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Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler announce World Legacy Awards

Washington, D.C., March 25, 2002 Conservation International and National Geographic Traveler magazine announced today the creation of the World Legacy Awards. These awards, the first of its kind, will recognize outstanding businesses, organizations, and places that have made a significant contribution toward promoting the principles of sustainable tourism, and whose actions can serve as a role model for others. These standards include the conservation of nature, economic benefit to local peoples, and respect for cultural diversity.

The newly-formed alliance between National Geographic Traveler magazine and Conservation International launches a global campaign to promote environmentally, culturally, and socially responsible tourism practices across a wider spectrum of the tourism industry, with the goal of protecting Earths natural and cultural heritage.

Too often, tourist resorts and destinations have focused on short-term gain with little regard for the environment or the people who live thereoften the very things that attracted visitors in the first place, said Costas Christ, Senior Director of Conservation Internationals ecotourism department. With the creation of the World Legacy Awards, we intend to raise the bar and encourage more businesses, organizations, and destinations to incorporate sound environmental and social policies into their practices.

With the United Nations declaration of 2002 as the International Year of Ecotourism, more attention is being focused on how the tourism industry can play a more positive role in the protection of nature and the well being of local people.

Tourists are looking for experiences that are rewarding and memorable, but the tourism industry can only be sustainable if the natural and cultural assets of the destination are protected, and if local people receive economic and social benefit from tourism activities, said Jonathan Tourtellot, Geotourism Editor of National Geographic Traveler
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Contact: Brad Phillips
b.phillips@conservation.org
202-912-1532
Conservation International
25-Mar-2002


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