<i>Travel + Leisure</i> Honors Innovations in Responsible Tourism

<i>Travel + Leisure</i> Honors Innovations in Responsible Tourism

i>Travel + Leisure has recognized seven projects and organizations from around the world for defending the historical, cultural, and ecological integrity of tourist destinations.

The magazine paid tribute to seven innovative programs and initiatives across seven categories in the inaugural Global Vision Awards. Selected by a jury of seven distinguished global travel authorities, the winners are defending the historical, cultural, and ecological integrity of various regions throughout the world and are featured in the magazine's December issue.

The winners are:
  • Economic Development: Tufenkian Artisan Carpets, Nepal and Armenia
    New York-based James Tufenkian has enhanced the economy of developing communities in Nepal and Armenia by implementing worker-welfare programs, providing schools, housing, medical facilities and a water-purification plant for thousands of artisans and craftspeople.

  • Cultural Preservation: Falmouth Heritage Renewal, Falmouth, Jamaica
    This four-year grassroots campaign started by Virginia-based Christopher Ohrstrom preserves endangered sites of cultural or historical significance and, whenever possible, has bolstered the communities surrounding these projects.

  • Community Outreach: Himalayan Homestays, Ladakh, India
    Created to support the customs and traditions of communities in the higher Himalayas, this conservation program has single-handedly transformed the perception of the snow leopard from a dangerous predator to an animal whose presence draws travelers and provides economic opportunities to villagers throughout this region.

  • Green/Eco-hotel Initiative: Hilton Vancouver Washington
    The centerpiece of a revitalization plan aimed to embrace environmental responsibility, the hotel is exemplary in its energy efficiency, wateruse reduction, sustainable construction and operation, and promotion of alternative transportation.

  • Ecological Conservation: Mauritian Wildlife Foundation, Mauritius
    Acting as an incubator, outdoor laboratory, preservation site and vistor's center, this ecosystem rehabilitation effort has conserved and enhanced a threatened environment that paves the way for regeneration projects worldwide.

  • Innovation: Al-Azhar Park, Cairo
    This urban-renewal initiative has provided leisure and recreational space to a city that has little, and has energized social and economic development for neighboring residents while serving as a catalyst for historic preservation.

  • Corporate Initiative: Taj Hotels, Resorts & Palaces, India
    With 56 properties in 39 locations in India, Taj's philanthropy has aided hunger-relief efforts, education, health crisies, fund-raising, earthquake relief, and income generation for underprivileged women and other social development and environmental issues facing communities throughout India.
"The winners of our first annual Global Vision Awards set powerful examples for all of us in the travel world, where protecting natural resources and supporting local cultures has become an imperative," says Nancy Novogrod, editor in chief of Travel + Leisure. "In recognizing these outstanding organizations and individuals, we believe that we are also highlighting tourism's potential as a force for good."

Travel + Leisure editors nominated finalists in seven categories and presented them to a jury of experts who selected the winners. The jury was comprised of seven global travel business leaders: Bonnie Burnham of the World Monuments Fund; Andrew Drumm of the Nature Conservancy; Andrew Fairley of Turtle Island Resort; Steve Fitzgerald of Conservation Corporation Africa; Niki Leondakis of Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants; Ronald Sanabria of Rainforest Alliance; and, Sean Southey of Equator Initiative.

More information on the Global Vision Award winners is available online.