Tourism Cares, the industry nonprofit that is recognized and supported by Travel Weekly during the Readers Choice Awards ceremony, held a pre-gala reception at the Conrad New York to honor three companies and industry leaders with Travel Philanthropy Awards.
Tour operator Myths and Mountains shared the Legacy in Travel Philanthropy Award with Lindblad Expeditions. This recognition, sponsored by American Express, spotlights long-term efforts that have had a sustained impact for more than 15 years.
Myths and Mountains created the READ (Rural Education and Development) Global library and community center model almost 25 years ago to support literacy and education in Nepal, India and Bhutan. By engaging its client base in support of its mission, there are now 85 READ centers, all of which are sustained by locally owned enterprises.
Lindblad Expeditions has engaged its guests in support of funding for marine research, conservation, education and community development projects, including the recent designation by the U.K. of the Pitcairn Island Marine Reserve, the world's largest contiguous stretch of protected ocean.
Tourism Cares held a pre-gala reception at the Conrad New York for its Travel Philanthropy Awards. From left: Derek Hydon, president of MaCher; Toni Neubauer, president of Myths and Mountains; John Noel, president of Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection; Sven Lindblad, CEO of Lindblad Expeditions; Carolyn Cauceglia, vice president of strategic sales for Amadeus; and Brad Finkle, president of TripMate. Photo Credit: Julienne Schaer
Nikoi Island, a private resort in Indonesia, was presented with the New Innovators Award, recognizing philanthropic achievement by an enterprise whose program was started within the last three to six years.
That resort has created both learning centers and businesses in its community, and has enlisted the assistance of generous Singaporeans, leveraging resources as well as the knowledge base of that nearby, more prosperous city-state.
And John Noel, founder of the Noel Group, Travel Guard International and more recently Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, together with his wife, Patty, are the recipients of the inaugural Personal Philanthropic Leadership Award.
The Noels are the founders and supporters of a wide range of philanthropic efforts, including the Compass Scholars program, the Boys & Girls Club of Portage Bay and the Make a Mark Foundation.
His efforts have reached from his native Wisconsin to South Africa and Kenya, providing support to causes ranging from American youth clubs to sustainable villages for children and the elderly who were left without support due to the death of family members to AIDS.
Judging for the awards was done by a committee composed of 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 reception and presentations were made possible by additional sponsorship from Amadeus, Berkshire Hathaway Travel Protection, Collette, Fathom, MaCher, Marriott, NYC & Company, Travel + Leisure and an anonymous supporter.