SEE Turtles wins Changemakers Award at the 2019 World Travel & Tourism Council Tourism for Tomorrow Awards Today in Seville, the World Travel & Tourism Council announced SEE Turtles of the USA as the winner of the Changemakers Award at the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards ceremony. The Awards, now in their 15th year, took place at a special ceremony during the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain, to celebrate inspirational, world-changing tourism initiatives from around the globe. The 2019 WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Award Winners are highly commended and recognized for business practices of the highest standards that balance the needs of ‘people, planet and profits’ within the Travel & Tourism sector. Our 2019 Winners promote inclusive growth and illustrate a strong commitment to supporting change and transformation in business practices and consumer behavior towards a more environmentally conscious sector. New to 2019, the Changemakers Award is for a Travel & Tourism organization which has made real, positive and impactful change in a specific area of focus defined by WTTC. This focus will change each year. This year the award shone a spotlight on fighting the illegal wildlife trade through tourism. SEE Turtles is an organization operating sea turtle conservation and volunteer programs throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Six of seven species of sea turtles are endangered due to the trade in their eggs, meat and shells. Since 2008, by unifying on-the-ground efforts to protect sea turtles throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, SEE Turtles has saved 1.7 million hatchlings and educated over 10 million people in preventing turtle shell trade. The program’s three-tier approach is highly replicable: education, training more than 100 teachers and community leaders in turtle hotspots and funding field trips for 2,000 students; research, completing Latin America’s first illegal turtle trade report in 15 years; coordination, creating a coalition of 120 tourism companies and conservation organizations working to end the demand for turtle shell. Successful campaigns include Too Rare to Wear, Billion Baby Turtles, and more recently, Divers for Turtles, to corral the dive industry to act. The Awards are judged by a panel of independent experts, led by Prof. Graham Miller, Executive Dean, Professor of Sustainability in Business, University of Surrey. The panel included academics, business leaders, NGO and governmental representatives who narrowed down the list of 183 applications to just fifteen finalists. The three-stage judging process included a thorough review of all applications, followed by on-site evaluations of the Finalists and their initiative. The Winner of each category was determined by the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2019 Winners’ Selection Committee, chaired by Fiona Jeffery OBE, Founder & Chairman, Just a Drop, and composed of Wolfgang M. Neumann, Non-Executive Director and Strategic Advisory, Global Hospitality, Travel & Tourism Sector; John Spengler, Akira Yamaguchi Professor of Environmental Health and Human Habitation, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; and Louise Twining-Ward, Senior Private Sector Specialist, Global Tourism Team, World Bank. WTTC represents the global private sector of Travel & Tourism. Its Global Summit is the most important event in the sector worldwide each year. Gloria Guevara, President & CEO, WTTC, commented: ‘The finalists in this year’s Tourism for Tomorrow Awards showcase the many ways in which our industry is dedicated to sustainable growth. In 2018, the Travel & Tourism sector contributed 10.4% of global GDP and supported 319 million jobs across the world. It is therefore essential that we continue to grow in the most sustainable and responsible way possible. The new award categories for this year are aligned with WTTC strategic priorities and illustrate that all members of this industry play a key role in driving the sector forward to a more responsible future. I congratulate them all on their fantastic accomplishments and leadership.’ Fiona Jeffery, OBE, Chair, WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, said: ‘The aim of the WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards is to showcase some of the most exceptional examples of sustainable tourism practices in the world, and inspire and encourage our industry to make a positive impact for both current and future generations. Over 15 years, we have seen the industry make great strides towards achieving these goals and we can see positive change happening. Our recent survey results show that 67% of travelers would consider a travel company’s sustainability agenda when booking a trip, while 48% of travelers would now pay more money to travel sustainably. While there is still more to be done, we must harness the momentum for change to protect the product that sustains our very own industry.’ Jeff Rutledge, President and CEO, AIG Travel, Headline Sponsor of the Awards, stated: ‘From socially-inclusive employment initiatives to establishing one of the first rewilding projects in the Philippines, this year’s WTTC Tourism for Tomorrow Awards finalists have proved to be an incredibly diverse group of changemakers from around the world. They have demonstrated that, regardless of the size or purpose of business, all members of the Travel & Tourism industry can afford to make sustainability a priority, and become part of our collective journey towards a greener future.’ For more information on the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards and all the Winners, please visithttp://wttc.org/t4tawards Full list of Winners and Finalists: Climate Action Award, for organizations undertaking significant and measurable work to reduce the scale and impact of climate change: WINNER: Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort, Aruba FINALIST: The Brando, Tetiaroa Private Island, French Polynesia FINALIST: Tourism Holdings Limited, New Zealand Investing in People Award, for organizations demonstrating leadership in becoming an exciting, attractive, and equitable employer in the sector: WINNER: Lemon Tree Hotels Limited, India FINALIST: Reserva do Ibitipoca, Brazil FINALIST: Shanga by Elewana Collection, Tanzania Destination Stewardship Award, for organizations helping a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its residents and tourists: WINNER: St. Kitts Sustainable Destination Council, St. Kitts and Nevis FINALIST: Grupo Rio da Prata, Jardim and Bonito, Brazil FINALIST: Masungi Georeserve, Philippines Social Impact Award, for organizations working to improve the people and places where they operate: WINNER: Awamaki, Peru FINALIST: Intrepid Group, Australia FINALIST: Nikoi Island, Indonesia Changemakers Award, this year focused on organizations fighting the illegal wildlife trade through sustainable tourism: WINNER: SEE Turtles, USA FINALIST: Kelompok Peduli Lingkungan Belitung (KPLB), Indonesia FINALIST: The Cardamom Tented Camp, Cambodia About the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards: More details on the Awards and the Finalists can be found at http://wttc.org/T4TAwards The 2019 Awards programme has five categories: Climate Action Award – recognizes organizations undertaking significant and measurable work to reduce the scale and impacts of climate change. Investing in People Award – recognizes organizations demonstrating leadership in becoming an exciting, attractive and equitable employer in the sector. Destination Stewardship Award – recognizes destinations which help a place to thrive and bring forward its unique identity for the benefit of its resident and tourists. Social Impact Award – recognizes organizations that are working to improve the people and places where they operate. Changemakers Award – recognizes organizations that have made real, positive and impactful change in a specific area of focus defined by WTTC. This focus will change each year, and in 2019 will focus on fighting the illegal wildlife trade through sustainable tourism. Finalists and Winners receive complimentary flights and accommodation and recognition during an Awards ceremony which took place as part of the WTTC Global Summit in Seville, Spain on 3-4 April 2019. Finalists and Winners get to meet the Travel & Tourism industry’s top Chief Executives, leading journalists, renowned experts and government officials attending the Summit. Tourism for Tomorrow Award Partners: Headline Sponsor of the Tourism for Tomorrow Awards: AIG Travel, Inc. Category Sponsors: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, TAUCK, TRIP Foundation, The Bicester Village Shopping Collection Editorial Partner: The Telegraph Travel Awards Supporters: Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta), Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN), BEST Education Network (BEST-EN), Considerate Group, EUROPARC Federation, Fair Trade Tourism (FTT), The Long Run, The Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA), The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), Tony Charters and Associates, Travelife, Voyageons Autrement, The International National Trusts Organisation, Impact Travel Alliance About the World Travel & Tourism CouncilWTTC is the body which represents the Travel & Tourism private sector globally. Members consist of CEOs of the world’s Travel & Tourism companies, destinations, and industry organisations engaging with Travel & Tourism. WTTC has a history of 25 years of research to quantify the economic impact of the sector in 185 countries. Travel & Tourism is a key driver for investment and economic growth globally. The sector contributes US $8.8 trillion or 10.4% of global GDP, and accounts for 319 million jobs or one in ten of all jobs on the planet. For over 25 years, WTTC has been the voice of this industry globally. Members are the Chairs, Presidents and Chief Executives of the world’s leading, private sector Travel & Tourism businesses, who bring specialist knowledge to guide government policy and decision-making and raise awareness of the importance of the sector.