Uplifting the Future of Global Travel: Celebrating Sustainability in the 21st Century


The travel industry has become increasingly aware of its responsibility for sustainability. During the past decade, governments, companies, and individuals have worked tirelessly to reduce the environmental and social impacts of tourism. Sustainable travel now requires that all activities be conducted in a responsible way, taking into consideration the ecological, economic, and social effects of tourism.

An exciting look at the future of global travel, these AWFT Sustainability awards celebrate those outstanding individuals, companies, and organizations whose willingness to think ahead and act responsibly have earned them recognition and awards in the categories of climate action, environmental impact, technological prowess, economic success, and societal sustainability. Discover the qualifications for each category and what the winners of these sustainability awards have done for the global travel industry in the year 2023 and beyond.

The 2023 awards are determined by the AWFT team to align with the category shifts towards the future as laid out across the 2023 Forum content and are directly associated with or for the global travel industry. The 6th award is for resilience which is identified through the Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council. Awards can be for destinations, businesses or individuals who have developed and or brought to market an activity that better positions the industry, suppliers and travelers going forward.

AWFT organizers have designed five awards to recognize and encourage organizations and individuals that strive for excellence in sustainability within the global travel industry. These awards are: Climate Change, Environmental Impact, Technological Prowess, Economic Advancement, and Societal Development.

  • The Climate Change Award is dedicated to recognizing innovative strategies and projects that reduce emissions and mitigate the effects of climate change in the tourism industry. For example, nominees may include those who develop and implement approaches to reducing energy consumption, increasing the use of renewable energy, and regenerative tourism.
  • Similarly, the Environmental Impact Award seeks to honor organizations and individuals that have implemented projects that reduce the environmental footprint on destinations or offer solutions that address or reverse erosion. Such projects may include the elimination of single-use plastics, the conservation of water and energy, coastline erosion, breakwaters and the adoption of circular practices.
  • The Technological Prowess Award acknowledges pioneering efforts to harness technological solutions in order to foster sustainable tourism. This award will recognize the implementation of innovative digital technology and data management in order to reduce the environmental and social impacts of travel and tourism and/or maximize experiences and revenue.
  • The Economic Advancement Award acknowledges the importance of economic sustainability in the global tourism industry. Therefore, this award recognizes strategies and activities that foster economic vitality and promote job creation as well as improved share of wallet, sustainable transformation, resilience and crisis planning as part of the business model. Nominees should strive to promote equitable and stable economic growth in the industry and their communities.
  • Finally, the Societal Development Award will be presented to those who demonstrate a commitment to enhancing the wellbeing of all members of the local community, including the personal and professional development of employees. Nominees should focus on fostering skills development, behavioral shifts, social inclusion, the advancement of cultural heritage, and the development of sustainable strategies for tourism-based communities.

In addition to the five awards above, the Resilience Council will also present a sixth award, the Resilience Award. This award is specifically intended to honor communities, businesses, or individuals who have been instrumental to the industry in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Awardees should demonstrate leadership through the development and implementation of a strategy that will aid those in the industry in their efforts to bounce back and remain resilient in the face of adversity.

Ultimately, the goal of these awards is to recognize and promote those within the global travel industry who strive with great commitment to sustainability excellence. The awards hope to inspire and encourage more organizations and businesses to promote and implement green practices in their operations.


Debbie Flynn
FINN Partners Managing Partner, Global Practice Leader
Frédéric Vanhoutte
CEO, Eventiz Media Group
Paul Pruangkarn
CMO, Pacific Asia Travel Association
Laurie Myers
Global Strategist, Global Travel and Tourism Resilience Council, Jacobs Media Group
Jean-François Rika
Rika Jean-François
Commissioner, ITB
Marc Ivaldi
Professor Marc Ivaldi
Professor at Toulouse School of Economics
Christian Delom
Secretary General, A World for Travel
Christian Mantei
Tourism Expert-Advisor Senior Advisor-Administrator, ATREAM
Harriet Akinyi
Kenyan journalist


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