The 12th Annual World Tourism Awards, co-sponsored by American Express (AMEX), Corinthia Hotels, International Herald Tribune (IHT), and Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE), were presented at a special ceremony on November 10, 2009, at World Travel Market, Excel Centre, London. The 2009 Award honorees are Tourism Cares; Gap Adventures; and Cyrene, Libya.
The 2009 honorees are being recognized for their dedication to sustainable tourism and the preservation of natural and cultural heritage. The first award presented was to Tourism Cares, honored for “its extraordinary work to preserve the travel experience for future generations by awarding grants to natural, cultural, and historic sites worldwide; awarding scholarships to the future tourism workforce; and organizing volunteer projects to help restore tourism-related sites.”
The second award was presented to Gap Adventures, honored for “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 was presented to Cyrene, Libya, honored for “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.”
Presenting the Awards on behalf of the sponsors were: Jean-Paul Kyrillos, VP/publisher, Travel + Leisure, American Express Publishing; Glenn Carroll, senior vice president, sales & marketing, CHI Hotels & Resorts; Alistair McEwan, advertising director, international, The New York Times/International Herald Tribune; Wendy Hartley, sales development director, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
Accepting the awards were: Bruce Poon Tip, founder & CEO, Gap Adventures; Bruce Beckham, executive director, Tourism Cares; representing Cyrene, Libya, Nuri Shadi.
The ceremony was followed by a reception hosted by Corinthia Hotels.
Inaugurated in 1997, The World Tourism Award was established to recognize “the extraordinary initiatives by individuals, companies, organizations, destinations, and attractions for outstanding accomplishments in the travel industry.”
The World Tourism Awards are presented in the form of a specially-designed Steuben Crystal bridge entitled PARTNERSHIP, which “celebrates the bond of a supportive partnership which, like a bridge, spans both time and distance.”