National Geographic - World Legacy Awards

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Awards Overview

The World Legacy Awards are a new initiative of the National Geographic Society, one of the world's largest and most prestigious nonprofit scientific, educational, and travel organizations reaching more than 450 million people worldwide, in partnership with ITB Berlin, the world's largest travel gathering. The World Legacy Awards honor the companies, organizations, and destinations—ranging from airlines to hotels, from communities to countries—that are driving the positive transformation of the tourism industry, showcasing leaders and visionaries in sustainable tourism best practices, and sharing their stories with millions of today's travelers. Unprecedented in international visibility and promotion, World Legacy Awards winners and finalists will receive coverage in National Geographic Traveler and other National Geographic print and digital media, reaching a global audience.

Awards Categories

Based on the three pillars of sustainable tourism, including environmentally friendly operations, protection of natural and cultural heritage, and support for the well-being of local communities, the five World Legacy Award categories are:

Earth Changers

Recognizing cutting-edge leadership in environmentally friendly business practices and green technology, from renewable energy and water conservation to zero-waste systems and carbon emissions reduction.

Sense of Place

Recognizing excellence in enhancing cultural authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design, support for the protection of historic monuments, archeological sites, indigenous heritage, and artistic traditions.

Conserving the Natural World

Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, including restoring natural habitat, and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.

Engaging communities

Recognizing direct and tangible economic and social benefits that improve local livelihoods, including training and capacity building, fair wages and benefits, community development, health care, and education.

Destination Leadership

Recognizing destination stewardship, including cities, provinces, states, countries, and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection for cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local people, and educating travelers on the principles of sustainable tourism.


National Geographic is pleased to partner with ITB Berlin. The world's leading travel trade show, ITB Berlin hosts the largest annual gathering of travel and tourism businesses, with nearly 200,000 delegates in attendance.

Ecuador is a land of snow-capped volcanoes crowning the Andes Mountains, exuberant wildlife amid the forests of the Amazon, miles of sunny Pacific Coast beaches, and extraordinary species roaming the fabled Galápagos Islands. All you need is one place: a country with four worlds right in the middle of the planet-biodiverse, compact, and magical.

Presenting Sponsor

For over 30 years, Adventure World has specialized in crafting authentic tailor-made journeys and their long-standing experience allows them to deliver unique and inspiring holidays. Adventure World is proud of the extensive, first-hand destination knowledge and personalized service their team of travel experts offers.

Founding Sponsors