Call for Entries Announced for National Geographic Travel World Legacy Awards

17 June 2014

Applications are being accepted through Aug. 20

WASHINGTON —The World Legacy Awards Call for Entries was announced today — the result of a groundbreaking collaboration between two giants in the world of travel: National Geographic and ITB Berlin. The National Geographic Society reaches more than 500 million people worldwide each month through its magazines, television, documentaries, radio, books, and other media platforms, products and events. ITB Berlin is the largest travel gathering on the planet, attended annually by nearly 200,000 delegates.

The World Legacy Awards will showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from airlines to ecolodges and from cities to countries — that are driving the positive transformation of the travel industry based on sustainable tourism principles and practices. Applications are being accepted now through Aug. 20, 2014, at

Dr. Christian Göke, chief executive officer of Messe Berlin, said, “As the world’s largest travel trade show, with a strong commitment to promoting sustainable tourism, we are delighted to partner with National Geographic Travel on the World Legacy Awards.”

In addition to being recognized at ITB Berlin during the March 2015 awards ceremony, winners and finalists of the World Legacy Awards will be featured in National Geographic Traveler magazine and other National Geographic media reaching a major global audience.

Costas Christ, World Legacy Awards chairman and one of the world’s foremost experts on sustainable tourism, said, “The World Legacy Awards are unprecedented in their scope — bringing the message of sustainable tourism best practices and shining a light on award winners and finalists to millions of travelers all around the world.”

Applications are being accepted in five categories:

  • 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-emission reduction.
  • Sense of PlaceRecognizing excellence in enhancing sense of place and authenticity, including implementing vernacular architecture and design and support for the protection of historical monuments, archaeological sites, cultural events, indigenous heritage and artistic traditions. 
  • Conserving the Natural World Recognizing outstanding support for the preservation of nature, restoring natural habitat and protecting rare and endangered species, whether on land or in the oceans.
  • Engaging CommunitiesRecognizing 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 LeadershipRecognizing destination leadership, including cities, provinces, states, countries and regions that are demonstrating environmental best practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, benefits to local communities and educating travelers on the principles of sustainability.
Finalists will be announced in October 2014 at ITB Asia, and the winners will be announced at a special awards ceremony in March 2015 at ITB Berlin.