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Regenerative Travel announces 2021 Impact Award winners

From a Maldivan working to protect marine ecosystems to a community-led regenerative fashion initiative based in Bigodi, Uganda, and the largest ever collaboration by the tourism industry the inaugural Impact Awards honour the people and projects driving the industry forward.


NEW YORK – Regenerative Travel, a benefit corporation and a collection of independent hotels and lodges committed to regenerative hospitality, announce the winners of the 2021 Regenerative Travel Impact Awards. The Awards, which were created to celebrate and provide a platform to hotels, initiatives, and individuals that embody the spirit of regeneration, improving people’s lives, communities, and the world of travel, reflects Regenerative Travel’s ethos of generating lasting positive social and environmental impact.

The winners were selected by a panel of judges comprising pioneers in regenerative travel and hospitality as well as experts and movers in conservation, sustainability, and social impact. Our judges included: Martinique Lewis, President of the Black Travel Alliance Travel, Juliet Kinsman, Sustainability Editor at Condé Nast Traveller, Anthony Myint, Founder of ZeroFood Print, Lea d’Auriol, Founder of Oceanic Global, Paloma Zapata, CEO of Sustainable Travel International, Api Movono, Senior Lecturer in Development Studies, and Sheldon Scott, Director of Culture at Eaton Workshop.

Read below for the list of winners for each category:

Regenerative Hotel of the Year:
Hotel owners or managers who are catalysts for change and are innovating hospitality to promote positive social and environmental impact.
Winner: Fogo Island Inn
As the number one hotel in Canada and third in the world, Fogo Island Inn’ 100% social business model and commitment to community and transparency shines through in how they prioritise preserving cultural heritage, support ecologically sustainability and invest in the local economy.

Finalists: Volcanoes Safaris, Mashpi Lodge, Mana Earthly Paradise, Rockhouse Jamaica

Regenerative Travel Initiative of the Year
An initiative in the travel and tourism sector that has drawn attention to social and environmental issues, inspiring action
Winner: Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency
Tourism Declares is the largest ever collaboration by the tourism industry and is entirely volunteer-run with over 270 members and has published three Climate Action Blueprints to support multiple roles across the industry.

Finalists: Amazonas Explorer: Staff Reinvention Project, Blue Apple Beach: Supply Chain Review Project, Planeterra: Global Community Tourism Network, Great Himalaya Trail: MyGHTI

Regenerative Activist of the Year
A passionate campaigner recognized for their contributions to bring about social and environmental change
Winner: Shaha Hashim, Field Project Manager at Blue Marine Foundation’s (BLUE’s) Maldives Project
Shaha Hashim has pioneered multiple positive impact movements including developing the #ProtectMaldivesSeagrass project, raising awareness for the importance of ecosystems and launching #FishForTomorrow, resulting in the introduction of a new law to protect parrotfish.

Finalists: Vincie Ho, Founder of RISE Travel Institute, Mikaela Loach, Environmental Activist, co-founder of the #PaidtoPollute campaign, trainee Doctor and presenter of The Yikes Podcast, Cliona O'Flaherty and Viviana Taubera from Kokomo Private Island Fiji’s Marine Biology Team

Conservation: Initiatives working to restore and regenerate ecosystems, biodiversity, or critical species.
Winner: Gamewatchers – Adopt an Acre Initiative
As a reaction to cuts in tourism due to the global pandemic, Gamewatchers created the ‘Adopt an Acre’ initiative which has raised almost US$400,000 to protect wildlife habitats and support local livelihoods in an effort to combat the impact of travel cessation.

Finalists: Dazzle Africa: Adopt a Scout Program, Six Senses Maldives: Maldives Underwater Initiative, Fragments of Hope

Community: Initiatives that promote equity and honour culture for vibrant, resilient communities.
Winner: Seeds & Stories
Seeds & Stories is a community-led regenerative fashion initiative based in Bigodi, Uganda, focused on providing employment and socio-economic employment for women and young people, where all products are made by local women using plant-based fibres grown by local farmers in a carbon-neutral workshop.

Finalists: Living Heritage Koslanda, Indigenous Kokoda Adventures

Food and Agriculture: Ideas that restore food systems—improving food quality and availability, supporting farmers, and promoting healthy ecosystems.
Winner: Alladale Wilderness Reserve: Aquaponics Garden
The Reserve took the 2020 lockdowns to embark on creating the UK’s largest aquaponic gardens, run of electricity generated by Alladale’s own hydro generator so no fossil fuels are used and in turn it enables Alladale to produce around 90% of all vegetables and herbs used on their menus.

Finalists: Onda Wellness, Mashpi Lodge, Agritourism India

Climate: Innovative ideas that bring greenhouse gas emissions to zero (and beyond) or uplift nature’s carbon cycle.
Winner: Mountain Homestays: Clean Energy Retrofit Program
As a community-led social tourism initiative, Mountain Homestays is leading the way in providing opportunities for the livelihood of indigenous people and women in particular in remote regions of India, using solar power, greenhouses, water filters, solar water heaters, and use waste for compost to get as close to carbon neutral status as possible.

Finalists: YHA New Zealand, Tourism Declares a Climate Emergency, Trees for Travel

Education: Projects that deepen or broaden education’s impact, promoting equity and understanding.
Winner: Love the Oceans
This marine conservation NGO works in Jangamo, Mozambique, using a holistic approach by applying a bottom-up, community-led approach to creating a locally-managed marine protection area as well as teaching basic marine management, English language, and swimming and diving to equip the next generation with the knowledge to continue their conservation.

Finalists: Rockhouse Jamaica foundation, Africa Foundation Hustle Economy Micro-Enterprise Support Programme: &Beyond, Share the Wonder

Health and Wellness: Holistic and restorative approaches that promote well-being.
Winner: The Farm at San Benito
Located in the Philippines, The Farm exemplifies healing through food and the importance of maintaining the diversity of regional food and agricultural traditions whilst honouring ancient traditions of health and wellness mixed with modern wisdom in order the provide the best level of regeneration possible.

Finalists: The Ranch Malibu, Aro Ha Wellness Retreat, Natural Change: Alladale Wilderness Reserve

People’s Choice
Regenerative Travel opened up the People's Choice to a vote where the Regenerative Travel community were invited to choose their favorite initiative or individual from all of the Impact Award’s finalists. The vote attracted over 3,400+ submissions and saw Fogo Island Inn winning in the People’s Choice category.

In the words of Regenerative Travel co-founder Amanda Ho: "We're honored to award this year's inaugural Impact Awards winners and recognize these trailblazing initiatives for their commitment to creating regenerative impact."

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