WASHINGTON and BERLIN, Dec. 1, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The 15 finalists of the National Geographic World Legacy Awards were unveiled today. The World Legacy Awards, a partnership between National Geographic and ITB Berlin, showcase the leading travel and tourism companies, organizations and destinations — ranging from entire countries to small islands and from urban hotels to jungle retreats — driving the sustainable tourism transformation of the global travel industry.
This year's World Legacy Awards entries spanned the planet, representing 45 countries and six continents, showcasing how sustainable tourism has no boundaries. Finalists in five award categories were selected by an international team of more than 20 judges. A multi-step judging process also included on-site inspections of each finalist. For details on the judges, go to http://www.nationalgeographic.com/worldlegacyawards/judging.html Costas Christ, Chairman of National Geographic World Legacy Awards, said, "We have reached a tipping point as more of the travel industry understands that there can be no future for tourism without sustainability, including environmentally-friendly business practices, protection of cultural and natural heritage, and tangible social and economic benefits to local people in travel destinations. Those countries and companies that understand this today will be the travel leaders of tomorrow. These 15 World Legacy Awards finalists are showing the way forward to a brighter future for people and the planet." For the first time the World Legacy Award Ceremony will take place in the Palais am Funkturm, the new official awards venue of ITB Berlin. Rika Jean-François, CSR Commissioner for ITB Berlin: "The World Legacy Awards, which are about to be held for the third time, have established themselves as highly prestigious for the global travel industry. The finalists will be introduced on ITB Wednesday to a truly international audience and the winners will be announced on the spot. We are also happy to invite the finalists to present their innovative solutions to an international audience at our renown CSR Day on ITB Friday. ITB Berlin is strongly heightening awareness of the important issue of sustainability and responsibility in tourism and has also recently become a member of GSTC, the Global Criteria for Sustainable Tourism."