British Airways, Jonathan M. Tisch, and National Geographic Traveler were presented with the 2011 World Tourism Awards today in a ceremony at World Travel Market, Excel Centre, London, on Monday, November 7, 2011.
The World Tourism Awards, celebrating its 14th anniversary, are co-sponsored by American Express, Corinthia Hotels, International Herald Tribune, and Reed Travel Exhibitions. 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.”
This year, the three award recipients were honored for their dedication to sustainable tourism, preservation of natural and cultural heritage, as well as forging tourism partnerships to overcome challenging times.
Presenting the awards on behalf of the sponsors were Sheila Heustess, VP, Travel Industry Relations, American Express; Alfred Pisani, Founder and Chairman, Corinthia Group; Patrick M. Falconer, Managing Director – UK, Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, the New York Times/International Herald Tribune; and Fiona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market for Reed Travel Exhibitions.
The first award went to British Airways in recognition of “its investment of £5-6M annually to support its Global Community Programs, in direct and in-kind donations, to more than 100 community and conservation-focused charities around the world, as well as in the UK.” Mary Barry, Manager, Community Investment, British Airways accepted the award.
The second award honored Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels, in recognition for “his leadership role to help rebuild New York City in the aftermath of September 11, by reviving the local travel and tourism industry and for securing major funding for NYC & Company to expand its global marketing initiatives, resulting in record tourism for New York City.” Accepting the award on behalf of Jonathan Tisch was George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company.
The third was presented to National Geographic Traveler in recognition of “its pioneering geotourism, and working with local communities around the world to create Geotourism Mapguides that raise awareness of a destination’s endemic natural and cultural assets, thereby contributing to sustainability and community-based tourism development.” Accepting the award on behalf of National Geographic Traveler was Keith Bellows, Editor-in-Chief.
PHOTO (L to R): Patrick Falconer, Managing Director – United Kingdom, Northern Europe, Middle East and Africa, The New York Times/International Herald Tribune; Alfred Pisani, Founder and Group Chairman, Corinthia Hotels; Mary Barry, Manager, Community Investment, British Airways; Keith Bellows, Editor-In-Chief, National Geographic Traveler; accepting on behalf of Jonathan M. Tisch, Chairman and CEO, Loews Hotels, George Fertitta, CEO, NYC & Company; Sheila Heustess, VP, Travel Industry Relations, American Express; and Fiona Jeffery, Chairman, World Travel Market for Reed Travel Exhibitions.