Travelers today can make a difference in their travels simply by deciding who they want to travel with. You have the option to vote with your dollars to support travel providers for being socially responsible. Some travel companies are doing great things for our world and the goal is for more companies to not only incorporate social responsible principles in their business practices, but to be innovators.
Condé Nast Traveler started The World Savers Awards, now in its third year, to recognize hotels, airlines and travel companies globally for their efforts in five areas: poverty alleviation, cultural or environmental preservation, education programs, wildlife conservation and health initiatives. “The travel industry is on track to generate $7.3 trillion in revenue this year, a number that represents an enormous opportunity to improve our planet, and our World Savers Awards recognize those companies turning that potential into a reality.” Condé Nast Traveler’s editor-in-chief, Klara Glowczewska, said in a statement.
The 2009 World Savers Awards Winners:
Education Programs: Puntacana Resort & Club.
This luxury resort in the Dominican Republic has built schools to accommodate its workers and their children.
Poverty Alleviation: The Haciendas.
This small chain located in Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula turned abandoned haciendas into chic resorts and hired local villagers as construction workers, waiters and accountants and helped others start their own businesses
Wildlife Conservation: Bushmans Kloof.
This South African safari lodge has worked to replenish the wildlife in the surrounding area.
Preservation (Environmental/Cultural): Air New Zealand and Kimpton Hotels.
Air New Zealand is leading the way in exploring alternate fuel sources and Kimpton, in addition to requiring all its dry cleaning vendors to recycle hangers, has introducted 70 mandatory eco-friendly products and practices.
Health Initiatives: Accor.
With 111 hotels in Africa, where HIV/AIDS hits the hardest, this hotel chain launched an in-house educational program and started testing all its employees for the disease.
Overall Winners By Industry Category:
Small Chains: The Haciendas
Large Chains: Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company
City Hotel: Willard InterContinental
Small Resorts: Bushmans Kloof
Large Resorts: Puntacana Resort & Club
Cruise Lines: Ecoventura
Airlines: Japan Airlines
Tour Operators: Gap Adventures
Condé Naste Traveler reviewed more than 100 applications, picking 36 finalists and an independent panel of 20 judges, comprised of travel industry executives and experts as well non-governmental organizations, decided the winners. The winners will be recognized at an award ceremony in New York City on September 21 at the annual Conde Nast Traveler World Savers Congress.
photo credit: conde nast traveler