World Tourism Awards honours changemakers at WTM 2017

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The World Tourism Awards celebrated its 20th Anniversary at the World Travel Market by recognising three awardees during the event held in London.

The first award was to Charity Challenge and it was recognised “for creating, managing, and delivering international fundraising expeditions across six continents and 38 countries, which over the last 18 years have inspired tens of thousands of people to raise more than £50 million for 1,800 charities, as well as themselves donating close to £500,000 to community projects.”

Micato Safaris from AmericaShare was the second awardee and was honoured for “philanthropic work that has improved the lives of thousands of orphaned and vulnerable African children through the gift of education, including the Micato One for One Commitment, which sends a child to school for every safari sold.”

The third award was to His Excellency Paul Kagame, President, Republic of Rwanda and was presented for “his visionary leadership through a policy of reconciliation, sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation, and economic development attracting major hotel investment, resulting in the remarkable turnaround that has led to Rwanda’s rise as one of the leading tourism destinations in Africa today.”

Before each award, a short video was shown highlighting the work of each of the awardees and what difference their work has done to the community.

Matthew Dixon, Commercial Director of Corinthia Hotels; Patrick Falconer, Executive Director UK of the New York Times and Jeanette Gilbert, Head of Marketing and Communications, World Travel Market presented the awards on behalf of the sponsors.

Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor hosted the Awards presentation. The Guest speaker at the ceremony was Taleb Rifai, Secretary-General, the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO).

The Award, Inspire was a specially handcrafted glass designed by Mdina Glass from Malta. The ceremony was immediately followed by a special performance by the Rwanda National Ballet, Urukerereza.

The World Tourism Awards are co-sponsored by Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times and by Reed Travel Exhibitions. The awards are to recognise “individuals, companies, organisations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programmes that give back to local communities.”