Tour Operators Tourism Cares honors philanthropy standouts By Michelle Baran / December 10, 2015 Share 1 -- Nonprofit organization Tourism Cares announced the winners of its 2015 Travel Philanthropy Awards. Lindblad Expeditions and Myths and Mountains took home the Legacy in Travel Philanthropy award, which recognizes sustained impact for more than 15 years. Lindblad was recognized for the implementation of client funding towards marine research, conservation, education and community development. Myths and Mountains was hailed for its efforts to help create community centers that support literacy and education in Nepal, India and Bhutan.Nikoi Island, a private resort in Indonesia, won the New Innovators award, recognizing philanthropic achievement in programs that were launched within the last three to six years. Nikoi Island has helped create new learning centers and businesses in Indonesian communities.John and Patty Noel won the inaugural Personal Philanthropic Leadership award. Noel is founder of the Noel Group, Travel Guard International, and most recently, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection. He is also founder of such philanthropic efforts as the Compass Scholars program; the Boys & Girls Club of Portage Bay, Wisconsin; and the Make a Mark Foundation, which helps fight the global AIDS pandemic in Sub-Saharan Africa.Nominees were scored based on the problems they were trying to resolve and their results; community engagement; storytelling, communications and advocacy; integration into their core business; and overall financial commitment.The Travel Philanthropy Awards review committee consists of leaders in the travel and philanthropic industries, including: Jennifer Wilson Buttigieg, Valerie Wilson Travel; Jena Gardner, JG Black Book and the Bodhi Tree Foundation; Kristin Lamoureux, Tisch Center for Hospitality and Tourism, New York University; Arnie Weissmann, Travel Weekly; Melissa Wisniewski, Key 360 Advisors; and Dien Yuen, Kordant Philanthropy Advisors.The awards ceremony will take place on Dec. 15, at 5 p.m., at the Conrad Hotel in New York, immediately preceding Travel Weekly’s Readers Choice Awards. Tickets for the Tourism Cares awards reception can be purchased at www.TourismCares.org/celebrate.