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Hearts of Travel Awards recipients honored in New York

Tourism Cares community salutes Abercrombie & Kent, Universal Orlando Resort, AFAR Media, and Mr. Jonathan Tisch.

Canton, MA — About 150 industry leaders gathered last week in New York to honor four recipients of the Heart of Travel awards, granted annually by Tourism Cares to recognize excellence in travel corporate social responsibility.

"These annual awards are an important part of celebrating the social purpose and passion of our community," says Mike Rea, CEO of Tourism Cares.

The Tourism Cares board of directors and the awards selection committee proudly celebrated:
Abercrombie & Kent and Universal Orlando Resort,  who share this year’s Legacy in Travel Philanthropy Award, honoring long term impact in corporate philanthropy and—new this year—recognizing the contributions of companies of different sizes and giving budgets;
AFAR Media, the winner of the New Innovators Award award, recognizing philanthropic achievement among those new to giving, having started a program within the last three to six years;
And Mr. Jonathan Tisch,  the recipient of the Personal Philanthropic Leadership Award. A long-time, dedicated leader of corporate responsibility, Mr. Tisch is co-chairman of the board of Loews Corporation and chairman of  Loews Hotels & Resorts.
The awards celebrated these models of corporate social change, to inspire others to start or improve their own efforts.
After an open call for nominations, 20 companies were nominated for the Legacy in Travel Philanthropy and New Innovators awards; the Leadership honoree was selected by the Tourism Cares board of directors. The committee scored submissions in the following areas: theory of action and execution (problem statement, activities, and outcomes); community engagement; storytelling; communications and advocacy; integration into their core business; and overall financial commitment.
The selection committee consisted of leaders in the travel and philanthropic industries:
Dien Yuen, Kordant Philanthropy Advisors
Kristin Lamoureux, New York University
Melissa Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors
Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel
Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly
Highlights among the winning nominations include:
– Abercrombie & Kent’s 30 year commitment to giving back. In 2016 alone, corporate contributions, guest contributions and the value of in-kind donations totaled more than $2.5 million. In addition to managing 30 projects across seven continents, they also employ full-time community development professionals in eight countries.
– Universal Orlando Resort’s Universal Orlando Foundation, which has has given more than $14 million to the Central Florida Community,  funding projects like Art of Tomorrow—a collaboration between the resort, the Universal Orlando Foundation and – Orange County Public Schools which inspires teenagers to stay in school and pursue careers as professional artists and designers. More than 1,000 students have participated in the program.
– AFAR Media's early efforts to provide 613 scholarships to youth as well as funding various programs across the country—all with the theme that travel is the best form of education for young people.
– Mr. Jonathan Tisch’s leadership in supporting New York tourism. Among many positions serving as chairman for travel organizations like the United States Travel Association and NYC & Company,  Mr. Tisch was also the chairman of New York Rising, a task force committed to reviving tourism and the economy in New York City, leading Crain's  New York Business to name him one of  its "Top Ten Most Influential Business Leaders in 2006."

The awards were presented at the Hearts of Travel Awards reception at the Conrad Hotel in New York City and were made possible by: Legacy award sponsor American Express, New Innovator award sponsor Amadeus and Leadership award sponsor Trip Mate.


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