattaya, Thailand, October 2005. Honorees: Africa Travel Association (ATA) and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA)

2006 Award: “In recognition of Travel Guard International’s value-based approach to business and its philanthropic mission to give back to both the global and local communities it serves and to encourage its employees to both raise/donate money for these global projects through its Make a Mark Foundation. Honorees: John Noel, president and CEO of Make a Mark Foundation

2007 Award: The 2007 Award recognized the leaders of the American Tourism Society (ATS): ATS, Alex Harris, CTC honorary chairman, and member of the board of directors, ATS, and chairman General Tours, and one of the co-founders of ATS; Michael Stolowitzky, immediate past president & CEO and member of the board of directors, ATS; and HE Senator Akel Biltaji of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, chair, Red/Mediterranean Sea Council and member of the board of directors, ATS. They were recognized for “their extraordinary vision and inspiring leadership in their respective roles as leaders in the American Tourism Society through which they have fostered the establishment of emerging destinations into the main stream of tourism, supported the training and development of local tourism companies and organizations, and have contributed to tourism becoming a vital factor in the fast-paced growth of employment in local economies.”

2008 Award: UNESCO World Heritage Centre was recognized for “its outstanding guidance, support, and encouragement to 185 countries around the world by establishing and monitoring 878 World Heritage Sites that will protect and preserve their irreplaceable natural and cultural heritage for the future of all the people of the world.” The Second Award honored Dr. Zahi Hawass, Secretary General, Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, recognized for “his dynamic and committed leadership in developing and implementing innovative management plans to care for and protect Egypt’s world famous ancient attractions, including several UNESCO World Heritage Sites.”

Corinthia Hotels is an internationally-acclaimed brand of luxury hotels in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Libya, Malta, Portugal, and Russia. Founded by the Pisani family of Malta in the 1960s, the Corinthia brand stands in that proud tradition of Mediterranean hospitality and its signature services communicate the “Warm Smiles, Inspired Flavors, and Pleasant Surprises” of its Maltese heritage. All Corinthia hotels feature state-of-the art conference areas, extensive leisure and business traveler facilities, and are each renowned for their uniqueness of character. Corinthia Hotels’ portfolio includes two award-winning properties: The Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary – winner of Europe’s “Best Hotel Architecture Award” and member of “The Most Famous Hotels in the World” and The Corinthia Hotel Prague in the Czech Republic – the first hotel ever to win Best Gastronomy Concept in the Czech Republic and a recipient of the “5 stars and 6 stripes” designation from renowned US reviewer Seven Stars and Stripes. The Corinthia Hotels portfolio also features the elegant Corinthia Palace Hotel and Spa and the splendid Corinthia Hotel St. Georges Bay in Malta; the superior five-star Corinthia Hotel Tripoli, Libya; the modern Corinthia Hotel Lisbon in Portugal and the renowned Corinthia Hotel St. Petersburg, Russia. The Corinthia Hotels brand is associated with the “Wyndham Grand Collection” tier of upscale hotels worldwide.


CHI Hotels & Resorts is a leading hotel operating company that is a joint venture between Malta-based International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) and Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) of the United States of America. CHI provides technical assistance and hotel management services to Corinthia Hotels, as well as to independent hotel owners worldwide. CHI is also the exclusive operating company for WHG-managed hotels in Europe, Africa, and the Middle East (EMEA), trading under the Wyndham and Ramada Plaza brands. The company has accumulated over 45 years of experience in delivering a high-quality service to hotel guests and an optimum rate of return for owners and investors in diverse business environments. Its expertise extends to management of luxury and upscale properties in city and resort locations and products ranging from boutique to large conference and meeting hotels.

CHI Hotels & Resorts is a joint venture between International Hotel Investments plc (IHI) – 70 percent – and The Wyndham Hotel Group (WHG) – 30 percent.

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