LONDON - Actress Maggie Q, Good Will Ambassador for Kageno, was presented with the 2018 World Tourism Humanitarian Award on November 5, 2018, the opening day of WTM London at the Excel London. The other award recipients were Global Himalayan Expedition (GHE), Jordan Trail Association (JTA), and the Intrepid Foundation. Peter Greenberg, CBS News Travel Editor, multi-Emmy award-winning investigative reporter and world-renowned travel expert, hosted the Awards presentation.
The World Tourism Awards, now celebrating their 21st Anniversary, are organized annually by The Bradford Group on behalf of the co-sponsors Corinthia Hotels, The New York Times, United Airlines and Reed Travel Exhibitions. Inaugurated in 1997, the World Tourism Awards were established to recognize individuals, companies, organizations, destinations and attractions for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities.
The distinguished 2018 Honorees were recognized for outstanding initiatives related to the travel and tourism industry, and in fostering sustainable tourism and developing programs that give back to local communities.
Presenting the Awards on behalf of the sponsors were: Rebecca Barrie, Senior Marketing Director, Corinthia Hotels; Patrick Falconer, Executive Director, The New York Times; Bob Schumacher, Managing Director Sales, UK, Ireland and Off-Line Sales, United Airlines; and Jeannette Gilbert, Head of Marketing & Communications WTM Portfolio, Reed Travel Exhibitions.
This year, the World Tourism Humanitarian Award was presented to actress Maggie Q, Good Will Ambassador for Kageno, in recognition of her humanitarian efforts by raising funds in support of Kageno, an organization that transforms impoverished communities, specifically in Kenya and Rwanda, by focusing on programs for clean water, health care, conservation and education.
Global Himalayan Expedition was honored in recognition of their commitment toward sustainable development of remote communities situated at an average altitude of 12,000 ft through impact tourism, providing access to clean energy, digital education and livelihood creation opportunities for over 30,500 people across 71 off-grid Himalayan villages to date. The award was accepted by Paras Loomba, Founder & CEO, GHE.
The third honoree, Jordan Trail Association, was honored in recognition of its commitment to developing, maintaining, and promoting the Jordan Trail as a platform for socioeconomic development for the 52 villages along the trail, with an impact of $6 million USD to-date. Accepting the Award on behalf of JTA was CEO, Bashir Daoud.
And the fourth and last honoree, the not-for profit- The Intrepid Foundation, was honored in recognition of its commitment to empower travellers to give back by matching all donations dollar-for-dollar, resulting in a contribution of more than $4.2 million USD to over 100 local communities and international organizations since 2002. James Thornton, CEO, Intrepid Travel Group, accepted the award on behalf of the Intrepid Foundation.
Karen Hoffman, President of the Bradford Group, organizer of the World Tourism Awards, in her welcome remarks, noted that since the World Tourism Awards’ inception 21 years ago, “the Awards have recognized many truly outstanding travel industry leaders, travel organizations and foundations, for their extraordinary efforts to ‘give back’ to local communities through sustainable tourism, wildlife conservation and environmental preservation." She added, “We sincerely hope that these recognitions have, in some small way, further supported the honorees’ missions as well as motivated others to follow in the same path. This year as we celebrated the 21st Anniversary, we were especially honored to recognize the Actress Maggie Q for her humanitarian work on behalf of Kageno and its programs that are benefiting local communities in Kenya and Rwanda, together with the inspiring work done by the Global Himalayan Expedition, Jordan Trail Association, and The Intrepid Foundation."
The Award itself, Caring for Our World, was specially designed and handcrafted on the Mediterranean Island of Malta by Mdina Glass, and celebrates the qualities of leadership and vision that inspire others to care for all people around the Globe.