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Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic was recognized by Virtuoso® the international luxury travel network, with their 2018 Sustainable Tourism Leadership Award which honors outstanding leadership and commitment to sustainable tourism principles and practices among Virtuoso Preferred Partners and Hotels.
In its eighth year, the award underscores the valuable role travel and tourism can play in the protection of cultural and natural heritage for future generations, including environmental preservation and the well-being of local communities, and is open to on-site, tour operators, cruise lines, airlines, service and specialty providers.
Lindblad has built a global travel company with conservation and environmental stewardship as core business tenets. The company’s commitment to the places they explore includes (since 1997) $15.8 million to support stewardship efforts, currently through the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic Fund (LEX-NG Fund), which awards approximately $1.5 million dollars in grants per year. In 2017, that funding supported initiatives in Alaska, Baja, Galápagos, the Peruvian Amazon, Cambodia, Antarctica, the Pacific Northwest, Central America and beyond. Funding also went toward National Geographic’s Pristine Seas project, which is working to find, survey and protect the last wild places in the ocean, with a goal of protecting 20 of the ocean’s wildest places by 2020. LEX-NG Fund initiatives include killer whale research in Antarctica, artisan training in the Peruvian Amazon and Galapagos, and conservation-based research projects to protect humpback whales in Southeast Alaska.
The award was presented at Virtuoso’s 30th annual Travel Week before more than 3,000 of luxury travel’s most prominent figures during a gala dinner at Bellagio Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. Hosted by Virtuoso® Chairman and CEO Matthew D. Upchurch, the evening celebrated some of the most innovative and revered agencies, advisors and partners worldwide.
“Receiving international recognition for conservation and sustainability initiatives undertaken by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic is quite an honor and opportunity,” said Amy Berquist, Director of Conservation and Strategic Initiatives for Lindblad Expeditions. “Having this platform to share our efforts and successes amplifies the potential for the travel industry to make lasting positive impacts throughout the world. We are proud of our teams in the field and at our home offices, and know this award will further fuel everyone’s passion for and commitment toward protecting our planet.”
“We are excited that Virtuoso has recognized the significant sustainability and conservation efforts taken on by our long-time partner, Lindblad Expeditions. We value their shared commitment to conservation—from working to eliminate single-use plastics aboard the Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic fleet, to enabling guests to have a positive impact on the communities to which they travel through the Lindblad-National Geographic Fund. This award only deepens our commitment to continuing to increase the sustainability of our travel operations, both on our own as well as through our like-minded partners,” stated O’Shannon Burns, Sustainability Officer, National Geographic Expeditions.
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